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Overpopulation is Not Really a Problem Essay

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   Throughout history there have been claims that the world was growing too fast. In the 18th century, it was the Rev. Thomas Malthus with his book Essay on the Principle of Population. Rev. Malthus said that the growing European population would quickly outstrip its available resources. History tells us that Rev. Malthus' speculation was wrong.

Following a path similar to that of Malthus, Paul Ehrlich presented us a book entitled The Population Bomb, in 1969. Ehrlich's book predicted that tens of millions of people would starve to death in the 1970s following an inescapable crash in the world's food supply. It also forecasted the elimination of all natural resources and said that the world was in danger of returning to a pre-industrial Dark Age. Again, the prophecy went unfulfilled.

Continuing Concern

Today, as we near the 21st century, overpopulation, as some may call it, still seems to be a concern. There have been reports that, if the current rate of population growth were maintained, the world will be home to some 694 trillion people by the year 2150, almost 125 times that of today's population (Bender, p. 65). On October 12th, 1999, the world was presented with the associated press headline that the world population counter at the UN topped 6 billion. It is evident that our society is still concerned about the increasing population. The intent of this paper is to prove that there is not, and will never be, according to long-term trends, a situation in which it is impossible to provide everyone on earth a living standard at the subsistence level.

 

Why didn't the old predictions come true?

In 1969 Paul Ehrlich predicted that the world would outgrow its food supply. Ehrlich based his argument on Rev....


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...nology. If the historical long-term trends continue as they have, we will never be stripped of our ability to provide for everyone.

 

Appendix A

Arithmetic vs. Geometric Rate of Increase:

 An arithmetic progression increases by consistent numerical values. Example: 1+2+3+4+5+6

 A geometric progression increases by a constant percent: Example: 1+2+4+8+16+32

In this case, the number doubles each time (100% increase).

Appendix B

 

The Law of Conservation of Matter states that material is neither created nor destroyed in any chemical or physical reaction.

 

Works Cited

Bender, David, Bruno Leone, Charles F. Hohm, Lori Justine Jones, Population: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1995

Lederer, Edith M., Associated Press Article, October 12, 1999

Carnell, Brian, http://www.overpopulation.com

 


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