Paul Ehrlich (Stanford University biologist and and author of the 1968 book “The Population Bomb”) thought that overpopulation would cause disaster and widespread scarcity. Ehrlich’s bleak vision was anything but that of a lone crank. Countless experts made similar forecasts in the 1950s and 1960s. In his book, Ehrlich declared that:

“the battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines — hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”

Neo-Malthusian Ehrlich thought like a biologist. He believed that there was an inverse relationship between population growth and the availability of resources, i.e. as population grows, resources become scarcer. In the animal world at least a sudden increase in the availability of resources leads to a population explosion. The population explosion then leads to the exhaustion of resources. The final act is the exhaustion of resources which leads to population collapse. …

About

Peter Sainsbury

I write about commodity markets at www.materials-risk.com. Author of a book about the power of media narratives and reclaiming your thinking.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store