You Decide: Has the population boom fizzled?
When I was in college four decades ago, one of the headline concerns
was overpopulation. Worries were just beginning about what more people
would mean for the food supply, the availability of clean water and
the price of everything from gas to lumber to clothing. Dire
predictions were made for widespread starvation and plunging living
This wasn’t the first time that society had fretted about
overpopulation. In the 19th century a British scholar named Thomas
Malthus predicted that increased numbers of people would inevitably
lead to disease, famine and a long-run trend to subsistence living.
Advances in agricultural productivity proved Malthus wrong for a large
part of the world. But today another trend may be a more significant
undoing of Malthus’ predictions. Instead of the world ...