humanpopulation - Human Population Crisis Challenge or...

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Unformatted text preview: Human Population: Crisis, Challenge or Opportunity? Lecture 6 How Many is Too Many? There are over 6.8 billion humans on the planet We add over 80 million per year- that’s 10 New Jerseys But do numbers tell the whole story? Not Just Numbers It’s not only the number of humans that’s important We’ll look at: population dynamics spatial distribution modifiers of environmental impact Malthus and Overpopulation Thomas Malthus (1798) developed an early formal analysis of overpopulation: Population grows geometrically Food production grows arithmetically Malthusian Consequences? What’s the consequence of Malthus being right? A population collapse World population growth looks geometric Yet, a global food- production related population collapse hasn’t happened yet Local case of famine and starvation do occur World Population Growth Globally, food production has grown faster than population Localized famines are more about problems with food distribution and misallocation than overall availability Why Malthus was Wrong (So Far) Neo-Malthusians – contend that overpopulation will lead to: § resource scarcity and depletion § environmental degradation – pollution, soil depletion § food scarcity Eventually, human population will precipitously decline from some combination of starvation, disease, war The Modern Overpopulation Argument Paul Ehrlich Cornucopians – population pressure leads to: § technological innovation § increased intensity of resource use § greater number of people who can solve problems All people will benefit from this increased productivity People are the ultimate resource The Modern Overpopulation Argument Julian Simon Where are We Going?...
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humanpopulation - Human Population Crisis Challenge or...

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