Malthusian catastrophe

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Malthusian catastrophe

A hypothetical limit on human population espoused by English theologian and scholar Thomas Robert Malthus in his 1798 Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus believed that humans would eventually reproduce in such excess that they would surpass the limits of food supplies; once they reached this point, some sort of "catastrophe” was inevitable to control the population and human resources.
References in periodicals archive ?
For a while, from the middle of the nineteenth century, it looked as if the Malthusian trap was no longer operative.
The modern Malthusian must also tackle the two big objections that have been made to Malthus's theory for nigh on a century now, namely that improvements in the technology of food production on the one hand, and of contraception on the other, have defanged both jaws of the Malthusian trap.
With 40 million Americans on food stamps and government outlays exceeding revenues by a trillion and a half dollars, I don't think it is fanciful to see our country as being in a Malthusian trap, if not quite the one the Reverend Thomas envisaged.
A whole chapter is also devoted to what Kenny describes as the end of the Malthusian trap.
The April 2010 issue of Foreign Policy ominously warned that failing to meet the challenge of "peak phosphorus" would mean that "humanity faces a Malthusian trap of widespread famine on a scale that we have not yet experienced.
It is divided into three parts: the Malthusian Trap which presents a global model of traditional society that runs from the birth of civilization to 1800, the coming of the Industrial Revolution, and finally what Clark refers to as the Great Divergence or the failure of industrialization in most of the under-developed countries.
The Savage Wars of Peace: England, Japan and the Malthusian Trap, by Alan Macfarlane.
The geometric rise in Third World populations and their migrations will overwhelm the West; today's five billion people will become eight to 10 billion early in the next century; the new forces that saved Britain from the Malthusian trap in the 19th century -- migration, the agricultural revolution and industrialization -- no longer operate in concert.
As long as less developed countries are in a Malthusian Trap, our aid--especially public health aid--makes things worse, not better.
Bailey's own essay, "The Progress Explosion: Permanently Escaping the Malthusian Trap," is one of the best ripostes to Malthusian theory around.
Variable multi-causal patterns may underlie the different experiences of individual societies that escape the Malthusian trap.
Early escape from the Malthusian trap, an irreducible bar to any likening of England to a European ancien regime, owed less to the effects of capitalized agricultural improvement than to ways of getting a living which were not directly dependent on the market, and to the ability of local authorities to cope with poverty and distress, when necessary, within the practices of their own communities.