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Questions from reading?. Population and resources – the work of Malthus, the Club of Rome and Boserup /Simon. Objectives To evaluate the connection between population and resources To Judge the optimistic and pessimistic viewpoints on the connection between population and resources.

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questions from reading
Questions from reading?

Population and resources – the work of Malthus, the Club of Rome and Boserup/Simon

  • Objectives

To evaluate the connection between population and resources

To Judge the optimistic and pessimistic viewpoints on the connection between population and resources

a fair world
A Fair World?

The average American consumes 300 times as much energy as the average Bangladeshi

In many LEDCs, scarcity of food among the poor is partly due to an uneven distribution of land ownership & people power: S. Africa, 47% of land is owned by 2% of the population!

The UN states that food supplies might be adequate to feed the world’s population if they were distributed evenly!

malthus vs boserup biologists environmentalists vs economists
Malthus vs. Boserup

Biologists & environmentalists vs. economists

Population & Resources

prophet of doom thomas malthus 1798
Prophet of Doom?Thomas Malthus 1798

Thomas Malthus: An Essay on the Principle of Population 1798. Predicted a pessimistic view on the dangers of overpopulation & claimed that food supply was the main limit to population growth

Malthus believed the popn increases geometrically (2,4,8,16,32etc) whereas food supply ca only grow arithmetically (2,4,6,8etc) being limited by available new land

esther boserup optimistic
Esther Boserup – optimistic?
  • Esther Boserup, a Danish economist, asserted that an increase in population would stimulate technologists and scientists to increase food production:
  • ie. Any increase in population would increase the demand for food & so act as an incentive to change agrarian (farming) technology & produce more food.

‘Necessity is the mother of invention’

Since 1798 there have been many ways in which food production has increased:

  • Draining marshlands bringing them into agricultural productivity
  • Land reclamation from the sea
  • Cross breeding cattle
  • Developing high yield varieties of plants (especially rice)
  • Terracing of steep slopes
  • Creating artificial environments – greenhouses
  • Using more sophisticated irrigation techniques
  • Creation of new foods such a s soya
  • Creation and extensive use of fertilisers and pesticides (agro-chemical)
  • Farming native species of crops and animals
  • Fish farming
who is right opinion line
Who is right? – Opinion line
  • If you love Esther go to the right of the room, for Malthus swing to the left…..
  • At this point in time, has the Malthusian prediction / prophecy come true? – Left for true and right for false…
application of the theories to the planet today baby boom video
Application of the theories to the planet today – Baby Boom Video
  • Watch the video again & make notes

1st 5 minutes – What are the arguments made for Malthus and Boserup? What evidence is cited?

How are China and Mauritius coping with population change? Mention actual SPECIFIC aspects of their policies

Review – Do China and Mauritius support a Malthusian or Boserup position? Give evidence to support your view

the club of rome
The Club of Rome
  • What is the premise of their argument?
  • How believable is it?
  • Do activity 23 on page 181 of your pupil book
hot air balloon debate
Hot air balloon debate
  • Prepare your presentation as the sheet outlines…
r eview

A Malthusian disaster awaits;

  • The UK
  • Germany
  • Zimbabwe
  • China


Homework 
  • With the global population set to reach 8-10 billion people in the coming decades, to what extent is the Malthusian prophecy an inevitable scenario?
  • Some thoughts & questions:
  • What is the carrying capacity of the planet? What is the optimum population?
  • Will there be widespread famine & starvation or will food production and distribution continue to avert this crisis?