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An Essay on the Principle of Population - Wikipedia
If the inherent energy of the principle of population (supposed everywhere the same) is measured by the rate at which numbers increase under the most favorable circumstances, surely the force of less favorable circumstances, acting through prudential or altruistic motives, is measured by the great difference between this maximum rate and those which are observed to prevail in most European countries.
It is the law of diminishing returns from land, involving as it does -- though only hypothetically -- the prospect of a continuously increasing difficulty in obtaining the necessary sustenance for all the members of a society, that gives the principal importance to population as an economic factor.
Thomas Malthus An Essay On The Principle Of Population
This attempt to explain a range of social problems as a result of population growth outstripping limited resources (carrying capacity) has a long tradition within Western thought. The first to formulate such a view was English pastor T. R. Malthus in his 1798. According to Malthus, who summarised his findings with this question:
In 1798, he anonymously published his renowned work An Essay on the Principle of Population as it affects the Future Improvement of Society, with Remarks on the Speculations of Mr....
Malthus and the Principle of Population | Foreign Affairs
Growing awareness of these facts forced the neo-Malthusians to modify their arguments, attributing the ecological crisis to "overconsumption" of resources by the peoples of the industrialised countries. The most widely promoted version of this line of argument is expounded by Anne and Paul Ehrlich in their book. The problem as the Ehrlichs see it is summarised in the formula I = PAT. Using this formula, by which environmental impact (I) is equal to a function of population (P), by "affluence" (A), by technology (T), the Ehrlichs come to the conclusion that the average impact of an individual in a technologically advanced country is far greater than that of someone in a poor nation.
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