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stbalbach (2)

There’s no condom for consumption.

Alan Weisman's new book argues that we should not only slow population growth, we should decrease the world's population to 2 billion. In the New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert considers his argument for the 2 billion person world in the context of a long history of Malthusian and neo-Malthusian arguments over population growth and resource limits. “Before artificial nitrogen fertilizer became widely available, the world’s population was around 2 billion. When we no longer have it—or if we ever decide to stop using it—that may be a number to which our own naturally gravitates.” For more context, see Paul Sabin's new book The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble Over Earth’s Future. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi on Oct 19, 2013 - 153 comments

John Calhoun's Mouse Utopia

How do you build a mouse Utopia? In 1972, John B. Calhoun detailed the specifications of his Mortality-Inhibiting Environment for Mice: a practical utopia built in the laboratory. . . . To its members, the mouse civilization of Universe 25 must have seemed prosperous indeed. But its downfall was already certain—not just stagnation, but total and inevitable destruction.
posted by saladin on Aug 18, 2011 - 27 comments

Prophesy of economic collapse 'coming true'

In 1972 the Club of Rome published the famous book Limits to Growth that predicted exponential growth would eventually lead to economic and environmental collapse. It was criticized by economists and largely ignored by politicians. Now Graham Turner at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia has compared the book's predictions with data from the intervening years. According to Turner (PDF report) changes in industrial production, food production and pollution are all in line with the book's predictions of collapse in the 21st century. According to the book, the path we have taken will cause decreasing resource availability and an escalating cost of extraction that triggers a slowdown of industry, which eventually results in economic collapse some time after 2020.(via; previously; previously)
posted by stbalbach on Nov 23, 2008 - 80 comments

WSJ - New Limits to Growth Revive Malthusian Fears

Spread of Prosperity Brings Supply Woes: Slaking China's Thirst Malthusian catastrophe does appear to be at hand, as foreseen by the Club of Rome in 1972 publication of "The Limits of Growth"
posted by sjjh on Mar 25, 2008 - 30 comments

Malthusian pressures influences natural selection creates modern nations

Theory of history by Dr. Gregory Clark in his new book A Farewell to Alms 1. The English Industrial Revolution was caused by changes in the make-up and behavior of the population, which was caused by natural selection, influenced by cycles of Malthusian booms and busts between 1200 and 1800. The implications for modernizing other nations through institutions such as the World Bank are like " pre-scientific physicians who prescribed bloodletting for ailments they did not understand".
posted by stbalbach on Aug 7, 2007 - 67 comments

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