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An Essay on the Principle of Population - Project Gutenberg

The abundant, cheap energy provided by fossil fuelshas made it possible for humans to exploit a staggering varietyof resources, effectively expanding their resource base. Inparticular, the development of mechanized agriculture has allowedrelatively few farmers to work vast tracts of land, producing anabundance of food and making possible a wild growth ofpopulation.

Perhaps Darwin found this section from Malthus s Essay on the Principle of Population amusing

Social strife is another consequence of the risingcost of commercial energy. Everything people want takes energy toproduce, and as energy becomes more expensive, fewer people haveaccess to goods they desire. When goods are plentiful, andparticularly when per-capita access to goods is increasing,social tensions are muted: Ethnically diverse populations oftenfind it expedient to live harmoniously, governments may beineffective and slow to respond, and little force is needed tomaintain domestic tranquillity. But when goods become scarce, andespecially when per-capita access to goods is decreasing, ethnictensions surface, governments become authoritarian, and goods areacquired, increasingly, by criminal means.

An Essay on the Principle of Population Analysis - …

An Essay on the Principle of Population as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society

Localized episodes of such cultural elaborationhave always been associated with rapid population growth. Reasonsfor the abundance of resources that promoted this growth varyfrom one case to another. In some instances, a population movedinto a new region with previously untapped resources; in otherinstances the development or adoption of new crops, newtechnologies, or new social strategies enhanced production. Butthe Sumerians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Mayas, and even theEaster Islanders all experienced a surge of creative activity astheir populations grew rapidly.

Civilization refers, in its derivation, to thehabit of living in dense nucleated settlements, which appeared aspopulation grew in response to plentiful resources. Many thingsseem to follow as a matter of course when people live in cities,and wherever civilization occurred, it has involved politicalconsolidation, economic specialization, social stratification,some sort of monumental architecture, and a flowering of artisticand intellectual endeavor (Childe, 1951).

An Essay on the Principle of Population - Forgotten Books

Figure 3. Growth of worldwidehuman population (Adapted from Corson, 1990:25).

Taking the population of the world at any number, a thousandmillions, for instance, the human species would increase in theratio of—1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, &c. andsubsistence as—1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, &c. In twocenturies and a quarter, the population would be to the means ofsubsistence as 512 to 10: in three centuries as 4096 to 13; andin two thousand years the difference would be almostincalculable, though the produce in that time would haveincreased to an immense extent.

For Malthus, the imbalance between the growth ofpopulation and means of subsistence might be corrected, from timeto time, through natural disasters, but the human species could,in principle, survive indefinitely. Malthus did not know that theuniverse is governed by the Second Law of Thermodynamics; he didnot understand the population dynamics of introduced species; andhe did not appreciate that humans, having evolved long after theresource base on which they now rely, are effectively anintroduced species on their own planet.

That population cannot increase without the means ofSubsistence, is a proposition so evident, that it needs noillustration.
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Essay On The Principle Of Population

5. Worldwide production of energyfrom fossil fuels in 1992 was 302.81 x 1015 Btu, whileenergy from nuclear reactors was 21.23 x 1015 Btu andfrom hydroelectric sources was 22.29 x 1015 Btu(Energy Information Administration, 1993:269). Biomass is thoughtto account for about 15% of the world's extrasomatic energy(WRI/IIED, 1988:111). Other sources of energy make only a minorcontribution (Corson, 1990:197). Thus, the total extrasomaticenergy used in the world must be on the order of 407.45 x1015 Btu per year. World population is taken as 5.555billion (CIA, 1993:422). The energy expended by an individual indoing a hard day's work is taken to be 4,000 Btu (Loftness1984:2, 756). Energy consumption in the United States is on theorder of 82.36 X 1015 Btu (Energy InformationAdministration, 1993:5). U.S. population is taken as 258 million(CIA, 1993:404).

Malthus and the Principle of Population | Foreign Affairs

Such a history would tend greatly to elucidate the manner inwhich the constant check upon population acts; and would probablyprove the existence of the retrograde and progressive movementsthat have been mentioned; though the times of their vibrationsmust necessarily be rendered irregular, from the operation of manyinterrupting causes; such as, the introduction or failure ofcertain manufactures: a greater or less prevalent spirit ofagricultural enterprize: years of plenty, or years of scarcity:wars and pestilence: poor laws: the invention of processes forshortening labour without the proportional extension of themarket for the commodity: and, particularly, the differencebetween the nominal and real price of labour; a circumstance,which has perhaps more than any other, contributed to conceal thisoscillation from common view.

Essay on the Principle of Population - Revolvy

That population does invariably increase, where there are themeans of subsistence, the history of every people that have everexisted will abundantly prove.

Principle of population - UK Essays

One principal reason is, that the histories of mankind that wepossess, are histories only of the higher classes. We have but fewaccounts that can be depended upon of the manners and customs ofthat part of mankind, where these retrograde and progressivemovements chiefly take place. A satisfactory history of thiskind, of one people, and of one period, would require theconstant and minute attention of an observing mind during a longlife. Some of the objects of inquiry would be, in what proportionto the number of adults was the number of marriages: to whatextent vicious customs prevailed in consequence of the restraintsupon matrimony: what was the comparative mortality among thechildren of the most distressed part of the community, and thosewho lived rather more at their ease: what were the variations inthe real price of labour: and what were the observabledifferences in the state of the lower classes of society withrespect to ease and happiness, at different times during acertain period.

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