Malthus, Anybody?

So, every time I see the name of Thomas Malthus mentioned these days, it’s all about how wrong he was and how, contrary to his predictions, food production has actually been able to keep pace with population growth.

Oh, really?

The most obvious indicator of a food shortage is an increase in the price of food — exactly what we’re seeing right now. There are food riots going on in many countries all over the world as we speak. The FAO lists 34 countries as being in crisis and needing external intervention in order to keep the people fed.

Somehow that doesn’t look like the rosey picture of plenty that anti-Malthusians would like us to believe.

So what’s the real story here? We really are producing enough food, but most of it is being eaten by rich, fat white people? We have enough food, but alas, it’s so expensive that poor, skinny brown people can’t actually afford very much of it? We’re producing enough food, but energy companies can make more money by turning it into fuel than letting people eat it?

All of the above are probably true. It’s also true that food production is in no way keeping pace with population growth. Malthus lives.


One Response to “Malthus, Anybody?”

  1. […] – bookmarked by 2 members originally found by curiousl on 2008-11-03 Malthus, Anybody? – bookmarked by 1 members originally found […]

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