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Can we be sure that the stubborn austerity policies, the labour squeeze, financial bubbles and busts, suicidal Indian farmers, immigrant boats in the Middeteranian, military activity in Donbass, Iraq, Syria have nothing to do with the $7 billion figure?

The public discussion of the demographic elephant did not progress much since Malthus and Darwin, Wallace:

In the fall of 1838, [Darwin] picked up the most recent edition of Thomas Malthus's best-selling "Essay on the Principle of Population" [...] The future of the human race, Malthus argued, was shaped by two factors:

First, That food is necessary to the existence of man.

Secondly, That the passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state.

[...] because the food supply does not increase as rapidly as the population, a large percentage of those born will always die of starvation: the "difficulty of subsistence" provides a "strong and constantly operating check on population."

This, for Malthus, meant that there would never be such a thing as a perfect society, in which all members live "in ease, happiness, and comparative leisure"; some part of the human race will always be suffering from poverty and hunger.

Wallace, then in Indonesia, had been forced by a recurrent fever to spend hours every day lying down. "I had nothing to do but think," he later wrote, and one day

something brought to my recollection Malthus's "Principles of Population," which I had read about twelve years before. I thought of his clear exposition of "the positive checks to increase"--disease, accidents, war, and famine--which keep down the population of savage races to so much lower an average than that of more civilized peoples. It then occurred to me that these causes or their equivalents are continually acting in the case of animals also....

What if a few clubs of responsible deciders are preoccupied with this line of thinking ever since (if not earlier)?
by das monde on Wed Jun 3rd, 2015 at 11:22:25 PM EST
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