Difference between revisions of "Malthusian Scenarios"

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A '''Malthusian Scenario''' refers to humanity returning to an subsistence-level of existence due to population growth outpacing available resources. Originally the theory only referred to anticipated food scarcity caused by inadequate agricultural production, however “Malthusian Scenarios” now encompass the scarcity of any resource (in relation to an expanding population) that is key to maintaining society’s infrastructure.
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{{wikilink|Malthusian catastrophe}}
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A '''Malthusian Scenario''' refers to humanity returning to an subsistence-level of existence due to population growth outpacing production. [[Wikipedia:Thomas Malthus|Tomas Malthus]] originally proposed this scenario in the 18th century, predicting that unbounded population growth would outpace food production and inevitable famine would follow. The remaining humans would be left at a level of bare subsistence.
  
When Malthus made his original projections his mathematical model made no allowances for improved technology or for incentives in the economic market being created due to there being a larger population.
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Dramatic [[Wikipedia:Green Revolution|agricultural production efficiency increases]] and [[Wikipedia:Demographic transition|reduced population growth]] have avoided this specific scenario. In the last ten years, the population has grown 15%[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_growth#Human_population_growth_rate] while total production has grown around 100%[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_world_product#Historical_and_prehistorical_estimates]. Today, “Malthusian Scenarios” encompass the scarcity of any essential resource that an expanding population needs.
  
However, the problem is exacerbated by economic growth in the developing world as this creates a populous that want to consumer more resulting in resources depleting even faster.
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Whilst food production has expanded in the developed world, its sustainability could be jeopardized due to limited resources such as oil (which agriculture is heavily dependent upon) being rapidly depleted[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_depletion#Catastrophe]. If population continues to grow a Malthusian catastrophe would appear to be inevitable as there will always be a finite amount of resources to exploit.  
  
Whilst food production has expanded in the developed world, its sustainability could be jeopardized due to resources such as oil (which agriculture is heavily dependent upon) being rapidly depleted.
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[[Robin Hanson]] has also suggested that Singularity-level technology, such as mind-uploading, would possibly result in Malthusian scenarios. Because uploaded minds could be so easily copied, reproduction costs would fall so dramatically that population growth could outpace even the production levels of an advanced society. Hence, all wages would be reduced to upload subsistence levels[http://www.primitivism.com/uploads-dawn.htm].
 
 
If population continues to grow a Malthusian catastrophe would appear to be inevitable as there will always be a finite amount of resources from which we can make use.  
 
  
 
==Blog Posts==
 
==Blog Posts==
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_catastrophe Malthusian Catastrophe] Wikipedia
 
*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_catastrophe Malthusian Catastrophe] Wikipedia
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==See Also==
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*[[Economic consequences of AI and whole brain emulation]]

Latest revision as of 21:10, 17 September 2012

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A Malthusian Scenario refers to humanity returning to an subsistence-level of existence due to population growth outpacing production. Tomas Malthus originally proposed this scenario in the 18th century, predicting that unbounded population growth would outpace food production and inevitable famine would follow. The remaining humans would be left at a level of bare subsistence.

Dramatic agricultural production efficiency increases and reduced population growth have avoided this specific scenario. In the last ten years, the population has grown 15%[1] while total production has grown around 100%[2]. Today, “Malthusian Scenarios” encompass the scarcity of any essential resource that an expanding population needs.

Whilst food production has expanded in the developed world, its sustainability could be jeopardized due to limited resources such as oil (which agriculture is heavily dependent upon) being rapidly depleted[3]. If population continues to grow a Malthusian catastrophe would appear to be inevitable as there will always be a finite amount of resources to exploit.

Robin Hanson has also suggested that Singularity-level technology, such as mind-uploading, would possibly result in Malthusian scenarios. Because uploaded minds could be so easily copied, reproduction costs would fall so dramatically that population growth could outpace even the production levels of an advanced society. Hence, all wages would be reduced to upload subsistence levels[4].

Blog Posts

External Links

See Also