thomas malthus

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Will your children have enough to eat?

I recently read an article featured in our Editors’ Picks about the greatest food in the world (the ‘humble’ McDouble for anyone that missed it), chosen as such mainly because of its affordability and energy content. This got me thinking: will we have enough food to go around in the long run, or will we all be forced to survive on McDoubles for sustenance?

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Winner Take All: A Review

In 1798, Thomas Malthus published his ‘Essay on the Principle of Population’, which is widely considered as the ground-breaking text that shaped the theory of population growth as being ultimately devastating for utility (and ultimately surviving). Then, there was the baby-boom, India tripling its population in fifty years, China doubling its. The post-WWII world didn’t live in the calculation of resources usage, and population control policies. Last year, the world population hit 7 billion people.

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The Accidental Economist

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) at age 7
Charles Darwin at age 7; Artist: Ellen Sharples

Gilbert White was an 18th century parson-naturalist who devoted his time studying the interactions within the natural environment of his local parish, Selborne. In retrospect, he can be regarded as today’s amateur ecologist. Notable for his eccentricities (White is rumoured to have played the trumpet to his pet tortoise Timothy), he is also famous for his epistolary, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne. One of his entries marvels at how cattle retire to water during the hot weather, leaving behind dung that then attracts insects to feed the fish – “Thus Nature, who is a great economist, converts the recreation of one animal to the support of another!”

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