Malthus's Theory Essay

1014 words - 4 pages

How can we ever determine or analyze the amount of data we receive, when the only perception we have is from the way things have been up until that time, rather than the future? In 1798, what seemed like a monumental amount of people is now nothing compared to the population of the world today; a trend which will continue just like the growth of Earth’s population. However, with all things, it seems, there is a breaking point. Malthus was quite certain that this breaking point would be felt in our world’s food supply by now, but he was wrong. Although Malthus’s theory may not have been entirely correct, there may be more truth then we realize or would wish to see based on the sheer number of people and the way our resources are being used today.
Malthus felt as if there was a serious decline in living conditions during the 19th century in England. “He blamed this decline on three elements: The overproduction of young; the inability of resources to keep up with the rising human population; and the irresponsibility of the lower classes” (Smith). He suggested lower family size in poorer families to counteract this. People may disregard Malthus’s theory as inaccurate, yet China’s One Child Policy clearly demonstrates his plan for reform. People today are aware of the problem of overpopulation, and countries like China must feel that there is trouble on the horizon for the world if they are concerned enough to make anti-natal policies. Clearly, Malthus had predictions about the trend of food/resources per person that has turned out to be far worse than the situation we are in today. His predictions may have been wrong, but this does not mean his theory was wrong. In Malthus’s time, there was not a DTM to explain the general stages countries go through. For his time, thinking that population increased exponentially was logical, but this incorrect thought influenced his theory on population greatly. He did not expect stages 3 and 4, and thus, his theory is for a continuously, rapid growing stage 2 world. This caused his predictions to be greatly inaccurate, and more extreme, which causes many to see his theory as faulty. However, some stage 2 countries today would definitely follow Malthus’s theory.
The population of the world increased by 200,000 people in one day; making a current total of 6.9 billion humans on the planet (GeoHive-Population Statistics). In Mathus’s time, there were merely 1 billion people, which means in about 200 years, almost 6 billion people have been added to the planet. Malthus may have made incorrect predictions on the state of food production today, but this does not make his actual theory false. Almost 7 billion people inhabit this planet. Simply compare our population to any other life form on Earth that is close to our size, and it will be clear how much more we’ve expanded even when compared to animals that have been here much longer than us. Siberian tigers are the largest wild cat in the world, yet there are less...

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