virus: Malthus and assumptions

Duane Hewitt (
Tue, 28 Nov 1995 18:37:01 -0700 (MST)

> Eric Hardison (
> Thu, 23 Nov 1995 02:44:28 -0500
> On 20 Nov 95 at 17:20, Duane Hewitt wrote:
> > So did Malthus and as did The Club of Rome in 1973.
> I don't know of these references. Could you please expound on them?

Thomas Malthus was an Englishman who wrote a famous work in 1798 called
_Essay on Population_. It has been echoed many times by eco-hysterics
since that time even though it has been proven wrong time after time.

The Club of Rome is one of the latest of these debacles. They published a
treatise in 1973 that basically predicted that the world was going to
hell in the succeeding 50 years. They recently revised their figures in
1993 to say that we are going to hell in the *next* 50 years.

BTW the book _Out of Control_ does an
excellent analysis of the limitations of the models used by the Club of
Rome. I would highly recommend the book for many other reasons as well.

> Please state why they are unwarranted.

They are unwarranted because I do not accept the advent of Eco-Armageddon
as an article of faith. I would like to see more proof. From my
investigations into this topic there seem to be many problems with these

> > 1. Current trends in population growth will extend into the
> foreseeable
> > future. (Malthus made this mistake as did The Club of Rome)

> Nothing is realistically being done about the "trends", therefore they
> will stay the same. Unless of course a meteor shower hits in the next
> 30
> years, killing off about 5/6 of everyone alive, or maybe your counting
> ona great war that will kill of billions. Both Disgusting and inhumane
> solutions. Humane solutions don't fall out of the sky. They take hard
> work and time.

Or arise spontaneously out of changing conditions. Education is the most
effective form of birth control. There are feedback mechanisms that work
in demographics that make growth self limiting. Yes, some of these
involve unfortuante things such as disease, war and famine. I do not
advocate these solutions in the least, however, I refuse to deny that
they occur.

What are _your_ suggested solutions? Sterilization programs?

> Do you think first world countries are any better at this? Not. In
> Florida, where I live, the everglades are being destroyed by human
> overpopulation. The water levels are getting lower, threatening the
> entire ecosystem. And as population in central Florida increases, the
> drain on the everglades aquefer (linked to lake okechobee) is
> increasing.
> It's a major environmental catastrophe looming on the horizon. You'd
> think maybe it would hit the news a few times and be a public concern.

Mass extinctions occurred long before mankind was on the scene and the
world goes on. Why are the current destruction of species and ecosystems
so much different in the larger scheme of things?

> Most people don't even know the problem exists and DON'T CARE either.
> > 3. The major causes of environmental damage are industrialized
> nation's
> > consumption. (Proxy wars, foreign aid and communism all are major
> > culprits)
> Please elaborate on your parenthetical expresion.

My major point is that the countries that are dealing with environmental
damage are Western countries with democratic and capitalist systems. The
countries with the worst problems are the former communist countries and
those that were involved in Cold War maneuvering.

> per capita consumption at half of america's by 2030. It could easily
> be
> worse than that.

That is an unwarranted assumption that it will automatically be such a
problem. What do you suggest? Nuke em so they don't develop. My
suggestion is that with this increased wealth they will gain the luxury
of worrying about their environment that is now currently enjoyed by
Western countries. It is difficult to worry about a tree when you need


> > 4. Dependency is a one way street. (hint Adam Smith -Division of
> labor)
> How is this relevant?
There has been some discussion about the developing countries being
"victims" in that they have no choice but being tied into the
international economy. What such observers fail to notice is that larger
countries do not have this choice either due to the rapidly increasing
economic interdependence. Imperialism is dead in other words.