learning objectivesAfter reading this chapter you will be familiar with the following:
• the simple Malthusian economic growth model: population growth, resource scarcity and limits to economic growth;
• modern variations of the Malthusian growth model;
• population and its adverse impact on resource utilization and environmental quality;
• per capita consumption and its influence on resource depletion and environmental quality deterioration;
• the Malthusian perspective on technology and its influence on the population-resource-environment interrelationship;
• the basic policy implications of the Malthusian economic growth model;
• the relevance of the Malthusian growth model to the population, resource and environmental problems facing the contemporary world.
If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.
(Meadows et al. 1974:29)