In his essay titled Essay on Population by Thomas Malthus he talks a lot about the relationship between population and supply. He talks about the human relationship with the resources on the earth and states that there is not enough food to sustain mankind. He goes on to propose solutions in order to counter this problem that was anticipated in the 19th century when Enlightenment was at its peak. During this time, people started moving away from the church and began to put their faith in science and reason to guide their thought and outlook on the world. Malthus states that disease and misery were the only solutions to help the people overcome the inevitable suffering that would occur due to a lack of resources because of an increasing population.
While reading this piece, I couldn’t help but think of today with the rising problems credited to climate change and the growing anxiety regarding the future of our planet. It’s interesting that over a century ago Malthus predicted the increasing population as a problem facing humanity. The idea that the earth could run out of resources as essential as food didn’t seem to be a problem people were concerned about back then as much as we are now. Today there seems to be a growing pressure on our generation to come up with ways to live sustainability since so much of the earth has already been destroyed. I wonder had the technology been available during Malthus’s time would he have proposed a more logical solution than wiping out a large portion of the population with disease. I also wonder if people would have been more accepting of his idea that “the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce substance for man” if they were in as desperate a time as we are today. Overall, I though this reading was very interesting because of its relevance to today. One thing I love about history is how it repeats itself so often and society doesn’t seem to learn from its mistakes. I am wondering what you think Malthus would say about society today and people’s ignorance towards the climate change, increasing lack of resources, environmental hazards that are all results of the growing population and ironically negatively impacting society.