The Human Population

The Human Population

For the past few years, the human population has increased at a very alarming rate. This increase has raised a lot of concern worldwide because, at some point, the resources that are available will not be capable of sustaining the entire human population. Malthus is well recognized due to the theory that he formulated based on the issue of rapid population growth. However, this theory has caused many reactions from many people. A good example is the article Malthus, and His Ghost was written by Ray Percival to go deep into the Malthus theory.  This article was published by the National Review magazine o August 18th, 1978 Malthus argued that human population is a mathematical monster and we need more diseases, famine, and war to minimize population growth.

According to Malthus, if half of the human population is underfed for a substantial amount of time, far from blowing up, then the community will not increase completely. The author argues that we cannot deny that rapid population growth is dangerous. However, with how Malthus thinks the issue should be dealt with is wrong. Ray explains that populations keep on increasing geometrically, implying that they double. This is in contrast to the rate at which food supplies increase. They increase arithmetically which is a slower process. If the population keeps on exploding, numerous people are going to starve.

Percival has a number of reasons for disputing the theory by Malthus. He states that the theory itself is not correct. Its first implication is that the theoretical maximum food production is less than the theoretical maximum population growth. Second, the long term rate of the population being food production must be equal. He disagrees with this theory because the majority of the animals and plants have shorter gestation periods and many offsprings. This means that with man’s assistance plants and animals are capable of increasing at a higher rate as compared to me.

Personally, I agree with the author that the rate of population growth should raise a lot of concern. However; I cannot dispute Malthus theory because for a theory to be legitimate, it needs to be tested. We could be consoling ourselves due to the fears that we have about the future by disputing this theory, but I think Malthus is bringing some facts to light.  Today, there are millions of people who are already experiencing devastating rates of hunger and starvation. Some countries do not have enough resources to produce enough food for their citizens. Therefore I ask myself if people are already dying of hunger and experiencing malnourishment, what about twenty or thirty years to come. I feel like this theory needs to be deeply evaluated and tested before disapproving it.

Apart from disagreeing with how the author disputes the theory, I think Malthus is very inhuman by suggesting that there is a need for more welfare, diseases, and famine. This is like suggesting that we sacrifice some of our fellow human beings to save the entire world from what he thinks is coming in the near future. Currently, there are several methods of dealing with rapid population growth. The common in most countries are birth control and economic urbanization. If there is a possibility that these measures are not that effective, then research has to be done. I am sure we will find better means of surviving in this world other than sacrificing a portion of humanity.

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