What is the Malthusian trap? And where does the Avengers?


2019-10-02 15:40:14




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What is the Malthusian trap? And where does the Avengers?

In a beautiful modern cities to live comfortably, but not always pleasant.

Modern society is often called consumer society. Don't forget that we consume in the first place, not the new iPhones, and other benefits of technology development, and food. Car people can afford every few years, the smartphone every few months, and need to eat every day. It would be easier, there is money — you eat, no money — don't eat it. There is only “but” in this matter. For example, have you ever heard of Malthusian trap? No? And it is!

What is Malthusian trap

The term “Malthusian trap” appeared long ago and has no relevance to Malta. Its name he received in honor of the man who was first in detail described the processes that this term indicated.

It Happened in 1979. Although similar observations were made for decades before that famous Adam Smith in his book “Researches about the nature and causes of the wealth of Nations.” But Thomas Matus described the phenomenon more fully, due to which it got its name.

Malthusian trap are typical of pre-industrial societies a recurrent situation in which population growth eventually outstripped growth in food production.

There is also the concept of “carrying capacity”. This term, usually denoted by the number of people, and sometimes animals which can “ ” that is habitat. The carrying capacity can vary depending on climate, social phenomena and development of tools, but the number of residents in this environment varies still stronger.

As a rule, when approaching the point where the environment no longer able to feed the population, includes, if I may say so, the mechanisms of self-regulation. For example, some tribes went to war against others. Not rare were clashes within the tribe, as well as epidemics caused by poor development of medicine and methods of product conservation . In the end, the population was always on the verge of carrying capacity.

the Industrial revolution has changed literally everything

the Ceiling of carrying capacity

In the middle ages, when they began to appear some innovations in the field of agriculture, this led to increasing the ceiling of carrying capacity. In the end, for several years the inhabitants of the region were fairly comfortable life, not bordering a hungry existence.

Here you can draw a parallel with . You probably noticed that construction of new roads only for a while makes the situation in the city. After some time, the tube come back, and sometimes become even more dense. The opposite situation happens when you build a new big house. First clogged roads very much, and then the situation returns to the previous level.

Large cities are not always the source of the overpopulation of the planet.

This happens not always, but there is a definite trend. Once road capacity is increased, people buy cars as soon as the declining — start to sell or simply cease to go.

In the case of the living environment in the middle ages, the relative increase in capacity allowed for 20-30 years old people not to think about . After this time the population again increased and the quality of life fell.

While it makes sense, but how to “bind” the Malthusian trap to our time? Very simple! Moreover, nowadays it becomes even more important.


We live in a time when and is leaps and bounds. On the one hand it is good and useful for society, that's the only cons in this.

If you throw ethical component, the actions of Thanos was a certain meaning. Just the methods were too hard.

In the highly urbanized developed countries people saves a bit that they decided not to have a large number of children. Due to this, their population is not growing very strongly and are usually limited to the replacement of one generation by the other (two children replacing their parents).

However, in developed countries in recent years there has been a large flow of migrants from third world countries, which increases the consumption of resources. Constraints in this situation are growing GDP and a constant emergence of new technologies in food production. However, a steady GDP growth leads to the accumulation of capital and the crisis of overproduction. Sometimes it can even lead to a military confrontation. Softens the tension only system of social protection of citizens in such countries.

Thanks to the effectiveness of these technologies in developed countries 3-4% of residents employed in agriculture, can feed the entire population of the country. By the way, that is why it is so important in any country to have ruralagriculture and not to underestimate it, too much thinking and equipment. Live without them you can — without food is impossible.

Although conventional computers and other technologies sometimes come to help . For example, we recently wrote about that . On the one hand, this will fill the refrigerators of the people of the future, when they will be twice more than now, but it is too early to conclude how it will affect their health.

Here, as with IOS for smartphone. Prior to release, checked it and fixed all the bugs, but it's worth it to come out as gaining a big pile of bugs, which the developers just not paying attention. And with artificial food. Researchers can't account for everything, including features of residence in different climates, different lifestyles, and the combination with other products. There is a point in the research is able to put only time.

Another way out of the crisis may be , but here too it is necessary to understand the safety and economic viability of this approach. In any case, first it is necessary everywhere to allow cloning. Then carry out in-depth research, and then talk about the application of this method for the fight against hunger.

In any case, even if you discard the question of food overpopulated planet and to say that food won't be a problem, the main problem will be the waste that people produce. But that's a topic for another great conversation.

Overpopulation in third world countries

In third world countries the question of overpopulation is significantly more acute. Locals can't get big yields from small areas and are not able to retain them, to all year round have a normal amount of food. Thus, if in such countries as USA, China, Canada, Russia , Australia and many other large countries with different degrees of development, the average number of children born per woman throughout life, rarely reaches two, the Central African countries this value, depending on the country, ranges from five to eight.

the Number of children born per woman during lifetime

To Stop the overpopulation of the planet a humane means possible. The population will continue to grow. Even where the birth rate is not very high, the business will make the increase in life expectancy. In addition, to infinitely increase the agricultural area, too, impossible as it may lead to desertification of the territory, which also will not work for the benefit of anyone.

As you can see, the situation that emerges is not very pleasant. In the old days such problems like I mentioned above were solved by epidemics, which are now copied on the root and wars. Only that even if there is such a war, which can significantly affect the population of our planet, it is not just local collision and catastrophe on a planetary scale, after which it is unlikely to restore normal life.

Write in the comments what you think about this, and how do you think you can delay contact with global humanity in a Malthusian trap.


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