Food and warming

News Today

One of the biggest intellectual debates in the history of economics has been concerned with the nature of relationship between the economic system and the environment.The earliest economists, known as the Classical School, worried about the interaction of the two systems. Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) set out to formularize the implications of people’s standard of living on exponential population growth coupled with linear growth of food output from farming. In Malthus’ view (1798), rising living standards were causing the birth rate to rise. (Read More)

When economists claim that Malthus neglected the potential for technological advance, we note that economists on their part neglect the environmental damages caused by modern farming. Yes, the global farm system feeds the planet, but it does not do so in an environmentally sustainable way. Until the global farming system itself is a sustainable activity, we should not be too quick to brush Malthus aside (Read More)

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