Bronnen bij Overbevolking: Doswell

8 sep.2010

Het artikel waaruit de gegevens omtrent de wereldbevolking is gehaald, staat op een soort website waarvan het voorbestaan niet verzekerd is (weet de redactie uit ervaringen). Vandaar hier een reproductie van een wat groter deel van het artikel - het origineel staat (nu nog) hier uitleg of detail :

Van: http://www.flame.org/~cdoswell, 20 April 2006, update: 31 January 2008, door Chuck Doswell

The Coming Collapse of Global Civilization?

1. Introduction

Various informal discussions and other chance experiences of late have stimulated me to write up and post this essay. What follows is a pretty dark vision. I hope there's something serious wrong with my reasoning, but my crystal ball seems to be predicting what amounts to the collapse of our Western, technologically-based civilization and, perhaps, the subsequent collapse of most of the rest of global civilization. I want to discuss the various threads that I see leading to this dire forecast. And I hope that someone can produce a convincing argument that I'm wrong.

2. The Malthusian doomsday

In the later part of the 18th century, Thomas Malthus made the point that ,,,

...the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.

Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will shew the immensity of the first power in comparison of the second.

Put in modern terms, the rate of population increase is roughly proportional to the population itself, ... resulting in a mathematical description of the population as a function of time. It is easily shown that the solution ... is

N(t) = No exp(cot)

where No is the population at some arbitrarily chosen starting point t = to. Exponential growth is what Malthus referred to as "geometric" increase. This principle of population growth is well-known and can be used to make projections about the future population of the Earth, although typically in a more sophisticated form that accounts for many other factors. No matter how sophisticated this forecasting is, however, it can't be denied that the world's population is growing in something very much like an exponential fashion:


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