26 May '12, 5pm

Brilliant malthusian minds at work: 'the world cannot sustain a thousand trillion people'.

"Your statements appear to be in direct conflict. You admit that on our finite world, the existence of resource limits is obvious, yet you claim that it is impossible to demonstrate that such limits exist." I think that this is a very reasonable criticism of what I've said, unlike most of the replies to the few words I've offered here so far. The difference between the malthusian and non-malthusian perspectives meets here, on this definition of resource. So far, we've been speaking past each other. I believe that on the malthusian perspective, 'resource' and 'substance' are equivalent, interchangeable terms. On the view I prefer -- the historical view -- all resources are of course substances, but they're not 'resources' until we have developed a capacity to exploit them. And that capacity is not necessary, or fixed, such that it can be expressed as some mathematical ident...

Full article: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9212#comments_top

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