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Confusion about overpopulation stems from the writings of Thomas Malthus in 1798. It was compounded by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, both of whom made the Malthusian “struggle for existence” the basis of natural selection in the evolutionary process. Malthus argued, without evidence,...
This article examines the tension between population‐level and individual‐level interests regarding childbearing, from Malthus's concern for overpopulation to the contemporary issue of son preference, and argues for an understanding of individual‐level interests that distinguishes parents from...
The one‐child policy of China, which was initiated in 1980 and was reversed in 2015, has been conceived of as a decision made independently and arbitrarily or a product of impulsive decision making. Therefore, it has received a great deal of criticism from Western democracies. Of course, China...
Between 2015 and 2050 world population is projected to increase by nearly 2.5 billion, rising from 7.3 billion to an estimated 9.8 billion. The vast majority of that projected increase—an estimated 97 percent—will occur in the developing world. Demography is not destiny, but population growth in...
For the past 200 years, humans have benefited from the abundant, inexpensive, and easily obtained energy of fossil fuels. Energy surpluses such as this are unusual in human history. In systems with little surplus energy, population growth is low and complexity emerges slowly due to the energetic...
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