Overall, there is a lot of discussion here of how birth rates are leveling off. Isn’t that a possible indication of population rate changes caused by limited resources? (e.g., lack of money to support large families, lack of adequate medical attention to support an exponential birth rate, etc.) Sure it could be better access to contraception, but it still seems to apply to limited resources (self-imposed limitations in response to desired quality of life, etc.).
I’m not familiar with Malthus’ whole work, but I doubt he was saying that the world’s population is necessarily doomed…just that it cannot grow rapidly indefinitely…which seems like common sense to me.
I agree that water resources/supplies are of primary concern. But my statement about land was just one example of a finite resource that can become depleted (consider urban sprawl), whereas the whole water cycle keeps things going (management of those water resources is already a big problem in many areas of the world). I suppose it’s not impossible to use up fresh water resources regionally (it happens all the time in localized areas) but, as you said, it becomes increasingly expensive to tap into new sources (e.g., desalinization).
True, but I’ll just add that we are simultaneously destroying some of the unused arable land, thereby reducing an already finite resource. An example is the massive topsoil losses of Madagascar. Recreating topsoil over vast areas is certainly not cheap.
Again, I’m just saying that either rational, long-term planning is employed to sustain whatever population size we want to grow to or nature will choose a number for us (the hard way). My personal hope is that this can be done through individual behavior and not some kind of repressive state requirement.