It's taken me awhile to get this up, but here's my latest published piece:
It's also at Energy Bulletin under my original title, Malthus and Vice.
Have We Hit the Limits of Human Population?
Without growth, there would be no economy as we know it. But modern culture, by and large, doesn't see that it can exist only in the medium of ceaseless growth and expansion, because a fish doesn't see the water it swims in. Only today, in the recent, breathless moments of the greatest economic crash since the Great Depression, do we begin to perceive the waters around us.
Slowly, we are coming to realize that the last 200 years of economic growth have been based on a monumental Ponzi scheme that has pushed the final reckoning ever forward in time, until the future is now. Slowly, we are coming to realize that Thomas Malthus was right.
It was the warrior cry of the radical environmental movement in the 1980s: "Malthus Was Right!" But Malthus, a mumbling country parson with intellectual ambitions, had been transmogrified by capitalists and communists alike into a fearsome bogeyman possessed of "dangerous" ideas.
Environmentalists who invoked his name were invariably corrected by their progressive friends, who told them that excess consumption by the rich was the problem, not the reproductive profligacy of the poor.
Yet, as we drive deeper into the greenhouse world, with its crazy weather, water shortages and general degradation, more and more of us from across the political spectrum are wondering how on earth we will feed the 3 billion more people projected to arrive by 2050, or even the 6 billion or so we already have.