A lot has been written about how wrong Malthus was with his theory and how all is well with the population v/s food balance in the world. The recent increase in food prices has helped re-ignite that debate and the Economist calls Malthus a "false prophet". I have a few disagreements:
- Malthus first set out his ideas in 1798!!! Given the time, I think his study was probably way ahead of his time.
- In 1803, Malthus published a second edition of his essay and softened the tone by introducing the concept of a "preventive check" - saying the problem could be averted if the birth/death rates changed voluntary. Again, way ahead of his time!
- This was pre-industrialization and pre-green revolution so when these happened people came to the conclusion that Malthus was wrong.
- However, the statistics today show more than ever that Malthus was right about the "preventive check". World population growth has reduced to an annual rate of 1.2% - probably the slowest ever.