Explain What Is Meant by “the Population Bomb” and to What Extent Do You Agree That This Bomb Has Been Diffused.

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Explain what is meant by “The Population Bomb” and to what extent do you agree that this bomb has been diffused.
“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”- Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

The population bomb theory was made popular by Paul Ehrlich's 1968 book “The Population Bomb”, Ehrlich posited that that “population growth will increase unabated until a tipping point is reached where food supplies can no longer sustain the growth resulting in a devastating collapse”, characterized by famine and wars (Ehrlich- 1968). The theory bears similarities to Thomas Malthus’s Essay on Population (1798). Malthus posited that unchecked population growth would exceed the growth of means of subsistence, whilst checked population growth would keep in line both population and food supply growth.
Ehrlich declares that he was seeking to “introduce millions of people to the fundamental issue of the Earth’s finite capacity to sustain human civilization and that the future of civilization was in grave doubt” (Ehrlich- 2000). Ehrlich used a scientific calculation to illustrate his claims. It centered around a general formula that could be used to assess the impact of the community on the environment, it is as follows; I= P x A x T [where I= environmental impact, P= population, A= affluence and T= technology] (Ehrlich 1968). With this formula Ehrlich was able to come to the conclusion that wealthy technologically advanced countries would have a greater per capita impact on the limited resources of the earth. The theory essentially expressed the sentiments of increasing number of academics in the 1960’s that population growth and related issues at that time threaten the sustainability of the environment to the doom of civilization.
The population Bomb is not to be taken lightly,



References: * Ehrlich P. 2000. Human Natures: Genes, Cultures, and the Human Prospect. * Ehrlich, P.R. & Ehrlich, A.H. 2009. The Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development The Population Bomb Revisited * Human Development Report 1998 Overview, United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Figures quoted use data from 1995 * Lovelock, J. 1979 Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth * O’Neill, B.C., Mackellar, F.L. & Lutz, W. 2000 Population and Climate Change, * Pearce, F. 2008.The Population Bomb: Has it been defused? * Population Reference Bureau. 2008. 2008 World Population Data Sheet. Washington DC: Population Reference Bureau * US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) * Watt, K. Ecologist, Editor in Chief, Encyclopedia of Human Ecology Advisory Board Member, Center for the Study of CO2 and Climate Change

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