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Flashcards in Population Resource Debate Deck (34)
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Define overpopulation

There are too many people in an area relative to the available resources and level of technology available locally to maintain a high standard of living.


Who are the optimists?

Boserup, Simon, Lomborg


Define underpopulation

There are too few people in an area to use the resources and technology efficiently.


Characteristics of overpopulation

low income per capita
high unemployment
outward migration


Characteristics of underpopulation

high income per capita
low maximum income
low unemployment
inward migration


define optimum population

there is a balance between population size and the amount of resources available. This is a theoretical population that will produce the highest standard of living, and the concept changes when technology improves.


Views of optimists (3)

population increase means increased demand for food
this means technological improvements are made
therefore population growth continues unchecked.


evidence of optimists (general thing)

Predictions of past environmental disasters have not occurred.


1960s optimist evidence

population explosion concerns = growth slowed


1970s optimist evidence

oil crisis and fear of food supply failure = more oil reserves found and green revolution + intensification of agriculture = more food per head


1990s optimist evidence

deforestation concerns = rainforests still 80% intact


Who was Boserup and what did she publish?

A danish economist who published 'The Conditions for Agricultural Growth'


What did Boserup say?

Necessity is the mother of invention


Boserup argument (3)

- Population approaches limits of food supply
- Human innovation and technology advances = food supply increases
- So food production keeps up with growth


example for Boserup argument

High population density = soil exhaustion and reduced fertility = use fertilisers and irrigate (agricultural intensification)


3 pieces of Evidence Boserup

- There is enough food to feed world, problem is distribution
- Famine only result of growing cash crops (Zimbabwe), natural disasters and wars
- Yields improved by Green revolution (seeds increased yield by 8x) and GM crops


What did Lomborg say?

current hunger, deforestation and climate change issues overstated


Lomborg argument

We should divert resources to the right areas to solve poverty and hunger e.g. Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Cost of tackling climate change too great; should adjust


Lomborg evidence (1)

Food supplies continue to increase globally due to improvements in agriculture, rising incomes and education


Who are the pessimists?

Malthus, Club of Rome, Ehrlich


Views of Pessimists (5)

- Population increase = increased demand for food
- Less food per person
- Increased death rate
- Decreased fertility
- Decline in population


5 bits of evidence pessimists

- Wars and famines (Sudan, Ethiopia, Sahel)
- FAO states > 800M chronically malnourished and 2 billion lack Food Security
- water scarcity predicted to be major issue
- Climate change
- non renewable resources (oil) running out


When was malthus alive?

18th Century


malthus argument title

Growth is stopped by various factors


Explain malthus argument (3)

- Population grows geometrically
- Food supply grows arithmetically
- point of crisis reached where population > resources


What are the two outcomes malthus?

Positive checks
Negative/preventative checks


What are positive checks malthus? (4)

Population growth > food supply
increased death rate
growth checked by famine, war, disease
population recovers = cycle continues


What are negative checks malthus? (4)

population growth nearly exceeds food supply
food shortages predicted and growth slows = keep within limits of food supply.
- BR falls due to subconscious decisions: food prices rise and living standards fall = more abortion and birth control, postponement of marriage.


3 evidence Malthus

- famine in LEDCs where growth fast = positive checks
- Attempts to cater for growing population = environmental disasters e.g. global warming, desertification
- water supply shortage predicted = follows idea for food


3 factors suggesting optimists are correct

- Number of deaths due to famine fallen over time
- Rate of world population growth slowed (2.19% 1963 to 1.13)
- Food shortages overcome - Green Revolution, GM, land reform