Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Enrique S. Pumar
The neo-Malthusian movement is one of the most prolific and fatalistic groups among public intellectuals examining the fate of the environment. This movement's ideology rests on the premise that an out-of-control rate of population growth is one of the single most important factors adversely impacting human deprivation and the Earth's resources. One cannot fully appreciate the intellectual impact of the movement without first situating it within the historical context of ecological and sustainability doctrines. Neo-Malthusian thinking traces its roots to the ideas of Thomas Robert Malthus (1766–1834). In 1798, Malthus published the first edition of his iconoclastic Essay on Population , asserting that population increases in a geometric rate (i.e., 2, 4, 8, etc.) in contrast to the arithmetic rate of food production (i.e., 1, 2, 3, etc.). This observation led him to conclude that, unless some measures of population control take place, humans will suffer hunger, calamities, and deprivation, ...