Cornucopian Theory and Malthusianism Theory
Introduction to Cornucopian Theory and Malthusianism Theory
The continued growth in human population and the pressure it exerts on the available natural resources attracts different theories to explain how the pressure on environmental resources can reduce. The Malthusian and the Cornucopian philosophies present important factors that need to be considered to create a healthy living environment across the globe. This paper compares these two theories and explains their usability in explaining sustainability in the modern day environment.
Comparing Cornucopian Theory and Malthusianism Theory
The tradeoff between resource availability and the world human population growth is a factor that has attracted a lot of attention. Some people believe that the natural ecosystems and interactions of living things therein is sufficient in checking the growth rate of the human population at the optimal levels, in such a way that they cannot overexploit resources. Also, human beings have the capability to invent, innovate, create alternatives and use technology to ensure that they get whatever they need from what is available. This is the optimistic Cornucopian theory of population check. Another philosophy believes that human population’s growth should be checked, controlled through restraints and birth control methods as a way of preserving the use of the available environmental resources, at optimal use levels. If not checked, the human population can overgrow the world resources, leading to increased poverty, family, diseases and other natural calamities that will reduce people population (Watson 17). This is the New Malthusian theory of population growth check.
Both theories agree on one principle that whether checked on not, the large-scale view of the human population is increasing and will continue to increase. For example, in the year 1994, the total human population was just 5 billion, and in the year 2014, the human population hit 7.0 billion (United Nations 17-18). The continued increase means more resources are needed to feed, clothe, house and treat the large human population. Importantly, both theories agree that there are resources that must be affected by the increased population growth. Another important factor that remains a fact to both theories is that the global natural forest covers. The global trends in forest studies show that there was a net decline in forest cover of 180 million hectares, between the years 1980 and 1995. The natural forests have reduced so much that the total natural land surface that was once 50% under natural forest cover, today has only 30% of both natural and artificial forest cover (White 267).
Contrasting Cornucopian Theory and Malthusianism Theory
One thing that the people who believe in Malthusianism fail to account for is the reason for the depletion of resources in the world systems would be sufficient to control the human population. The people cannot explain why poverty index increases every year, or the increasing urban slums, and overuse of almost every resource on earth. When people continue to hold on the theory, it may not explain the fundamental requirements of the socioeconomic requirements. The theory believes that human suffering, natural deaths and famine will always regulate the human population to a manageable level. The theory, however, does not take into account other available variables like global warming, and improved healthcare procedures that may fully alter the occurrence of natural systems and interactions.
Therefore, the futurist cornucopian theory makes more sense. Through innovations, creativity and proper use of technological advancements, people can always create more solutions. This has been confirmed with the introduction of medicines that have cured some of the world most dreaded diseases like leprosy, polio, malaria, Ebola, and have also created strong remedies to others like HIV/AIDS and cancer. Through the theory, people have also created and used genetically modified organisms that have supplemented their food needs at the cheapest costs that do not have adverse effects on the environment. The strategies do not cause deforestation or adverse pollution.
BIBLIOGRAPHY l 1033 United Nations. World Population Prospects: Comprehensive Tables. New York: United Nations: Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division, 2007. Print.
Watson, M. E. Learn the Impact of Global Trends (Collection). New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2013. Print.
White, A. “Global Issues and trends in Forest and Forestry”. World Ecosystems Journal 524-7 (2001): 87- 192. Print.