Tom Malthus, King Hubbert, and Me

Ron Gibson

Every reader of this publication will know of Thomas Malthus, the man who first warned of human overpopulation. His warnings that exponential human population growth would outpace food production have become so well known since his death (in 1834) as to give birth to that adjective Malthusian. And for the past half century or so, he has become an object of derision. Bring up Malthus’s name today, and a typical response goes something like this: “Malthus? Look how wrong he was—he had no idea of how science and technology would allow our population to grow.”


Malthus was completely right, and all that the science and technology, all the “green revolutions,” and all the people in white smocks have done is to push off our day of reckoning and give humanity a false sense of security. For the day when we could have saved ourselves and our planet from the consequences of our ever-expanding growth has come and gone. Which brings me to M. King Hubbert.

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