Midterm Study Guide

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14 Feb 2011

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Session 1: Geography and the seven billion people question
Population numbers exponentially increased since year 1 mainly due to more food and technology,
industrial revolution
World growth rate begins to decrease in 2000
Population Year 1 AD China and India most populated
Population Year 1500 AD Spanish and Portuguese shipped to America and explored these regions and
populated more in Southern America
Population Year 1900 AD:
oNorth America was now known because more people immigrated
oAfrica was shrinking because of slavery and colonization and health problems
oIndustrial revolution not only took place in Europe but also in North America
Population Year 2000 AD:
oMajor population increase in South America
oPopulation in Europe decreased due to WWI and WWII
oThe proportion of South Asia and East Asia didnt change at all over the last 2000 years, it is still one
of the most populated areas in the world
oIncrease in population in Africa, especially in Northern parts of Africa
oInterestingly, the European proportion of the world population has declined since 1900s where it was
15%, and in 1960 it was 11%, and in 2000 it was only 6% of world population
Population Year 2050 AD:
oWill be projected that there will be 9 billion people living on this Earth, 32% will be living in North,
South Africa and South and East Asia
oGrowth will decline further
Population Year 2300 AD:
o9 billion people
oPopulation might not grow further than this
oThe most increase is projected in Africa, and South and Eastern Asia will remain the most populated
areas in the world
Life expectancy
oLife expectancy is going up per person, and income is going up each year as well
oEpidemics and war are two main factors why life expectancy decreased over the years
World migration
oInternal and international migration
oAt the moment, it is estimated nearly 190 million people, about three percent of the worlds
population, lived outside their country of birth
oUS and Spain are among the countries that get the most migrants
oMexico and China are countries where most people are leaving
World population density
oPopulation density is not evenly distributed over the world, and not even in the countries
oConsequences of this might be regional conflict
Session 2: Malthusdawning: Are we too many?
Theories and idea on how population growth will benefit or not benefit the world
Ideas will follow us through most or all of lectures in future
Current World Population
More and more people are living on this planet
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World population growth rate
However, the world population growth rate is declining
We will become less more over the years
World population growth rate = surplus of population in comparison to years in time
Population growth rate = pop t2 pop t0/ pop t1
World population throughout history
We will get less more on this planet
Is this a benefit or catastrophe?
Population densities 2010
Population density = total population / area
Canada has the least dense population among these countries
Although there are other countries that are really rich (i.e. Netherlands), they deal with more people, so its
one of the most highly dense country in the world
India is big country and quite a lot of people per square kilometres live
The media covers this topic on a daily basis food prices to rocket as population explodes
We were concerned about population growth in 1970s and 80s, and we should still be concerned nowadays
Malthus’ prophecy
There are other theories out there that state the world cant hold that many people anymore
When Malthus made his prophecy, there were about 3 billion people worldwide and he was concerned about
this state especially when he looked at the food production and the technologies out there to cater these
Malthus thought in late 18th century that these two statements he made were fixed laws of nature:
1.People have to eat fixed law
2.We like to procreate and have sex and get children
Malthus’ prophecy (contd)
Geometrical ratio = population is increasing exponentially
Arithmetical ratio = population would increase in a linear way
Growth of food will grow in a linear way
Population growth will increase exponentially
Where growth of food and population growth meets = carrying capacity (when population growth will be
higher than production of food, which will be final stage of population growth and there will not be any
growth further than that)
These people think there is no limit to growth, and resources will be there for people on Earth
These people are called Cornucopians according to Greek term, which defines plenty of food he/she needs
Population doctrines
These are at the moment the most powerful ones
Doctrine = qualified collection of thinking, not a theory as such because it doesnt have to be scientific
Most well known book of genesis food needed to be multiplied
oPositive population doctrines applied about 1300 BC
Confucius population growth is good, but governments should balance on population and resources
oHe might have experience some cases where there are overpopulation and the resources (food) wasnt
enough for those people, but he thought there may be food in the future
Plato population quality is more important than quantity
oEmphasis should be on population stability
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oSaw the density in cities in Greece and thought that it might be more valuable to draw on the quality
on the population (develop thinking in education) and the quantity
Cicero Roman emperor said population growth is necessary to maintain Roman influence
oThese doctrines had an underlying belief system
St. Augustine abstinence is the preferred way to deal with human sexuality
oSecond best is to marry and to procreate
oHis doctrine was to stop making kids only if you have to marry then thats ok, but the best is to not
have children
St. Thomas Aquinas abstinence is not better than marriage and procreation
oCountered St. Augustine and said well if you want to marry and get children, that is better than not
getting children
Ibn Khaldun population growth is inherently good because it increases employment specialization and
raises income
Physiocrats wealth of nations is in land, not in people
oPopulation depends on wealth of land stimulated by free trade
oAgenda is on economic trade and not so much on population growth
Malthus population grows exponentially, that results in poverty when we dont have more restraints
oTurned into priest, so idea was population, if its not confined to moral beliefs, it will result in
something bad like poverty
oDominates discourse of population growth
Marx society at each point in history has its own law of population that determines the consequences of
population growth
Poverty is not the natural result of population growth
Ambiguity of future
Limits to Growth (Club of Rome 1972)
oBook on the limits on resources of the world
oUp to that point where statistical calculations about the resources, how long they will last, and the
calculation used to be in a way that they calculated the resources for at least 1000 or more years
oClub of Rome was private group of people who came together in the late 1960s while this discussion
was going on and sat down and thought about predicaments of mankind and wanted to publish a book
on outcome of this group of people
Initial members consisted of politicians, scientists, and businessmen
Later on consisted of men like Elliot Trudeau
oFound out quite a lot of resources might be limited and will not last 50 years longer and then we need
to find some substitutes or think about something else
oThis book was sold dominating the debate in 1970s because at that time the poverty and the
developing world were quite covered
The Ultimate Resource (Julian Simon 1981)
oSat down and wrote this book to counter the Limits to Growth and showed that basically there are no
limits to growth
oUltimate resource is the human mind/thinking and the technology and inventions that the human
mind could produce
oHis idea is that we can manage infinite growth of population
oThere are three ideas that might be wrong in Malthusian thinking:
He thinks that population relates to economic effects, especially income
Malthusian income per capita is decreasing whenever there is population growth
GDP / total population = income per capita
The more this increases, the more people will get born
oEconomic liability to population growth = population growth creates business opportunity, which
means more economic growth, thus population doesnt have to suffer from poverty
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