There are basically two schools of thought when it comes to dealing with the problems of growth and the environment. Both are diametrically opposite. One bets on asceticism, the other, on the contrary .
Predicting the future is not easy. In 1798, Thomas Malthus predicted that the human population would inevitably exceed the food supply. This was not the case, mainly due to technological advances that Malthus could not foresee.
- The Malthusians (by Thomas Malthus): predict that resources are going to be depleted and that growth cannot be indefinite. In English this group is often referred to as doomers (condemned).
- Cornucopians (for cornucopia, the horn of plenty): growth can be unlimited because science and technology will always find the solution to problems and how to obtain and optimize resources. In English this group is often referred to as boomers (of explosion, or expansion).
Which of the two positions is correct? It is a difficult question, as JM Mulet summarizes in his book Real Ecologismo :
Throughout the 20th century, various authors have subscribed to these currents. Among the Malthusians we have Jared Diamond (Collapse) or the aforementioned Paul Ehrlich, and among the Cornucopians we have Julian Simon or Amory Lovins. What is the best attitude? Are any of them correct? Most likely not and that it depends on each specific problem.
The solution may not be so much asceticism as new technologies that generate less emissions (that is, who has done more for trees, ecologists or on a USB stick? ). But perhaps we are heading towards a point of no return. Be that as it may, below you can explore a series where, for the first time, they bet on Cornucopians instead of Malthusians: Dr. Stone .