Online Geography Resources


Neo-Malthusian vs. Anti-Malthusian

IB DP Geography
Next page
Base Knowledge and Understanding

Base knowledge and understanding


Limits to Growth - Club of Rome

Limits to Growth - Club of Rome

Video Clip
Data Visualization
News Article
Words to be defined
Base Level



Aims of this lesson:

  • To be able to discuss the two opposing views (neo-Malthusian and anti-Malthusian) of the relationship between population size and resource consumption.
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Task One: How many people can live on Planet Earth?

Watch the hour long BBC video and make notes on the relationship between population size and resource consumption. A number of copies are currently available on YouTube.
Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Task Two: Presentation and Note Taking

Geography Activities


Geography Activities
Geography Activities

Task Three: Reading and developing an argument

Read the following articles to help you to be able to discuss the two opposing views (neo-Malthusian and anti-Malthusian) of the relationship between population size and resource consumption.
  The Wall Street Journal: New Limits to Growth Revive Malthusian Fears [24 March 2008]
    "We're living in an era where the technologies that have empowered high living standards and 80-year life expectancies in the rich world are now for almost everybody," says economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University's Earth Institute... "What this means is that not only do we have a very large amount of economic activity right now, but we have pent-up potential for vast increases [in economic activity] as well." The world cannot sustain that level of growth, he contends, without new technologies.
  Newsweek - A Roadmap for the Planet [12 June 2011]
    "Although Westerners were once reliant on whale oil for lighting, we never actually ran out of whales. Why? High demand and rising prices for whale oil spurred a search for and investment in the 19th-century version of alternative energy. First, kerosene from petroleum replaced whale oil. We didn’t run out of kerosene, either: electricity supplanted it because it was a superior way to light our planet."
The Guardian
  What a population of 7 billion people means for the planet [18 July 2011]
    "Yet another argument often advanced to wave off population is the assertion that all of us could fit into Los Angeles with room to wiggle our shoulders. The image may comfort some. But space, of course, has never been the issue. The impacts of our needs, greeds, and wants are."
The Guardian
  Paul Ehrlich, a prophet of global population doom who is gloomier than ever [23 October 2011]
    "Among the knowledgeable people there is no more conversation about whether the danger is real," Ehrlich told the Guardian. "Civilisations have collapsed before: the question is whether we can avoid the first time [an] entire global civilisation has given us the opportunity of having the whole mess collapse."
The Guardian
  Paul Ehrlich on depopulation: 'We're going to go over the top' - audio [26 April 2012]
    "Paul Ehrlich is known for his outspoken stance on overpopulation. Although he was not the first to raise the alarm about population issues – concern had been widespread in the 1950s and 1960s – his approach brought the issue to a new level of media prominence"
BBC News
  Cambridge-based scientists develop 'superwheat' [12 May 2013]

"British scientists say they have developed a new type of wheat which could increase productivity by 30%. The Cambridge-based National Institute of Agricultural Botany has combined an ancient ancestor of wheat with a modern variety to produce a new strain. In early trials, the resulting crop seemed bigger and stronger than the current modern wheat varieties."

  MAHB - Ebola, Population, and Evolution: The story the media is not covering [26 August 2014]
    "The filoviruses are native to Africa, and inhabit non-human primates and some bats, which may be the main natural reservoir. Those “right” conditions are directly related to human population size.  The more people there are to come into contact with animal reservoirs, the more people there are in need of “bushmeat” to eat, the higher the odds of a virus transferring into the human population."
Geography Review


Geography Activities

Short response exam style questions

Describe what is meant by a neo-Malthusian view. [3 Marks]

Describe what is meant by an anti-Malthusian view. [3 Marks]

Geography Activities

Extended response exam style questions

Contrast the two opposing views of the relationship between population size and resource consumption. [10 Marks]

The markbands can be found here - you need to look at Paper 1.

Essay Graphic Organiser on facebook
Follow @gatwUpdates on twitter
© 2006-2021 - All Rights Reserved - Author: Richard Allaway | Logout