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How susceptible are we to a Malthusian catastrophe?

Forget the Mayan Doomspeak. Given the upward trajectory of world population growth which is estimated to reach 9 billion in the coming years, how likely are we to run into a shortage of resources? We live in a world where we depend so deeply on fossil fuels to run our lives, and nuclear energy seems like the only high-powered alternative. Energy substitutes can be developed and marketed just as easily, so I don't think we are hanging at the edge of a cliff.

Nevertheless, do you think our energy innovations might be outpaced by ever-growing consumption? If yes, is this one of those problems that no one wants to talk about because nobody has a game plan?


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    Apr 11 2012: We have enough space to feed all people on the planet now and then some more. But the distribution of food and energy is very off. People in western countries use most of the earths food and energy-resources. We consume more than we need; if this changes (downward), then there is more than enough food and energy

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