Minggu, 31 Agustus 2008

Limits to the Human Population

In Human Biology: Concepts and Current Issues, 5th ed. we describe the theoretical limits on any population’s growth (Figure 23.2) and show the growth of the human population since the dawn of human history (Figure 23.3). How close is the current human population of 6.8 billion to Earth’s human carrying capacity? According to Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, “We still do not really know”.

See “The Specter of Malthus Returns”. Scientific American September 2008, p. 38. Your students could read and appreciate Dr. Sachs’ one-page opinion piece on the subject. In my class the article led to a spirited discussion of the wide disparities in resource utilization by different countries.

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