Ecology is the study of the interactions of populations within ecosystems, of the structure, growth and fluctuations within a population, the carrying capacity or numbers of a population the environment can support without being degraded and many other characteristics of populations and available resources. Human ecology is a study of the above mentioned topics. But because of the abilities of people to manipulate and change the environment, human ecology also includes forestry, agriculture, medicine and the effects of human impacts on the world wide environments such as deforestation, pollution, plagues, urbinization and erosion. Of special concern here is the growth of the world human population, its consequences and limitations.
Although the human species differs from all other organisms in some important ways, nevertheless our species is still subject to certain fundamental ecological principles. People can increase the carrying capacity of the earth for an even larger human popuation by exploiting the environment and its resources as well as reduce the threat of population limiting factors such as diseases, famine and effects of harsh climatic conditions.
However, in spite of the spectacular developments during the industrial revolution and in the fields of medicines and modern technology since then, there are limits to how far the world human population can increase. Since the industrial revolution in the 1800's, the world population has been increasing exponentially. Most people of the world do not understand the full meaning of exponential increase. At present the world population is doubling every 40 years. As of 2004, the population has reached 6.4 billion people. In spite of the wildly optimistic predictions of economists such as the late Julian Simon, much of the earth's population is in poverty and many are suffering hunger, disease and famine. This is exactly what the much maligned Thomas Malthus predicted in 1798. As it will be demonstrated, economics has its foundations in the principles of ecology, NOT the other way around.
The main problem for economists to give Malthus credit for his insights, would be the curtailing of huge profits by multinational corporations and the individuals who are directing their operations. Julian Simon was appreciated not for any so called brilliant insights, but for telling industrialists and governmental leaders just what they wanted to hear, and the excuse to rapidly increase their blind progress in the exploitation of natural resources.
Just consider the present day growth of the world population. The doubling rate, or the amount of time it takes for the population to double, is now about 40 years. If the undaunted optimists have their way, they would have us to believe that this growth is of no consequence, in fact the more people we have on planet earth, the more human resources we will have to solve the problems that arise. (See Julian Simon)
Consider what that would mean in terms of not only human numbers, but the rate at which the world population would be increasing. By the year 2044, there would be 12.8 billion people. By the year 2084 there would be 25.6 billion people, and at that time 360 million people would be added to the earth's population every year. There would be adding more people to the population every year than exists in the entire United States in 2004! To say that those predictions are difficult to believe is the understatement of the century. And to go on with this scenario, by the year 3024 there would be over 50 billion people packed onto that same, never to increase 57 million square miles of earth's surface from pole to pole the world around!
We simply cannot reach such a number, and no amount of absolute faith in technology and creativity will make that believable. If economists are able to convince industialiststs and politicians of their wild and unsubstantiated claims (of continuously reaping quick lucrative profits) because of an uncontrolled population growth, there will occur a world disaster of epic proportions. The number of total human lives lost during that disaster (or sequence of disasters), will be greater that all the lives lost by all disasters throughout human history.
The purpose of this web site is to expose the numerous falacies of such economists as the late Julian Simon who, during his life, had convinced such ignorant "leaders" as President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II of his optimistic predictions. Simon's statements, which range from absurd optimism to blatent lies, will be exposed by means of news and reports of present day human conditions around the world.