Malthus was never discredited. Some lovers of science and technology however seem to think that using our brains we can grow unlimited amounts of food out of nothing and feed everyone. Rubbish. Fertiliser can give barren soil a kickstart into production but incessant over fertilisation using non-organic fertiliser will inevitably leave heavy metal deposits that will damage soil structure. Also, most fertilisers are now oil by-products - not sustainable. In fact almost all non organic fertiliser production is unsustainable. Also, organic farming has been shown to have higher yields than intensive agriscience based farming. So, all in all, fertilisation of soil is not going to allow us to keep feeding more and more people from the same acre. It's the same ever hopeful technophile attitude that now accompanies GM farming. We can use and abuse Nature all we want but at the end of the day we'll suffer the consequences. Even when we do think we've got all the answers, something as simple as the recent bee colony collapse can ruin our ever productive yields. All we can ever count on is the traditional farming methods. These have kept humans going for millennia and theoretically could do for many more. The recent agriscience methods that you extoll will help, but will not be our saving grace. The Green Revolution saved many from famine and starvation but has depended on the high use of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. Despite being unsustainable, when these inevitably have found their way back into the human bloodstream, cancer becomes the new killer. Also, the Green revolution hasn't taken into account the ever expanding population growth outstripping any productivity growth possible through agriscience.Originally Posted by LTGuy
Not to mention the fact that agriscience looks only to increasing food production on arable land - replacing wilderness at an astonishing rate. Wilderness is needed for our survival too. It's not just all about food. Rainforests, biodiversity, ecosystems, flora and fauna are all needed to maintain this fragile living arrangement we're in. Keep farming to feed more and more mouths, keep spraying and fertilising and slashing and burning and gorging and belching until the whole thing collapses. Malthus may yet be proven right.