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Curriculum Matrix

Companion Resource

John Green

Population, Sustainability, and Malthus: Crash Course World History video

How many people can reasonably live on the Earth? Thomas Malthus got it totally wrong in the 19th century, but for some reason, he keeps coming up when we talk about population. In 1800, the human population of the Earth passed 1 billion, and Thomas Malthus posited that growth had hit its ceiling, and the population would level off and stop growing. He was totally wrong! There are 7 billion people on the planet now! John will teach a little about how Malthus made his calculations, and explain how Malthus came up with the wrong answer by not understanding the technological advances in agriculture that were improving population sustainability by providing a steady food supply.

John Greene
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