Too many of us?

Population growth

When, in 1798, the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus described how unchecked population growth would outstrip the planet’s ability to sustain humanity, he was derided as his concerns were probably premature, but that does not diminish the core truth of his argument — an argument that seems on the brink of being vindicated.

When, just over 50 years ago, US President John F Kennedy was assassinated, the world’s human population was half what it is now and that growth rate, unsustainable as it seems, is set to continue if not accelerate.

Indeed, population growth seems so relentless that an Australian study has concluded that a worldwide conflict that exacted the same toll on humanity as the last century’s two World Wars — a figure shy of 100m — would hardly deflect the ever-upward population graph.

As population figures swing inexorably towards supporting Malthus’ warning, is there any possibility that those who so vehemently oppose water charges might make a connection between the two issues?

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