From Capital & Conflict (GBR) – For most of human history, the scarcity of our resources regulated the number of people on the planet. There was only so much food, water, energy, etc, to go around, which limited how many people a civilisation could support.
Certain advances – like the domestication of plants and animals and formal agriculture – opened up new sources of food, which enabled the population to grow. But advances like this were few.
The story of resources was the story of scarcity.
The technological advances of the last century have changed that.
Not only has it allowed us to feed more people… it’s allowed us to feed them without the huge ramp up in demand sending the price of food through the roof, as you’d expect.
And by the way, this isn’t just a case of the West feeding itself and growing fat while the rest of the world goes hungry. The numbers of people going hungry has actually dropped significantly in the last twenty years, despite the fact the population has continued to rise.