Trying to predict the future can be a very humbling exercise. Just ask Thomas Malthus. Confronted with large scale population growth at the end of the 18th century, the eminent Cambridge economist predicted the world would essentially consume itself as there was not enough food to feed the growing population, which would lead to widespread famine, disease and ultimately societal decline. Although similar apocalyptic prophecies still exist today, the world’s population has grown to over 7 billion compared to just 1 billion in 1800, and life expectancies keep rising.
BY Brian O'Reilly