The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and
If you are an active member or an individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article.
If you are not a member or individual subscriber, you can:
Thomas Mathus was perhaps the first economist to indicate that there were limits to the human population that could be sustained by the Earth’s resources. The 1970s were also a period when such limits on growth were widely discussed in research circles. In both cases, an increase in energy use, particularly of fossil fuels, has lead to greater food production, forestalling crisis. As a result, such arguments have largely been silenced in current-day academia, to the point where researchers interested in such topics cannot find a department to work in, let alone funding. Hall and Day argue that this is a mistake, that the problem has not gone away and will only take the world population by surprise if it is ignored. They have re-examined some of the data that led to the discrediting of the “limits to growth” theory and have shown that both resource use and costs have only risen, and are no longer being mitigated by market forces. Although new sources of energy have been found, they are much more expensive to extract, a declining return on investment that Hall and Day think could lead to large societal problems in the near future.
Connect With Us:
An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.
To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.
JSTOR, the online academic archive, contains complete back issues of American Scientist from 1913 (known then as the Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.
The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.
View the full collection here.
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.