The Malthusian Trap
Thomas Robert Malthus proposed in An Essay on the Principle of Production, that food supply growth is linear while human population growth is exponential. The Malthusian Trap then means that since human population growth increases at a faster rate than food production, then land previously used for agriculture is needed to house the increased population. This leads to food shortages which then leads to famine, war, and other catastrophes.
Yet, us humans have adapted and engineered our way out of this problem. The Green revolution of the 1950s and 60s saw new technologies and intiatives that vastly increased food production saving potentially billions of lives.
This is one reason why I’m optimistic on humanity’s future, this is an example where we used science and engineering to solve a big problem.