human carrying capacity

Tue, 8 Nov 1994 17:50:57 -0700

I am doing some research on human population growth and the problems
associated with this growth. Basically, there seems to be two opposing
views: (1) humans have already surpassed earth's carrying capacity (or
nearly so) and will soon fall prey to Malthusian controls; (2) humans
have not reached carrying capacity and probably never will because of
human ingenuity and our ability to find new ways to more efficiently
extract needed nutrients form resources.

One problem I have found that contributes to this debate is that there
does't seem to be any operational definition for human carrying
capacity. How does one actually determine this in a world in which
trade, technology, etc. are so prevalent?

Does anyone know of any articles in which this topic is discussed or in
which a workable definition for human carrying capacity is proposed?

Thanks in advance for your help. You can send replies to me at:

Larry Pritchard <>