"Will the Earth Ever Fill Up?" by Sébastien Thibault for Nautilus by nautilusmag

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"Will the Earth Ever Fill Up?" by Sébastien Thibault for Nautilus Art Print

"Will the Earth Ever Fill Up?" by Sébastien Thibault for Nautilus Art Print
"Will the Earth Ever Fill Up?" by Sébastien Thibault for Nautilus Art Print
"Will the Earth Ever Fill Up?" by Sébastien Thibault for Nautilus Art Print
"Will the Earth Ever Fill Up?" by Sébastien Thibault for Nautilus Art Print

"Will the Earth Ever Fill Up?" by Sébastien Thibault for Nautilus Art Print

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Make a blank space pop with rad Art Prints. Better yet, start a gallery wall and mix Art Prints, posters, Canvas Prints and Framed Prints of all sizes to elevate your space with design. Available in five sizes, from mini to x-large.

  • Gallery quality Giclée print
  • Natural white, matte, ultra smooth background
  • 100% cotton, acid and lignin-free archival paper
  • Epson K3 archival inks for high-quality print
  • Custom trimmed with 1” border for framing
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About this artwork

Illustration by SÉBASTIEN THIBAULT

To say that Thomas Robert Malthus was unpopular would be putting it mildly. His 19th-century contemporary Percy Shelley, the revered poet, called him a eunuch and a tyrant. The philosopher William Godwin dubbed him “a dark and terrible genius that is ever at hand to blast all the hopes of all mankind.” As Malthus’ biographer later put it, he was the most abused man of his age. And that was the age of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The catalyst for this vilification was the 1798 book An Essay on the Principle of Population. In it, Malthus—a curly haired, 32-year-old curate of a small English chapel—attacked the claims of utopian thinkers like Godwin, who believed that reason and scientific progress would ultimately create a perfect society, free of inequality and suffering. Malthus took a more pessimistic view. Using United States census data compiled by Benjamin Franklin, he predicted that the “passion of the sexes” would soon cause human populations to outstrip their resources, leading to poverty and hardship. If unchecked, people would continue to multiply exponentially, doubling every 25 years. Agricultural yields, however, would at best increase linearly, by a similar amount each year. In 100 years, Great Britain would have 16 times as many mouths to feed (112 million), but less than half enough food.

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