I often think about production intensification when I contemplate issues surrounding sociopolitical evolution. More people only happens if there are more resources; of course, in the long run those additional people can garner most of what they need on their own, but in every cross-cultural case, it seems like there’s an additional amount of “stuff”/“product” needed in the long run, so it’s not a linear relationship.
In world news right now, we hear about food shortages, rising fuel costs, and now fertilizer deficits. Another way to put all this is that demand is outstripping supply, which is directly related to increased and increasing human populations.
Global climate changes are altering the production/risk profile, thus exacerbating shortages.
The short-cut way to decrease shortages is to intensify production (increase efficiency, some would say). So now, we’ve pretty much done all the practical intensification to the global political economy, and voila!, if any part of the system falters, oops, problems! People are hungry! They become restless! The status quo is threatened!
What next? This is the stuff of history….