Although it is recognised that Thomas Robert Malthus was wrong when he posited a contradiction between population increase and agricultural growth, there are increasing signs that he could be proved right in the future. Perhaps Malthus was too late and too early in his prediction?
He was too late, because he did not foresee the shift from land-based resources to fossil fuels, outing an end to the limits of agricultural growth, at least temporarily; and he was too early to witness that fossil fuels would come up against their own limits in terms of supply as well as in terms of global warming.
This study deals with land-based resources and the role they play in the global socio-ecological metabolic regime, both now and in the future. In particular, the controversial use of agrofuels as a solution to coming scarcity is subjected to close scrutiny.
Introduction: Argument: The Return of Malthus Part One: Land Use and Agrofuels 1. The Importance of Land 2. Land Use Scenarios for Agrofuels and Nine Billion People 3. Regulating Land Use for Agrofuels: A Case Study of Brazil Part Two: Ecologically Unequal Exchange 4. Framing Unequal Exchange 5. The Importance of Measures 6. Measures and Interpretations of Ecologically Unequal Exchange Part Three: The Appropriation of Ecological Space 7. From Environmental Load Displacement to Land Grabbing 8. The Argument Revisited: The Return to the Land