This idea was first publicised in the famous novel "A Christmas Carol." In this book, Scrooge (the main character) argues that the poor have nothing to contribute to society, and he would prefer if they died to reduce the 'surplus population.' While most would agree that this is an extreme perspective on the issue, some would argue that it holds some truth. Dickens, the author of "A Christmas Carol," addressed this issue not because it was an extreme radical ideology, but because it was a well-accepted view among the wealthy elite of Victorian England. In fact, this idea was not exclusively Victorian, as in 1798 Thomas Malthus published "An Essay on the Principle of Population."

Neo-Malthusians, followers of Malthusian ideas, argue that Earth's resources cannot keep up with the increasing population, thereby decreasing the overall quality of life for everyone. The idea that we will hit a "limit" on resources, or experience a Malthusian catastrophe, is a decades-old theory. Economists argue that the relationship between the Earth's population and its resources will become dangerously unbalanced. This is because advancements in medicine and technology have saved the lives of tens of millions of people, reducing the mortality rate, and increasing life expectancy as humanity advances. Furthermore, this relatively new generation of elderly individuals requires a significant number of resources compared to younger and healthier individuals. This one sentence perfectly summarizes the neo-Malthusian movement's philosophy, "better to be cruel than kind."

However, many neo-Malthusians fail to recognise that as countries progress, their death rate does indeed fall, but so does the birth rate. As governments grant more rights to women, and as more opportunities become available to them, they are increasingly choosing not to have children. This is evident in many developed countries, including Japan, which has one of the oldest populations in the world. This is not an isolated case as many other first-world countries seem to show a similar pattern. In England and Wales, the number of live births decreased from 624,828 in 2021 to 605,479 in 2022, representing a significant decline of 3.1 percent (Office for National Statistics).

But this logic puts no value on human life and intends to persecute those who were born with lesser means. So, would it ever be acceptable to put Malthusian theories into practice in modern society, even in a world of climate change and diminishing natural resources?