Malthusians often use the word “cornucopians” to describe people lobbying for abundance. It’s not meant as a term of endearment. Central to their stance is the issue of population growth. Cornucopians feel that the rate of technological growth will outpace the rate of population growth and that will solve all our problems. Malthusians believe that we’ve already exceeded the planet’s carrying capacity, and if population growth continues unchecked, nothing we invent will be powerful enough to reverse those effects.


If we look at the infinite possibilities through advances in exponential technologies, based on fact, the “cornucopian” outlook is actually closer to the truth. Imagine Africa with an abundance of clean water, food, healthcare, education and energy. That makes population growth statistics less daunting, doesn’t it?




A cornucopian is a futurist who believes that continued progress  and provision of material items for mankind can be met by similarly continued advances in technology. Fundamentally, they believe that there is enough matter and energy on the earth to provide for the estimated peak population of about 9-billion in 2050. However, this would imply there is already enough for the present world population, but as starvation and fuel poverty have not yet been eradicated, the argument therefore is that the problem is not a lack of resources but rather inadequate distribution through the present economic and political systems. Looking further into the future, they posit that the abundance of matter and energy in space would appear to give humanity almost unlimited room for growth.

The term comes from the cornucopia, the "horn of plenty" of Greek mythology, which magically supplied its owners with endless food and drink. The cornucopians are sometimes known as "Boomsters", and their philosophic opponents— Malthus and his school—are called "Doomsters" or "Doomers".


Sources and further reading:


Diamandis, H.P and Kotler, S. 2012. Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think




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