Will population explosion drive colonization of space?

With environmentalists and economic development activists ringing alarm bells of population explosion and commensurate resource depletion, provident sights are set on alternative solutions to our growth predicament – including space colonization, either through human settlements, biodomes, or even terraforming, a concept seriously if preliminarily explored by NASA.

But will we really need such extreme solutions? The idea of overpopulation is not new: already in the 19th century, predictions of a Malthusian catastrophe claimed that Earth would soon run out of resources and its human population would be decimated by famines. These predictions were based on two assumptions: one, that population growth would continue at the same rate; and two, that productivity would not increase. By the 21st century, neither has proved to be true.