How susceptible are we to a Malthusian catastrophe?

Forget the Mayan Doomspeak. Given the upward trajectory of world population growth which is estimated to reach 9 billion in the coming years, how likely are we to run into a shortage of resources? We live in a world where we depend so deeply on fossil fuels to run our lives, and nuclear energy seems like the only high-powered alternative. Energy substitutes can be developed and marketed just as easily, so I don't think we are hanging at the edge of a cliff.

Nevertheless, do you think our energy innovations might be outpaced by ever-growing consumption? If yes, is this one of those problems that no one wants to talk about because nobody has a game plan?

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