European populations managed their environment quite well once they hit their carrying capacity until the Colombian exchange. The primary energy inputs that caused an explosion of population in Europe, as well as China, were two things, potatoes for the former, yams for the latter. Again, basic physics, not culture. The big thing was coal and oil. Again, physics, not culture.
Again this is complete and utter hogwash: there would have been no need to expand European resource bases if needs were being met.
The Spanish adventure to the New World was based on trying to find shorter trade routes for the spice trade, not trees.
Before the Colombian exchange Europe had already begun colonial forays into other parts of the world. But the key question is "why was there a need to expand resource bases"?
Not for food, but rather, for rare commodities like pepper, and so on.
One of the main factors was overpopulation.
No, not at all. The Colombian Exchange took after during a long period of population decline due to the Black Death and ensuing economic crisis in Western Europe.
"It obviously came down to a question of power, indeed of force, and in fact there was intense Europe-wide lord/peasant conflict throughout the later fourteenth, fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, almost everywhere over the same general issues: first, of course, serfdom; second, whether lords or peasants were to gain ultimate control over landed property, in particular the vast areas left vacant after the demographic collapse."
. The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-industrial Europe (Past and Present Publications) (Page 35). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.
So what "stopped" them? Their culture stops them. A culture that is not based on the accumulation of physical possessions. A culture that emphasises other qualities.
What stopped Australian Aborigines from developing into a colonial power was their material conditions, not their "culture." Again, physics.