Population Growth and Environmental Issues
September 17th, 2009
The contemporary world is being largely affected by the increasing population, particularly in some of the third world countries. This indeed has become an imperative matter of concern. The present global rate of the human population has peaked since 1963, which has a stupendous rise in the use of certain fixed resources like food and most importantly water. The demand for these resources have increase by two-third times since then, which presently indicates a figure of approximately 6.6 billion (the population count), and the figure is expected to rise even further by the year 2050. 9 billion is what the experts are expecting.
Environmentalists claim that most of the current problem that humans are experiencing in terms of climatic changes to rabid resource extraction is all caused due to human population growth.
Population growth has contributed to some of the major environmental problems that we are experiencing today. The Population Connection revealed that with the growth of population since 1950, 80% of the rainforests have been cleared, more than 10,000 wildlife and plant species have been lost, greenhouse gas emission has increased potentially by 400% and more than half of the surface land of the Earth has been used for commercial purpose, which still continues.
With such a remarkable increase in these various factors, it is now expected that the population of the world is likely to be exposed to scarcity of water in the future. Scarcity of water or water stress will further intensify the difficulties in meeting the water consumption levels, thus wreaking devastating effects on the ecosystem.
An interconnection between every living organism, starting from the germs to sharks and whales to humans and their interdependency is obvious. All these living organisms share a food chain, which is dependent on the healthy habits for survival. With the population growth, every living organism is likely to have lesser resources for survival. This actually implies how the human actions and the alarming growth of people are adversely affecting the environment.
Earth has a “carrying capacity”, which refers to the human populace that the earth can substantially support. Certain factors like the overall resource being used and the distribution of resources can affect the capacity. Exceeding the Capacity of the Earth would definitely call for environmental hazards. Although science has been struggling to provide some solution to the condition, results haven’t been published yet. Nonetheless, when every other resource fails, we will have to rely on science as the last resort to overcome a great disaster.
With the increasing population, the demand for every other resource for survival is increasing significantly. But do we have ample resources to support life? That’s the biggest question.
It is a fact that we are using and sometimes abusing most of the resources we have, or better say we had. Deforestation for human living space, wildlife poaching for human benefit, industrialization to support human needs etc are just a few of the habits that we have adapted in the recent past without realizing how it would affect the Earth and affect us in the long run.
Earth could have been a better place than it is today if we humans were just a bit more concerned about ourselves. Though we apparently seem to be that way, but unknowingly or ignorantly we fail to keep up our efforts. It is all because of the population and the necessity to make both ends meet, that we humans are adapting anything that comes handy and that brings us two square meals, and in doing so we are actually destroying the earth and the environment.