Overpopulation: a growing world problem? Essay
Today the problem of overpopulation continues to capture global debates, including researchers, economists, sociologists, scholars, and politicians. The ability of an area to hold a given population remains a critical topic within mainstream debates.
The carrying capacity refers to the number of individuals an area can support (Walker, p.241). As population grows exponentially, the number of people in a given region grows. This scenario leads to pressure on the ecosystem. Where the condition is unbearable, individuals begin to move to secure regions that have enough space and resources. However, increased population tends to result in unsustainable host area due to increased consumption of natural resources, and waste production.
Numerous literature show that most third world countries contribute too much toward this current scenario. Similary, the blames have targeted industrialized states for their production practices that have resulted in an imbalanced ecosystem due to impacts of biodiversity (Worldbank, n.d). Therefore, population growth and explosion remains a problem of all people. Many have challenged the duty and responsibility of industrialized in protecting the ecosystem and controlling their population explosion.
The future of the world remains bleak about the impending increase in population at least twice the current number. For instance, the agricultural sector faces the challenge of ensuring sustainable food security that can sustain a population size of the anticipated 10 billion people in the next 50 years (Worldbank, n.d).
Most countries have stepped up measures aimed at regulating population growth based on the demographic, epidemiological, and economic impacts created by an ever expanding population. The need for a regulated population has been necessitated by the evolving variables from environmental variables such as the green house gases, increased energy consumption. In addition, higher rates of population growth have proved to correlate with population behavior change, and the state of development from GNP and GDP perspective (Worldbank, n.d).
Epidemiological and Demographic Aspects
According to the current data of the Worldometers, today the population of the planet is more than 7 billion people (“World Population Clock”). The statistical data prove the fact the number of the population is constantly growing. Many researchers support the idea that the world population will be doubled in fifty years because of 1.5 growth. However, it is necessary to examine the situation separately for every region and country (Bodden). The situation in the countries of the Eastern region, Africa, and Latin America develops according to the tendencies in the increase of the population. Nevertheless, the situation in the Western world is quite opposite (Bodden). From the point of demographic aspect, we cannot speak about the situation of overpopulation today because according to the definite investigations, the carrying capacity as the ability of the environment of the planet to sustain the definite amount of inhabitants can reach the number of 17 billion people (“World Overpopulation Awareness”).
Source: United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects, The 2008 Revision.Retrieved from http://www.prb.org/Educators/TeachersGuides/HumanPopulation/PopulationGrowth.aspx
The increasing of the population can result to the changes of the demographic situation in the urban territories because there is the obvious interdependence between the growth of the population and the increased urbanization processes (“World Overpopulation Awareness”). The growth of cities also reveals the negative aspect of the overpopulation connected with the expansion of slums. Furthermore, the expansion of slums and unsanitary overpopulated territories is the first step to the extension of epidemic diseases because of the lack of the appropriate health care (Bodden). According to the epidemiological data of statistics, the rate of deaths caused by epidemics as a result of the overpopulation has changed from 80 in 2000 to 95 in 2011 (the data relates to the situation in the Asian region) (“World Overpopulation Awareness”). The threat of overpopulation is also the reasons for the development of migration processes as the way to escape from dangerous conditions for living (United Nations Environment Programme).
The Level of Mortality Caused by Epidemics in the Asian Region for the Period of 2000-2011
Environmental Impact of population growth
There is a range of environmental problems, which can become the results of overpopulation. The most controversial of them is the issue of pollution. It includes air pollution with carbon dioxide, which is the effect of active usage of transport by people and of the industries’ development and soil and water pollution which are the result of constant increasing volumes of waste (United Nations Environment Programme).
Population growth exerts an increasing pressure on the environment because of the increasing need of resources for the community’s survival. Therefore, increased population generates an extended pressure on the available soils to cultivable land to meet the increasing demand for food. This leads to exhaustion of the available naturally occurring resources.
Population growth poses challenges on the ability of a country to provide enough food security for its people.
Global climate change
The concept of population growth remains relevant in discussions about the state of global climate changes and its related issues. Arguably, the world continues to experience strain on the available natural resources as population increases with time. Increased utilization of environmental-unfriendly resources has contributed to the degenerating climatic conditions, including effects of green house gases contributing to global warming. Although there is no direct link between population growth and the effects on global climate, evidence suggest that it indirectly influences global climate trends through human activities.
Social Impact of population growth
Population explosion has an enormous impact on social statuses of people living within a given country. As the population continues to grow at a higher rates, there are tendencies of increased social conflicts and rife among members of a population. These evidences suggest that increased competition for the limited resources leads to a less cohesive population (Baumeister and Bushman 56). the reduction in resources create a situation where people develop tendencies of unhealthy competition, which leads to a less harmonious state in a society.
Similarly, a reduced supply of resources necessary for development lends challenges of lower living standards. In the preceding discussion, increased population growth may cause reduced levels of employment, hence low household income for a population (Baumeister and Bushman 56). Evidence shows that increased population growth reduces a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) (Worldbank, n.d).
Population growth results in insufficient resources to sustain a learning young population rendering challenges of creating a literate population. This is most common for developing countries. Population growth is attributed to different social causes, and social inequality is the foremost reason (Brym & Lie, p 589). It is believed that these developing countries should stop multiplying because they are already overpopulated, the signs of which are poverty and the low quality of life.
With inequality as both the effect and cause of poverty, and overpopulation, it is important that there are measures to lower social inequality (Brym & Lie, p589). Along with industrialization, lowering the level of inequality also lowers fertility rates (Brym & Lie, p589). This can be seen when developing countries child per family ratio are compared with that of developed countries.
The situation of overpopulation is the threat for the changes of the interaction norms between people. That is why the politicians focus on the aspect that definite laws should be adopted in order to control the public issues and restrict the personal freedom in order to preserve the balance between the social groups (Bodden).
Nevertheless, the situation can be also controlled with the help of implementing the birth control measures (for instance, the policy provided in China), urban planning, and the effective distribution of the necessary resources (fertility control on the governmental level).
It is necessary to support international and national organizations, which activities are directed toward educating people on the benefits of family planning. Furthermore, these organizations should also control the growth of population with the help of programs in the health care system. The reasons for such reforms are the needs to organize the effective life in the world which is under the threat of overpopulation and to do all possible to overcome this threat (“World Overpopulation Awareness”).
Challenges and the Ways of Stabilization
The following are the factors that may account for problems caused by Overpopulation of the planet:
- the lack of the sufficient necessary natural resources including the decreased amount of clean water, clean air and food, which can influence the starvation and malnutrition in the overpopulated territories;
- climate changes which are the result of the environmental problems associated with overpopulation;
- Increased migration levels;
- the progress of urbanization and poverty (“World Overpopulation Awareness”).
To address these challenges, the following measures may be undertaken:
- The possible stabilization of the situation can be achieved while implementing the principles of birth control, family planning, legal regulations of the overpopulation processes in cities on the governmental level and consistent for all regions of the planet.
- Establishing national and international policies aimed at educating people on the benefits of family planning. This should be packaged in the form of strategic campaigns through workshops, print, and electronic media (Desenvolupament, n.d).
- Stakeholders should design policies for stepping up maternal and child health across the world to eliminate the vulnerabilities to child mortality rates and problems of malnutrition.
World Overpopulation Awareness. n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2012.
World Population Clock. Worldometers. n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2012.