Human overpopulation | Wikipedia audio article

Human overpopulation | Wikipedia audio article

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human overpopulation or population overshoot occurs when the ecological footprint of a human population in a specific geographical location exceeds the carrying capacity of the place occupied by that group overpopulation can further be viewed in a long-term perspective as existing if a population cannot be maintained given the rapid depletion of non-renewable resources or given the degradation of the capacity of the environment to give support to the population changes in lifestyle could reverse overpopulated status without a
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large population reduction the term human overpopulation refers to the relationship between the entire human population in its environment the earth or two smaller geographical areas such as countries overpopulation can result from an increase in births the decline in mortality rates an increase in immigration or an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources it is possible for very sparsely populated areas to be overpopulated if the area has a meager or non-existent capability to sustain life eg a desert advocates of
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population moderation cite issues like quality of life carrying capacity and risk of starvation as a basis to argue for population decline scientists suggest that the human impact on the environment as a result of overpopulation profligate consumption and proliferation of Technology has pushed the planet into a new geological epoch known as the Anthropocene topic overview human population has been rising continuously since the end of the Black Death around the Year 1350 although the most significant increase
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has been since the 1950s mainly due to medical advancements and increases in agricultural productivity the rate of population growth has been declining since the 1980s while the absolute total numbers are increasing recent rate increases in several countries previously enjoying steady declines are also apparently contributing to continued growth in total numbers the United Nations has expressed concerns on continued population growth in sub-saharan Africa recent research has demonstrated that those concerns are
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well grounded as of November 30th 2018 the world's human population is estimated to be seven point six six eight billion or seven billion 622 million one hundred six thousand sixty four on May 14th 2018 in the United States Census Bureau calculates seven billion 472 million nine hundred eighty-five thousand two hundred sixty-nine for that same date and over seven billion by the United Nations most contemporary estimates for the carrying capacity of the earth under existing
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conditions are between four billion and sixteen billion depending on which estimate is used human overpopulation may or may not have already occurred nevertheless the rapid recent increase in human population is causing some concern the population is expected to reach between eight and ten point five billion between the years 2040 and 2050 in 2017 the United Nations increased the medium variant projections to nine point eight billion for 2050 and eleven point
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two billion for 2100 the recent rapid increase in human population over the past three centuries has raised concerns that the planet may not be able to sustain present or future numbers of inhabitants the interacademy panel statement on population growth circa 1994 stated that many environmental problems such as rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide global warming and pollution are aggravated by the population expansion other problems associate with overpopulation include the increased demand for resources such as
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fresh water and food starvation and malnutrition consumption of natural resources such as fossil fuels faster than the rate of regeneration and a deterioration in living conditions wealthy but highly populated territories like Britain rely on food imports from overseas this was severely felt during the world wars when despite food efficiency initiatives like dig for victory and food rationing Britain needed to fight to secure import routes however many believe that waste and overconsumption especially by wealthy
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nations is putting more strain on the environment than overpopulation in spite of concerns about overpopulation widespread in developed countries the number of people living in extreme poverty globally shows a stable decline this has been disputed by some experts even though the population has grown Sevenfold over the last 200 years child mortality has declined which in turn has led to reduced birth rates thus slowing overall population growth the global number of famine related deaths have declined and food supply per person has
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increased with population growth most countries have no direct policy of limiting their birth rates but the rates have still fallen due to education about family planning and increasing access to birth control and contraception topic history of concern concern about overpopulation as an ancient topic Tertullian was a resident of the city of Carthage in the 2nd century CE II when the population of the world was about 190 million only 3 to 4 percent of what it is today he notably said what most frequently
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meets our view and occasions complaint is our teeming population our numbers are burdensome to the world which can hardly support us in very deep pestilence and famine and Wars and earthquakes have to be regarded as a remedy for nations as the means of pruning the luxurious of the human race before that Plato Aristotle and others broached the topic as well throughout recorded history population growth has usually been slow despite high birth rates due to war plagues and other
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diseases and high infant mortality during the 750 years before the Industrial Revolution the world's population increased very slowly remaining under 250 million by the beginning of the 19th century the world population had grown to a billion individuals and intellectuals such as Thomas Malthus predicted that humankind would outgrow its available resources because a finite amount of land would be incapable of supporting a population with a limitless potential for increase mercantilist argued that a large population was a form of wealth which
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made it possible to create bigger markets and armies during the 19th century malthus's work was often interpreted in a way that blamed the poor alone for their condition and helping them was said to worsen conditions in the long run this resulted for example in the English Poor Laws of 1834 and in a hesitating response to the Irish great famine of 1845 252 the un publication world population prospects 2017 projects that the world population will reach nine point eight billion in
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2050 and 11 point two billion in 2100 human population is predicted to stabilize soon thereafter a 2014 study published in science challenges this projection asserting that population growth will continue into the next century Adrian Raftery a University of Washington professor of statistics and sociology and one of the contributors to the study says the consensus over the past 20 years or so was that world population which is currently around seven billion would go up to nine
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billion and level off or probably decline we found there's a 70% probability the world population will not stabilize this century population which had sort of fallen off the world's agenda remains a very important issue a more recent UN projection suggests the population could grow to as many as 15 billion by 2100 in 2017 more than a third of 50 Nobel prize-winning scientists surveyed by The Times Higher Education at the lindau Nobel laureate
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meeting said that human overpopulation and environmental degradation are the two greatest threats facing humankind in November that same year a statement by 15,000 364 scientists from 184 countries indicated that rapid human population growth as the primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats topic human population topic history of population growth the human population has gone through a number of periods of growth since the
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dawn of civilization in the Holocene period around 10,000 BCE the beginning of civilization roughly coincides with the receding of glacial ice following the end of the last glacial period it is estimated that between 1 to 5 million people subsisting on hunting and foraging inhabited the earth in the period before the Neolithic Revolution when human activity shifted away from hunter gathering and towards very primitive farming around 8000 BCE at the dawn of Agriculture the population of the world was approximately 5 million
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the next several millennia saw a steady increase in the population with very rapid growth beginning in 1200 and 300 million people in 1 BCE the plague of Justinian caused Europe's population to drop by around 50% between 541 and the 8th century steady growth resumed in 800 C II however growth was again disrupted by frequent plagues most notably the Black Death during the 14th century the effects of the Black Death are thought
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to have reduced the world's population then at an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million by 1400 the population of Europe stood at over 70 million in 1340 these levels did not return until 200 years later england's population reached an estimated 5.6 million in 1650 up from an estimated 2.6 million in 1500 new crops from the Americas via the Spanish colonizers in the 16th century contributed to the
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population growth in other parts of the globe China's population at the founding of the Ming Dynasty in 1368 stood close to 60 million approaching 150 million by the end of the dynasty in 1644 the population of the Americas in 1500 may have been between 50 and 100 million encounters between European explorers and populations in the rest of the world often introduced local epidemics of extraordinary virulence archaeological evidence indicates that the death of around 90% of the Native American
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population of the new world was caused by old world is such as smallpox measles and influenza Europeans introduced diseases alien to the indigenous people therefore they did not have immunity to these foreign diseases after the start of the Industrial Revolution during the 18th century the rate of population growth began to increase by the end of the century the world's population was estimated at just under 1 billion at the turn of the 20th century the world's population was roughly 1.6 billion by
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1940 this figure had increased to 2.3 billion each subsequent addition of a billion humans took less and less time 33 years to reach 3 billion in 1960 14 years for four billion in 1974 13 years for five billion in 1987 and 12 years for 6 billion in 1999 dramatic growth beginning in 1950 above 1.8 percent per year coincided with greatly increased food production as a result of the industrialization of Agriculture brought about by the Green Revolution the rate
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of human population growth peaked in 1964 at about 2.1 percent per year for example Indonesia's population grew from 97 million in 1961 to 230 7.6 million in 2010 a 145 percent increase in 49 years in India the population grew from 361 1 million people in 1951 to just over 1.2 billion by 2011 a 235 percent increase in 60 years
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there is concern over the sharp population increase in many countries especially in sub-saharan Africa that has occurred over the last several decades and that it is creating problems with land management natural resources and access to water supplies the population of Chad has for example grown from 6 million two hundred seventy nine thousand nine hundred twenty one in 1993 to ten million 329 thousand two hundred eight in 2009 Niger Uganda Nigeria Tanzania Ethiopia and the DRC are
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witnessing a similar growth in population the situation is most acute in western central and eastern Africa refugees from places like Sudan have they're strained the resources of neighboring states like Chad in Egypt chad is also host to roughly two hundred fifty-five thousand refugees from Sudan's Darfur region and about seventy-seven thousand refugees from the Central African Republic while approximately one hundred eighty eight thousand JD ins have been displaced by their own civil war and famines have either fled to either the sudan the
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niger or more recently libya according to UN data there are on average 250 babies born each minute or more than 130 million a year topic projections of population growth according to projections the world population will continue to grow until at least 2050 with the population reaching 9 billion in 2040 and some predictions putting the population as high as 11 billion in 2050 the median estimate for future growth sees the world population reaching 8.6 billion in
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2030 nine point eight billion in 2050 and eleven point two billion by 2100 assuming a continuing decrease in average fertility rate from 2.5 births per woman in 2010 to 2015 to 2.2 in 2045 to 2050 and to 2.0 in 20 95 to 2100 according to the medium variant projection Walter grayling projected in the 1950s that world population would reach a peak of about 9 billion in the 21st century and then stopped growing after a readjustment of the third world
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in a sanitation of the tropics in 2000 the United Nations estimated that the world's population was growing at the rate of one point one four percent or about seventy-five million people per year and according to data from the CIA's World Factbook the world human population currently increases by 145 every minute according to the united nations world population prospects report the world population is currently growing by approximately 74 million people per year current United Nations predictions estimate that the world
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population will reach 9.0 billion around 2050 assuming a decrease in average fertility rate from 2.5 down to 2 point of almost all growth will take place in the less developed regions where today's 5.3 billion population of underdeveloped countries is expected to increase to seven point eight billion in 2050 by contrast the population of the more developed regions will remain mostly unchanged at one point two billion an exception as the United States population which is expected to increase
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by 44 percent from 2008 to 2050 in 2002 2005 the average world fertility was two point six five children per woman about half the level in 1950 to 1955 five children per woman in the medium variant global fertility is projected to decline further to 2.05 children per woman during 2005 to 2050 nine countries are expected to account for half of the world's projected population increase India Pakistan Nigeria Democratic Republic of
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the Congo Bangladesh Uganda United States Ethiopia and China listed according to the size of their contribution to population growth China would be higher still in this list were it not for its one-child policy global life expectancy at birth is expected to continue rising from 65 years in 2002 2005 to 75 years in 2045 to 2050 in the more developed regions the projection as to 82 years by 2050 among the least developed countries where life
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expectancy today is just under 50 years it is expected to increase to 66 years by 2045 to 2050 the population of 51 countries or areas is expected to be lower in 2050 than in 2005 during 2005 to 2050 the net number of international migrants to more developed regions is projected to be 98 million because deaths are projected to exceed births in the more developed regions by 73 million during 2005 to 2050 population growth in
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those regions will largely be due to international migration in 2000 to 2005 net migration in 28 countries either prevented population decline or doubled at least the contribution of natural increase births minus deaths to population growth birth rates are now falling in a small percentage of developing countries while the actual populations in many developed countries would fall without immigration topic urban growth in 1800 only 3% of the world's
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population lived in cities by the 20th centuries close 47% did so in 1950 there were 83 cities with populations exceeding 1 million but by 2007 this had risen to 468 agglomerations if the trend continues the world's urban population will double every 38 years in 2007 UN forecasted that urban population would rise to 3 out of 5 or 60 percent by 2030 and an increase in urban population from
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3.2 billion to nearly 5 billion by 2030 as of 2018 55% live in cities and UN predicts that it will be 68 percent by 2050 the increase will be most dramatic in the poorest and least urbanized continents Asia and Africa projections indicate that most urban growth over the next 25 years will be in developing countries 1 billion people 1/7 of the world's population or one-third of urban population now live in shanty towns which are seen as breeding grounds for
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social problems such as unemployment poverty crime drug addiction alcoholism and other social ills in many poor countries slums exhibit high rates of disease due to unsanitary conditions malnutrition and lack of basic health care in 2000 there were 18 mega cities conurbations such as Tokyo Beijing Guangzhou Seoul Karachi Mexico City Mumbai sau Paulo London and New York City that have populations in excess of 10 million inhabitants greater Tokyo
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already has 38 million more than the entire population of Canada at 36 point seven million according to the Far Eastern Economic Review Asia alone will have at least 10 Hyper cities by 2025 that as cities inhabited by more than 19 million people including Jakarta 24 point 9 million people Dhaka 25 million Karachi 26 point five million shanghai 27 million and mumbai 33 million Lagos has grown from 300,000 in 1950 to an
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estimated 15 million today and the Nigerian government estimates that city will have expanded to five million residents by 2015 Chinese experts forecast that Chinese cities will contain 800 million people by 2020 topic causes from a historical perspective technological revolutions have coincided with population expansion there have been three major technological revolutions the tool-making revolution the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution
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all of which allowed humans more access to food resulting in subsequent population explosions for example the use of tools such as bow and arrow allowed primitive hunters greater access to more high-energy foods eg animal meat similarly the transition to farming about 10,000 years ago greatly increased the overall food supply which was used to support more people food production further increased with the Industrial Revolution as machinery fertilizers herbicides and pesticides were used to
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increase land under cultivation as well as crop yields today starvation is caused by economic and political forces rather than a lack of the means to produce food significant increases in human population occur whenever the birth rate exceeds the death rate for extended periods of time traditionally the fertility rate is strongly influenced by cultural and social norms that are rather stable and therefore slow to adapt to changes in the social technological or environmental conditions for example when death rates
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fell during the 19th and 20th century as a result of improved sanitation child immunizations and other advances in medicine allowing more newborns to survive the fertility rate did not adjust downward resulting in significant population growth until the 1700s seven out of ten children died before reaching reproductive age today more than nine out of ten children born in industrialized nations reach adulthood there is a strong correlation between overpopulation and poverty in contrast the invention of the birth control pill
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and other modern methods of contraception resulted in a dramatic decline in the number of children per household in all but the very poorest countries agriculture has sustained human population growth this dates back to prehistoric times when agricultural methods were first developed and continues to the present day with fertilizers agro chemicals large-scale mechanization genetic manipulation and other knowledge ease humans have historically exploited the environment using the easiest most accessible resources first the richest farmland was plowed in the
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richest mineral or mine first ceballos Ehrlich a in Ehrlich P said that overpopulation is demanding the use of ever more creative expensive and or environmentally destructive means in order to exploit ever more difficult to access and or poorer quality natural resources to satisfy consumers topic demographic transition the theory of demographic transition held that after the standard of living and life expectancy increase family sizes and birth rates decline however as
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new data has become available it has been observed that after a certain level of development HDI equal to 0.8 six or higher the fertility increases again and is often represented as a J shape this means that both the worried that the theory generated about aging populations and the complacency at bred regarding the future environmental impact of population growth could need reevaluation factors cited in the old theory included such social factors as later ages of marriage the growing desire of many women in such settings to
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seek careers outside child-rearing and domestic work and the decreased need for children in industrialized settings the latter factor stems from the fact that children perform a great deal of work in small scale agricultural societies and work less in industrial ones it has been cited to explain the decline in birth rates in industrializing regions many countries have high population growth rates but lower total fertility rates because high population growth in the past skewed the age demographic toward a young age so the population still rises
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as the more numerous younger generation approaches maturity demographic entrapment is a concept developed by Maurice King honorary research fellow at the University of Leeds who posits that this phenomenon occurs when a country has a population larger than its carrying capacity no possibility of migration and exports too little to be able to import food this will cause starvation he claims that for example many sub-saharan nations are or will become stuck in demographic entrapment instead of having a demographic transition for
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the world as a whole the number of children born per woman decreased from 5.0 to to 2.65 between 1950 and 2005 a breakdown by region as as follows Europe 2.66 to 1.41 North America 3.47 to 1.99 Oceania 3.87 to 2.30 Central America 6.38 to 2.66 South America 5.75 to 2.49 Asia middle-east 5.85 22.4 3 Middle East and
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North Africa 6.99 2 3.37 sub-saharan Africa 6.7 to 5.5 3 excluding the theoretical reversal infertility decrease for high development the projected world number of children born per woman for 2050 would be around 2.0 5 only the Middle East in North Africa 2.09 and sub-saharan Africa 2.6 one would then have numbers greater than two point zero five topic carrying capacity some groups for example the World Wide Fund for Nature and global footprint
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Network have stated that the carrying capacity for the human population has been exceeded as measured using the ecological footprint in 2006 WWF's Living Planet report stated that in order for all humans to live with the current consumption patterns of Europeans we would be spending 3 times more than what the planet can renew humanity as a whole was using by 2006 40 percent more than what earth can regenerate however roger martin of population matters states the view the poor want to get rich and i want them to get rich
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with a later edition of course we have to change consumption habits but we've also got to stabilize our numbers another study by the World Wildlife Fund in 2014 found that it would take the equivalent of 1.5 ershov by a capacity to meet humanity's current levels of consumption but critics questioned the simplifications and statistical methods used in calculating ecological footprints therefore global footprint Network and its partner organizations have engaged with national governments and international agencies to test the
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results reviews have been produced by France Germany the European Commission Switzerland Luxembourg Japan and the United Arab Emirates some point out that a more refined method of assessing ecological footprint as to designate sustainable versus non sustainable categories of consumption however if yield estimates were adjusted for sustainable levels of production the yield figures would be lower and hence the overshoot estimated by the ecological footprint method even higher other studies give particular attention
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to resource depletion and increased world affluence in a 1994 study titled food land population in the US economy David Pimentel and Mario John Pedro estimated the maximum u.s. population for a sustainable economy at 200 million and in order to achieve a sustainable economy and avert disaster the United States would have to reduce its population by at least one-third and world population would have to be reduced by two-thirds many quantitative studies have estimated the world's carrying capacity for humans that has a
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limit to the world population a meta-analysis of 69 such studies suggests a point estimate of the limit to be seven point seven billion people while lower and upper met abounds for current technology are estimated as 0.65 and ninety-eight billion people respectively they conclude recent predictions of stabilized world population levels for 2050 exceeds several of our meta estimates of the world population limit topic effects of human overpopulation some more problems associated with or exacerbated by human
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overpopulation and overconsumption are inadequate fresh water for drinking as well as sewage treatment and effluent discharge some countries like Saudi Arabia use energy expensive desalination to solve the problem of water shortages depletion of natural resources especially fossil fuels increased levels of air pollution water pollution soil contamination and noise pollution changes in atmospheric composition and consequent global warming loss of arable land and increase
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in desert if ocation deforestation and desertification can be reversed by adopting property rights and this policy is successful even while the human population continues to grow mass species extinctions and contracting biodiversity from reduced habitats in tropical forests due to slash-and-burn techniques that sometimes are practiced by shifting cultivators especially in countries with rapidly expanding rural populations present extinction rates may be as high as 140 thousand species lost per year as of February 2011 the IUCN
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Red List lists a total of 801 animal species having gone to extinct during recorded human history although the vast majority of extinctions are thought to be undocumented biodiversity would continue to grow at an exponential rate if not for human influence Sir David King former chief scientific adviser to the UK government told a parliamentary inquiry it is self-evident that the massive growth in the human population through the 20th century has had more impact on biodiversity than any other single factor Paul and and Ehrlich said
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population growth is one of the main drivers of the Earth's extinction crisis high infant and child mortality high rates of infant mortality are associated with poverty rich countries with high population densities have low rates of infant mortality however both global poverty and infant mortality has declined over the last 200 years of population growth intensive factory farming to support large populations it results in human threats including the evolution and spread of antibiotic
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resistant bacteria diseases excessive air and water pollution and new viruses that infect humans increased chance of the emergence of new epidemics and pandemics for many environmental and social reasons including overcrowded living conditions malnutrition and inadequate inaccessible or non-existent health care the poor are more likely to be exposed to infectious diseases starvation malnutrition or poor diet with ill health and diet deficiency diseases eg rickets however rich
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countries with high population densities do not have famine poverty coupled with inflation in some regions and a resulting low level of capital formation poverty and inflation are aggravated by bad government and bad economic policies many countries with high population densities have eliminated absolute poverty and keep their inflation rates very low low life expectancy in countries with fastest growing populations overall life expectancy has increased globally despite of population
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growth including countries with fast growing populations unhygenic living conditions for many based upon water resource depletion discharge of raw sewage and solid waste disposal however this problem can be reduced with the adoption of sewers for example after Karachi Pakistan installed sewers its infant mortality rate fell substantially elevated crime rate due to drug cartels and increased theft by people stealing resources to survive conflict over
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scarce resources and crowding leading to increased levels of warfare less personal freedom and more restrictive laws laws regulate and shaped politics economics history and society and serve as a mediator of relations and interactions between people the higher the population density the more frequent such interactions become and thus there develops a need for more laws and/or more restrictive laws to regulate these interactions and relations it was even speculated by Aldous Huxley in 1958 that
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democracy is threatened due to overpopulation and could give rise to totalitarian style governments however over the last 200 years of population growth the actual level of personal freedom has increased rather than declined many of these problems are explored in the dystopic science fiction film Soylent Green where an overpopulated earth suffers from food shortages depleted resources and poverty and in the documentary aftermath population overload David Attenborough described the level
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of human population on the planet as a multiplier of all other environmental problems in 2013 he described humanity as a plague on the earth that needs to be controlled by limiting population growth most biologists and sociologists see overpopulation as a serious threat to the quality of human life some deep ecologists such as the radical thinker and polemicist Penn dealing Cola see human overpopulation as a threat to the entire biosphere the effects of overpopulation are compounded by
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overconsumption according to Paul R Ehrlich rich Western countries are now siphoning up the planet's resources and destroying its ecosystems at an unprecedented rate we want to build highways across the Serengeti to get more rare earth minerals for our cellphones we grab all the fish from the sea wreck the coral reefs and put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere we have triggered a major extinction event a world population of around a billion would have an overall pro-life effect this could be supported for many
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millennia and sustain many more human lives in the long term compared with our current uncontrolled growth and prospect of sudden collapse if everyone consumed resources at the u.s. level which is what the world aspires to you will need another four or five Earth's we are wrecking our planets life-support systems some economists such as Thomas Sol and Walter Williams argue that third-world poverty and famine are caused in part by bad government and bad economic policies topic resources
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overpopulation does not depend only on the size or density of the population but on the ratio of population to available sustainable resources it also depends on how resources are managed and distributed throughout the population the resources to be considered when evaluating whether an ecological niche is overpopulated include clean water clean air food shelter warmth and other resources necessary to sustain life if the quality of human life is addressed there may be additional resources considered such as medical care
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education proper sewage treatment waste disposal and energy supplies overpopulation places competitive stress on the basic life-sustaining resources leading to a diminished quality of life directly related to maintaining the health of the human population as water supply and it is one of the resources that experienced the biggest strain with the global population at about 7.5 billion and each human theoretically needing 2 liters of drinking water there is a demand for 15 billion liters of water each day to meet the minimum
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requirement for healthy living United weather patterns elevation and climate all contribute to uneven distribution of fresh drinking water without clean water good health is not a viable option besides drinking water is used to create sanitary living conditions and is the basis of creating a healthy environment fit to hold human life in addition to drinking water water is also used for bathing washing clothes and dishes flushing toilets a variety of cleaning methods recreation watering lawns and
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farm irrigation irrigation poses one of the largest problems because without sufficient water to irrigate crops the crops die and then there is the problem of food rations and starvation in addition to water needed for crops and food there is limited land area dedicated to food production and not much more that is suitable to be added arable land needed to sustain the growing population is also a factor because land being under or over cultivated easily upsets the delicate balance of nutrition supply there are also problems with location of arable
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land with regard to proximity to countries and relative population Bashford 240 access to nutrition as an important limiting factor in population sustainability and growth no increase in arable land added to the still increasing human population will eventually pose a serious conflict only 38 percent of the land area of the globe is dedicated to agriculture and there is not room for much more although plants produce 54 billion metric tons of carbohydrates per year when the
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population is expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050 the plants may not be able to keep up Biello food supply as a primary example of how a resource reacts when its carrying capacity is exceeded by trying to grow more and more crops off of the same amount of land the soil becomes exhausted because the soil is exhausted it is then unable to produce the same amount of food as before and is overall less productive therefore by using resources beyond a sustainable level the resource become nullified and
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ineffective which further increases the disparity between the demand for a resource and the availability of a resource there must be a shift to provide adequate recovery time to each one of the supplies and demand to support contemporary human lifestyles David Pimentel has stated that with the imbalance growing between population numbers and vital life-sustaining resources humans must actively conserve cropland fresh water energy and biological resources there is a need to
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develop renewable energy resources humans everywhere must understand that rapid population growth damages the earth's resources and diminishes human wellbeing these reflect the comments also of the United States Geological Survey in their paper the future of planet Earth scientific challenges in the coming century as the global population continues to grow people will place greater and greater demands on the resources of our planet including mineral and energy resources
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open space water and plant and animal resources Earth's natural wealth and audit by New Scientist magazine states that many of the minerals that we use for a variety of products are in danger of running out in the near future a handful of geologists around the world have calculated the costs of new technologies in terms of the materials they use and the implications of their spreading to the developing world all agree that the planets booming population and rising standards of living are set to put unprecedented
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demands on the materials that only earth itself can provide limitations on how much of these materials is available could even mean that some technologies are not worth pursuing long term virgin stocks of several metals appear inadequate to sustain the modern developed world quality of life for all of Earth's people under contemporary technology on the other hand some Cornucopia researchers such as Julian El Simon and Bjorn Lomborg believe that resources exist for further population
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growth in a 2010 study they concluded that there are not and will never be too many people for the planet to feed according to the independent some critics warned this will be at a high cost to the earth the technological optimists are probably correct in claiming that overall world food production can be increased substantially over the next few decades however the environmental cost of what Paul R and an H Erlich described as turning the earth into a giant human
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feedlot could be severe a large expansion of Agriculture to provide growing populations with improved diets as likely to lead to further deforestation loss of species soil erosion and pollution from pesticides and fertilizer runoff as farming intensifies and new land is brought into production since we are intimately dependent upon the living systems of the earth some scientists have questioned the wisdom of further expansion according to the Millennium ecosystem assessment a four-year research effort
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by 1360 of the world's prominent scientists commissioned to measure the actual value of natural resources to humans in the world the structure of the world's ecosystems changed more rapidly in the second half of the 20th century than at any time in recorded human history and virtually all of Earth's ecosystems have now been significantly transformed through human actions ecosystem services particularly food production timber and fisheries are important for employment and economic
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activity intensive use of ecosystems often produces the greatest short-term advantage but excessive and unsustainable use can lead to losses in the long term a country could cut its forests and deplete its fisheries and this would show only as a positive gain to GDP despite the loss of capital assets if the full economic value of ecosystems were taken into account in decision-making their degradation could be significantly slowed down or even
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reversed another study was done by the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP called the global environment outlook although all resources whether mineral or other are limited on the planet there is a degree of self correction whenever a scarcity or high demand for a particular kind is experienced for example in 1990 known reserves of many natural resources were higher and their prices lower than in 1970 despite higher demand and higher consumption whenever a price spike would occur the market tended to correct
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itself whether by substituting an equivalent resource or switching to a new technology topic fresh water fresh water supplies on which agriculture depends are running low worldwide this water crisis is only expected to worsen as the population increases potential problems with dependence on desalination or reviewed below however the majority of the world's fresh water supply is contained in the polar ice caps and underground river systems accessible through Springs and wells fresh water can be obtained
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from salt water by desalination for example malta derives 2/3 of its fresh water by desalination a number of nuclear-powered desalination plants exist however the high costs of desalination especially for poor countries make impractical the transport of large amounts of desalinated seawater to interiors of large countries the cost of desalination varies Israel is now desalinating water for a cost of 53 cents per cubic metre Singapore at 49 cents per cubic metre in the United
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States the cost is 81 cents per cubic meter three dollars and six cents for 1,000 gallons according to a 2004 study by Joe and tall when needs to lift the water by 2,000 meters or transported over more than 1,600 kilometers to get transport costs equal to the desalination costs desalinated water is expensive in places that are both somewhat far from the sea and somewhat high such as Riyadh in Harare in other places the dominant cost is desalination not transport this leads
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to somewhat lower costs in places like Beijing Bangkok Zaragoza Phoenix and of course coastal cities like Tripoli quote thus while the study is generally positive about the technology for affluent areas that are proximate to oceans it concludes that desalinated water may be a solution for some water stress regions but not for places that are poor deep in the interior of a continent or at high elevation unfortunately that includes some of the places with biggest water problems quote
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quote another potential problem with desalination as the by production of saline brine which can be a major cause of marine pollution when dumped back into the oceans at high temperatures the world's largest Desalle nation plant as the jebel ali desalination plant phase 2 in the United Arab Emirates which can produce 300 million cubic meters of water per year or about 2,500 gallons per second the largest desalination plant in the US as the one at Tampa Bay Florida which began
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desalinating 25 million gallons 95 thousand cubic meters of water per day in December 2007 of the 17th of January 2008 article in The Wall Street Journal states worldwide 13,000 80 desalination plants produce more than 12 billion gallons of water a day according to the International desalination Association quote after being desalinated at jubail Saudi Arabia water has pumped 200 miles
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320 kilometres inland though a pipeline to the capital city of react however new data originating from the grace experiments and isotopic testing done by the IAEA showed that the Nubian aquifer which is under the largest driest part of the Earth's surface has enough water in it to provide for at least several centuries in addition to this new and highly detailed maps of the Earth's underground reservoirs will be soon created from these technologies that will further allow proper budgeting of
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cheap water topic food some scientists argue that there is enough food to support the world population and some dispute this particularly if sustainability is taken into account many countries rely heavily on imports Egypt and Iran rely on imports for 40% of their grain supply Yemen and Israel import more than ninety percent and just six countries Argentina Australia Canada France Thailand in the USA supply 90% of grain exports in
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recent decades the US alone supplied almost half of world grain exports a 2001 United Nations report says population growth us the main force driving increases in agricultural demand but most recent expert assessments are cautiously optimistic about the ability of global food production to keep up with demand for the foreseeable future that is to say until approximately 2030 or 2050 assuming declining population growth rates however the observed
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figures for 2007 show an actual increase in absolute numbers of undernourished people in the world 923 million in 2007 vs. 832 million in 1995 the more recent FAO estimates point to an even more dramatic increase to 1.02 billion in 2009 topic global perspective the amounts of natural resources in this context are not necessarily fixed and their distribution is not necessarily a zero-sum game for example due to the
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Green Revolution and the fact that more and more land is appropriated each year from wild lands for agricultural purposes the worldwide production of food had steadily increased up until 1995 world food production per person was considerably higher in 2005 the 1961 as world population doubled from 3 billion to 6 billion daily calorie consumption in poor countries increased from 1932 to 2650 and the percentage of people in those countries who were
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malnourished fell from 45 percent to 18 percent this suggests that third world poverty and famine are caused by under development not overpopulation however others question these statistics from 1950 to 1984 as the Green Revolution transformed agriculture around the world grain production increased by over 250% the world population has grown by about 4 billion since the beginning of the Green Revolution and most believe that without the revolution there would be greater famine and malnutrition than the
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UN presently documents the number of people who are overweight has surpassed the number who are undernourished in a 2006 news story MSNBC reported there are an estimated 800 million undernourished people and more than a billion considered overweight worldwide the US has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world however studies show that wealthy and educated people are far likelier to eat healthy food indicating obesity as a disease related to poverty and lack of education and excessive advertising of
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unhealthy eating zero-cost high in calories with little nutritive value are consumed the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states in its report the state of food insecurity in the world 2006 that while the number of undernourished people in the developing countries has declined by about 3 million a smaller proportion of the populations of developing countries as undernourished today than in 1992 9217 percent against 20% furthermore FA those projections suggest that the
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proportion of hungry people in developing countries could be halved from nineteen ninety to ninety two levels to ten percent by 2015 the FAO also states we have emphasized first and foremost that reducing hunger is no longer a question of means in the hands of the global community the world is richer today than it was ten years ago there is more food available and still more could be produced without excessive upward pressure on prices the knowledge and resources to reduce hunger are there
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what is lacking is sufficient political will to mobilize those resources to the benefit of the hungry as of 2008 the price of grain has increased due to more farming used in biofuels world oil prices at over $100 a barrel global population growth climate change loss of agricultural land to residential and industrial development and growing consumer demand in China and India food riots have recently taken place in many countries across the world an epidemic of stem rust on wheat caused by race
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ug99 is currently spreading across Africa and into Asia and is causing major concern a virulent wheat disease could destroy most of the world's main wheat crops leaving millions to starve the fungus has spread from Africa to Iran and may already be in Afghanistan and Pakistan food security will become more difficult to achieve as resources run out resources in danger of becoming depleted include oil phosphorus grain fish and water the British scientist John Beddington predicted in 2009 that
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supplies of energy food and water will need to be increased by 50% to reach demand levels of 2030 according to the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO food supplies will need to be increased by 70% by 2050 to meet projected demands topic Africa the population Reference Bureau in the u.s. reported that the population of sub-saharan Africa the poorest region in the continent is rising faster than most of the rest of the world and that rapid population growth makes it difficult for
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economies to create enough jobs to lift large numbers of people out of poverty seven of the ten countries in sub-saharan Africa with the highest fertility rates also appear among the bottom ten listed on the United Nations Human Development Index hunger and malnutrition killed nearly six million children a year and more people are malnourished in sub-saharan Africa this decade than in the 1990s according to a report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization in sub-saharan Africa the number of malnourished people
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grew to 200 3.5 million people in 2000 202 from 170 point 4 million 10 years earlier says the state of food insecurity in the world report in 2001 forty six point four percent of people in sub-saharan Africa were living in extreme poverty topic Asia according to a 2004 article from the BBC China the world's most populous country suffers from n obesity surged the article stated that altogether around 200 million people are thought to be
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overweight twenty two point eight percent of the population and sixty million seven point one percent obese more recent data indicate China's grain production peaked in the mid-1990s due to increased extraction of groundwater in the North China Plain topic other countries Japan may face a food crisis that could reduce daily diets to the austere meals of the 1950's believes a senior government adviser topic population as a function of food
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availability thinkers from a wide range of academic fields and political backgrounds including agricultural scientist David Pimentel behavioral scientist Russell Hoffenberg right-wing anthropologist Virginia Abernathy ecologist Garret Hardin ecologist and anthropologist Peter Farr journalist Richard Manning environmental biologist Allen D Thornhill cultural critic and writer Daniel Quinn and an arco primitive astons erson propose that like all other animal populations human
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populations predictably grow and shrink according to their available food supply growing during an abundance of food and shrinking in times of scarcity proponents of this theory argue that every time food production is increased the population grows most human populations throughout history validate this theory as does the overall current global population populations of hunter-gatherers fluctuate in accordance with the amount of available food the world human population began increasing after the Neolithic Revolution and its
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increased food supply this was subsequent to the Green Revolution followed by even more severely accelerated population growth which continues today often wealthier countries send their surplus food resources to the aid of starving communities however proponents of this theory argued that this seemingly beneficial notion only results in further harm to those communities in the long run Peter Farb for example has commented on the paradox that intensification of production to feed an increased population leads to a still
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greater increase in population Daniel Quinn has also focused on this phenomenon which he calls the food race comparable in terms of both escalation and potential catastrophe to the nuclear arms race critics of this theory point out that in the modern era birth rates are lowest in the developed nations which also have the highest access to food in fact some developed countries have both a diminishing population and an abundant food supply the United Nations projects that the population of
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51 countries are areas including Germany Italy Japan and most of the states of the former so Union is expected to be lower in 2050 than in 2005 this shows that limited to the scope of the population living within a single given political boundary particular human populations do not always grow to match the available food supply however the global population as a whole still grows in accordance with the total food supply and many of these wealthier countries are major exporters of food to poorer populations so that it is through
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exports from food rich to food poor areas ala B 1984 Pimentel at all 1999 that the population growth in these food poor areas is further fueled regardless of criticisms against the theory that population is a function of food availability the human population is on the global scale undeniably increasing as is the net quantity of human food produced a pattern that has been true for roughly ten thousand years since the human development of Agriculture the
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fact that some affluent countries demonstrate negative population growth fails to discredit the theory as whole since the world has become a globalized system with food moving across national borders from areas of abundance to areas of scarcity Hoffenberg and PMON Telles findings support both this in Quinn's direct accusation that first world farmers are fueling the third world population explosion additionally the hypothesis is not so simplistic as to be rejected by any single case study as in Germany's recent population trends
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clearly other factors are at work to limit the population in wealthier areas contraceptive access educational programs cultural norms and most influential E differing economic realities from nation to nation topic as a result of water deficits water deficits which are already spurring heavy grain imports in numerous smaller countries may soon do the same in larger countries such as China or India if technology is not used the water tables are falling in scores of countries including northern China the
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US and India owing to widespread overdrafting beyond sustainable yields other countries affected include Pakistan Iran and Mexico this overdrafting is already leading to water scarcity and cutbacks in grain harvest even with the overpumping of its aquifers China has developed a grain deficit this effect has contributed in driving grain prices upward most of the 3 billion people projected to be added worldwide by mid-century will be born in countries already experiencing water
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shortages desalination is also considered a viable and effective solution to the problem of water shortages topic land the World Resources Institute states that agricultural conversion to crop plans and managed pastures has affected some 3.3 billion hectares roughly 26 percent of the land area all totaled agriculture has displaced one-third of temperate and tropical forests in one quarter of natural grasslands 40% of the
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land area is under conversion and fragmented less than one-quarter primarily in the Arctic in the deserts remains intact usable land may become less useful through salinization deforestation desertification erosion and urban sprawl global warming may cause flooding of many of the most productive agricultural areas the development of energy sources may also require large areas for example the building of hydroelectric dams thus available useful land may become a
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limiting factor by most estimates at least half of cultivable land is already being farmed and there are concerns that the remaining reserves are greatly overestimated high crop yield vegetables like potatoes and lettuce use less space on inedible plant parts like stalks husks vines and inedible leaves new varieties of selectively bred and hybrid plants have larger edible parts fruit vegetable grain and smaller inedible parts however many of these gain of agricultural technology are now historic and new advances are more
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difficult to achieve with new technologies it is possible to grow crops on some marginal land under certain conditions aquaculture could theoretically increase available area hydroponics and food from bacteria and fungi like corn may allow the growing of food without having to consider land quality climate or even available sunlight although such a process may be very energy intensive some argue that not all arable land will remain productive if used for agriculture because some marginal land can only be made to produce food by
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unsustainable practices like slash-and-burn agriculture even with the modern techniques of agriculture the sustainability of production is in question some countries such as the United Arab Emirates and particularly the emirate of Dubai have constructed large artificial islands or have created large dam and dikes like the Netherlands which reclaimed land from the sea to increase their total land area some scientists have said that in the future densely populated cities will use vertical farming to grow food inside skyscrapers
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the notion that space is limited has been decried by skeptics who point out that the Earth's population of roughly 6.8 billion people could comfortably be housed an area comparable in size to the state of Texas in the United States about 269 thousand square miles are 690 6700 6.80 square kilometers however the impact of humanity extends over a far greater area than that required simply for housing epic fossil fuels population optimists have been
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criticized for failing to take into account the depletion of fossil fuels required for the production of fertilizers tillage transportation etc in his 1992 book earth in the balance Al Gore wrote it ought to be possible to establish a coordinated global program to accomplish the strategic goal of completely eliminating the internal combustion engine over say a 25 year period approximately half of the oil produced in the United States as refined into
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gasoline for use in internal combustion engines the report peaking of world oil production impacts mitigation and risk management commonly referred to as the Hirsch report was created by request for the US Department of Energy and published in February 2005 some information was updated in 2007 it examined the timeframe for the occurrence of peak oil the necessary mitigating actions and the likely impacts based on the timeliness of those actions it concludes that world oil peaking is going to happen and will
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likely be abrupt initiating a mitigation crash program 20 years before peaking appears to offer the possibility of avoiding a world liquid fuels shortfall for the forecast period optimists countered that fossil fuels will be sufficient until the development and implementation of suitable replacement technologies such as nuclear power or various sources of renewable energy occurs methods of manufacturing fertilizers from garbage sewage and agricultural wastes by using thermal depolymerization have been discovered
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with increasing awareness about global warming the question of Peak Oil has become less relevant according to many studies about 80% of the remaining fossil fuels must be left untouched because the bottleneck has shifted from resource availability to the resource of absorbing the generated greenhouse gases when burning fossil fuels topic wealth and poverty the United Nations indicates that about 850 million people are malnourished or starving and 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water since
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1980 the global economy has grown by 380 percent but the number of people living on less than five u.s. dollars a day increased by more than 1.1 billion the UN Human Development Report of 1997 states during the last 15 to 20 years more than 100 developing countries and several Eastern European countries have suffered from disastrous growth failures the reductions in standard of living have been deeper and more long-lasting than what was seen in the industrialized countries during the Depression in the
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1930s as a result the income for more than 1 billion people has fallen below the level that was reached 10 20 or 30 years ago similarly although the proportion of starving people in sub-saharan Africa has decreased the absolute number of starving people has increased due to population growth the percentage dropped from 38 percent in 1970 to 33 percent in 1996 and was expected to be 30 percent by 2010 but the region's population roughly doubled between 1970 and 1996 to
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keep the numbers of starving constant the percentage would have dropped by more than half as of 2004 there were 108 countries in the world with more than 5 million people all of these in which women have on the average more than four children in their lifetime have a per-capita GDP of less than five thousand dollars only in two countries with per capita GDP above tilde fifteen thousand dollars do women have on the average more than two children in their lifetime these are Israel and Saudi Arabia with average lifetime births per
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woman between two and four topic environment overpopulation has substantially adversely impacted the environment of Earth starting at least as early as the 20th century according to the global footprint Network today humanity uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources we use and absorb our wastes there are also economic consequences of this environmental degradation in the form of ecosystem services attrition beyond the scientifically verifiable harm to the environment some assert the moral right of other species
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to simply exist rather than become extinct environmental author Jeremy Rifkin has said that our burgeoning population and urban way of life have been purchased at the expense of vast ecosystems and habitats it's no accident that as we celebrate the urbanization of the world we are quickly approaching another historic watershed the disappearance of the wild says Peter Raven former president of the American Association for the Advancement of science AAAS in their seminal work AAAS atlas of population and environment where do we stand in our efforts to
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achieve a sustainable world clearly the past half-century has been a traumatic one as the collective impact of human numbers affluence consumption per individual and our choices of technology continue to exploit rapidly an increasing proportion of the world's resources at an unsustainable rate during a remarkably short period of time we have lost a quarter of the world's topsoil and a fifth of its agricultural land altered the composition of the atmosphere profoundly and destroyed a major proportion of our forests and other natural habitats without replacing
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them worst of all we have driven the rate of biological extinction the permanent loss of species up several hundred times beyond its historical levels and are threatened with the loss of a majority of all species by the end of the 21st century further even in countries which have both large population growth and major ecological problems it is not necessarily true that curbing the population growth will make a major contribution towards resolving all environmental problems however as developing countries with high populations become more industrialized
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pollution and consumption will invariably increase the Worldwatch Institute said in 2006 that the booming economies of China and India are planetary powers that are shaping the global biosphere the report states the world's ecological capacity is simply insufficient to satisfy the ambitions of China India Japan Europe and the United States as well as the aspirations of the rest of the world in a sustainable way according to Worldwatch Institute if
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China and India were to consume as much resources per capita as the United States in 2030 they would each require a full planet earth to meet their needs in the long term these effects can lead to increased conflict over dwindling resources and in the worst case a Malthusian catastrophe many studies linked population growth with emissions and the effect of climate change topic warfare and conflict it has been suggested that overpopulation leads to increased levels of tensions both between and within
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countries modern usage of the term Lebensraum supports the idea that overpopulation may promote warfare through fear of resource scarcity and increasing numbers of youth lacking the opportunity to engage in peaceful employment the youth bulge theory topic criticism of this hypothesis the hypothesis that population pressure causes increased warfare has been recently criticized on empirical grounds two studies focusing on specific historical societies and analyses of cross-cultural data have failed to find
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positive correlation between population density and incidents of warfare andrey korotayev in collaboration with peter Turchin has shown that such negative results do not falsify the population warfare hypothesis population and warfare are dynamical variables and if their interaction causes sustained oscillations then we do not in general expect to find strong correlation between the two variables measured at the same time that is unlocked korotayev and turjun have explored mathematically what the dynamical patterns of
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interaction between population and warfare focusing on internal warfare might be in both stateless and state societies next they have tested the model predictions in several empirical case studies early modern England Han and Tang China and the Roman Empire their empirical results have supported the population warfare theory that there is a tendency for population numbers and internal warfare intensity to oscillate with the same period but shifted in phase with warfare Peaks following population Peaks furthermore they have
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demonstrated that in the agrarian societies the rates of change of the two variables behave precisely as predicted by the theory population rate of change is negatively affected by warfare intensity while warfare rate of change is positively affected by population density topic proposed solutions and mitigation measures several solutions and mitigation measures have the potential to reduce overpopulation some solutions are to be applied on the global planetary level eg via UN resolutions while some on a
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country or state government organization level and some on the family or an individual level some of the proposed mitigations aim to help implement new social cultural behavioral and political norms to replace or significantly modify current norms for example in societies like China the government has put policies in place that regulate the number of children allowed to a couple other societies have implemented social marketing strategies in order to educate the public on overpopulation effects the
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intervention can be widespread and done at a low cost a variety of print materials Flyers brochures fact sheets stickers needs to be produced and distributed throughout the communities such as at local places of worship sporting events local food markets schools and at car parks taxis bus stands such prompts work to introduce the problem so that new or modified social norms are easier to implement certain government policies are making it easier and more socially acceptable to use contraception and abortion
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methods an example of a country whose laws and norms are hindering the global effort to slow population growth as Afghanistan quote the approval by Afghan President Hamid Karzai of the Shia personal status law in March 2009 effectively destroyed Shia women's rights and freedoms in Afghanistan under this law women have no right to deny their husband's sex unless they are ill and can be denied food if they do scientists and technologists including eg huesemann huesemann Ehrlich and
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Ehrlich cautioned that science and technology as currently practiced cannot solve the serious problems global human society faces and that a cultural social political shift is needed to reorient science and technology in a more socially responsible and environmentally sustainable direction topic reducing overpopulation topic education and empowerment one option is to focus on education about overpopulation family planning and birth control methods and to make birth control devices like male and female
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condoms contraceptive pills and intrauterine devices easily available worldwide nearly 40% of pregnancies are unintended some 80 million unintended pregnancies each year an estimated 350 million women in the poorest countries of the world either did not want their last child do not want another child or want to space their pregnancies but they lack access to information affordable means and services to determine the size and spacing of their families in the United States in 2001 almost half of
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pregnancies were unintended in the developing world some 514 thousand women die annually of complications from pregnancy and abortion with 86 percent of these deaths occurring in the sub-saharan Africa region in South Asia additionally 8 million infants died many because of malnutrition or preventable diseases especially from lack of access to clean drinking water women's rights and their reproductive rights in particular are issues regarded to have vital importance in the debate Egypt announced a program to reduce its
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overpopulation by family planning education and putting women in the workforce it was announced in June 2008 by the Minister of Health and population and the government has set aside 480 million Egyptian pounds about 90 million dollars u.s. for the program several scientists including eg Paul and and Ehrlich and Gretchen Daley proposed that humanity should work at stabilizing it's absolute numbers as a starting point towards beginning the process of reducing the total numbers they suggested the following solutions and
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policies following a small family size socio-cultural behavioral norm worldwide especially one child per family ethos and providing contraception to all along with proper education on its use and benefits while providing access to safe legal abortion as a backup to contraception combined with a significantly more equitable distribution of resources globally business magnate Ted Turner proposed a voluntary non imposed one child per family cultural norm a pledge to or few
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campaign is run by population matters a UK population concern organization in which people are encouraged to limit themselves to small family size population planning that is intended to reduce population size or growth rate may promote or enforce one or more of the following practices although there are other methods as well greater and better access to contraception reducing infant mortality so that parents do not need to have many children to ensure at least some survived to adulthood
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improving the status of women in order to facilitate a departure from traditional sexual division of labor one child and two child policies and other policies restricting or discouraging births directly family planning creating small family role models tighter immigration restrictions the methods chosen can be strongly influenced by the cultural and religious beliefs of community members topic birth regulations overpopulation can be mitigated by birth
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control some nations like the People's Republic of China use strict measures to reduce birth rates religious and ideological opposition to birth control has been cited as a factor contributing to overpopulation and poverty sanjay gandhi son of late Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi implemented a forced sterilization program between 1975 and 1977 officially men with two children or more had to submit to sterilization but there was a greater focus on sterilizing women than sterilizing men some
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unmarried young men and political opponents may also have been sterilized this program is still remembered and criticized in India and is blamed for creating a public aversion to family planning which hampered government programs for decades urban designer Michael E arth has proposed a choice based marketable birth license plan he calls birth credits birth credits would allow any woman to have as many children as she wants as long as she buys a license for any children beyond an average allotment that would result in
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zero population growth if that allotment was determined to be one child for example then the first child would be free and the market would determine what the license fee for each additional child would cost extra credits would expire after a certain time so these credits could not be hoarded by speculators the actual cost of the credits would only be a fraction of the actual cost of having and raising a child so the credits would serve more as a wake-up call to women who might otherwise produce children without seriously considering the long-term consequences to themselves or society
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another choice based approach similar to ours birth credits is financial compensation or other benefits free goods and/or services by the state or state-owned companies offered to people who voluntarily undergo sterilization such compensation has been offered in the past by the Government of India in 2014 the United Nations estimated there is an 80 percent likelihood that the world's population will be between nine point six billion and twelve point three billion by 2100 most of the world's expected population increase will be in
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Africa and southern Asia Africa's population is expected to rise from the current 1 billion to 4 billion by 2100 and Asia could add another billion in the same period because the median age of Africans is relatively low eg in Uganda it is 15 years old birth credits would have to limit fertility to one child for two women to reach the levels of developed countries immediately for countries with a wide base in their population pyramid it will take a generation for the people who are of childbearing age to have their families an example of demographic
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momentum as China which added perhaps 400,000 more people after its one-child policy was enacted arth has suggested that the focus should be on the developed countries and that some combination of birth credits and additional compensation supplied by the developed countries could rapidly lead to zero population growth while also quickly raising the standard of living in developing countries epic extraterrestrial settlement various scientists and science fiction authors have contemplated that overpopulation on Earth may be remedied in the future by the use of
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extraterrestrial settlements in the 1970s Gerard K O'Neal suggested building space habitats that could support 30,000 times the carrying capacity of Earth using just the asteroid belt and that the solar system as a whole could sustain current population growth rates for a thousand years Marshall savage 1992-1994 has projected a human population of five quintillion 5 by 1018 throughout the solar system by 3000 with the majority in the asteroid
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belt Freeman Dyson 1999 favors the Kuiper belt as the future home of humanity suggesting this could happen within a few centuries in mining the sky John S Lewis suggests that the resources of the solar system could support 10 quadrillion 10:16 people in an interview Stephen Hawking claimed that overpopulation as a threat to human existence and our only chance of long-term survival as not to remain inward-looking on planet earth but to spread out into space k eric drexler
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famous inventor of the futuristic concept of molecular nanotechnology has suggested in engines of creation that colonizing space will mean breaking the Malthusian limits to growth for the human species it may be possible for other parts of the solar system to be inhabited by humanity at some point in the future Jeffrey Landis of NASA's Glenn Research Center in particular has pointed out that at cloud top-level Venus as the Paradise planet as one could construct aerostat habitats and floating cities
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they're easily based on the concept that breathable air is a lifting gas in the dense Venusian atmosphere venus would like also Saturn Uranus and Neptune in the upper layers of their atmospheres even afforda gravitation almost exactly as strong as that on earth Sea colonization of Venus many science fiction authors including carl sagan arthur c clarke and Isaac Asimov have argued that shipping any excess population into space is not a viable solution to human overpopulation according to Clarke the population
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battle must be fought or won here on earth the problem for these authors is not the lack of resources in space as shown in books such as mining the sky but the physical impracticality of shipping vast numbers of people into space to solve overpopulation on earth however Gerard Kay O'Neill's calculations showed that earth could offload all new population growth with a launch services industry about the same size as the current airline industry the star tram concept by James R Powell the co-inventor of maglev transport and others envisions a
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capability to send up to four million people a decade to space for facility a hypothetical extraterrestrial colony could potentially grow by reproduction only ie without any emigration with all of the inhabitants being the direct descendants of the original colonists topic urbanization despite the increase in population density within cities and the emergence of mega cities un-habitat states in its reports that urbanization may be the best compromise in the face of global population growth cities concentrate
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human activity within limited areas limiting the breadth of environmental damage but this mitigating influence can only be achieved if urban planning is significantly improved and city services are properly maintained topic graph gallery topic see also topic references topic further reading topic external links overpopulation overconsumption in pictures April 2015 the Guardian why we should have fewer children to save the
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planet September 2016 The Guardian overpopulated and underfed countries near a breaking point June 2017 bill Marsh the New York Times earth 6th mass extinction event under way scientists warned July 2017 the Guardian but the ultimate cause of all of these factors as human overpopulation and continued population growth and overconsumption especially by the rich say the scientists the biggest threats to humankind according to 50 Nobel Prize winners
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times higher education August 2017 with 1 in 3 of the Nobel laureates surveyed citing issues such as global warming and overpopulation talking about overpopulation is still taboo that has to change June 2018 Frances Kissling Jotham using Ozzie and Peter singer for The Washington Post

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