Overpopulation By: Eric Krause Do you feel that all humans have the right to enjoy natural beauty? The right to decent, uncrowded shelter? The right to eat healthy food and drink pure water? To breathe clean air and avoid pesticide poisoning? Most people would say every human has a right to all of these things, but in some areas of the world these rights are not being met. Most species have a sideways “S” shaped graph reflecting growth rate, meaning the species will go up in total population but will eventually start to go down again. The human population graph resembles more of a “J”, starting out low and then skyrocketing straight up. At our current growth rate the world’s population of 5.8 billion would double in only about 45 years. The United States population would double in less than 100 years.
Today the birth rate is about three times the death rate world wide (The Population Explosion). The closer these two rates are, the slower population growth will be. Because of all of these reasons, efforts by the government should be made to slow down the world population growth. Overpopulation is becoming a bigger concern as the growth rate continues to skyrocket. Overpopulation is sometimes mis understood or mistaken with other issues.
Overpopulation does not deal with crowding, but in fact, density is irrelevant to questions of overpopulation (Adams J.A. Crusade Against Overpopulation). What is relevant is carrying capacity. Carrying capacity refers to how much an area can hold having all things at equilibrium, including all plants and animals. An area is overpopulated when its long-term carrying capacity is being degraded by its current human occupants.
David Pimentel at the Carrying Capacity Network stated, “By this standard, the entire planet and virtually every nation is already vastly overpopulated.” Some people say the earth is not overpopulated since the United States can produce more food and products than are used. That is true in the U.S. Now if you look at it world-wide the products we have are often from other countries. These other countries are often not as well off. These other countries are either in severe poverty or their cities are becoming overcrowded (STOP: Everyone must be educated about the realities of overpopulation).
Although the U.S. is not in trouble at this time, when you look at the whole world you may see a different picture. Eventually the rest of the world will also have an effect on us. The impact of humans on their environment has to do with three factors. The first is the number of people. The more people there are the more resources are used.
If too many resources begin to be used they will run out before they get a chance to be replaced. Leaving all plant and animal life with nothing and everything will eventually die off. The rainforests are a good example of this. The second is the amount of resources consumed by the average person. If people become wasteful and don’t conserve resources now, the resources that were wasted will not be able to be used in the future. The United States is one of the most wasteful countries there is.
We are more wasteful than necessary. Recycling has helped quite a bit, but the problem has not yet been fixed. The third is the environmental damage caused in the manufacturing of the goods consumed. Manufacturing grows as people demand more manufactured goods. If too much manufacturing takes place many plants and animals begin to suffer.
It may not have an impact on us for a while, but after many years pass, the availability of food, water, and shelter will begin to decrease. Another problem caused by the rapid growth rate is to the environment. Bio diversity plays an important part in the survival of all species. It is the multiplicity of plants, insects, and animals on Earth that makes the survival of all species possible. A planet without a suitable habitat for non-human creatures will soon not be suitable for humans either.
Once humans expand enough and kill off a lot of plant and animal life, what are we going to eat? As human numbers grow, we demand more space and resources from the Earth, and taking more for ourselves means leaving less for others and eventually means less for ourselves. By exterminated plant life to make more room for us, we also disturb the water cycle. The rainforests are an example of this also. When they are plowed down and humans occupy that space the climate in that area is changed drastically. This in turn will cause other climates to vary too.
This could lead to harsh winters or dry summers (Milbrath, Lester W. Learning to Think Environmentally While There Is Still Time). Overpopulation does not only affect the environment, but also in turn hurts humans. By overpopulating the world it can lead wide spread poverty. As more and more people are on this planet the resources become more and more exhausted.
As the human race continues to grow, other plant life and animal life begin to disappear. And the fact is we can’t live without the other plant life and animal life. By keeping the population of the world at reasonable numbers; pollution levels, diseases, and resources will be able to be maintained at reasonable levels. All governments can make an effort to help this along by, first of all educating people world wide what problems are caused by overpopulation. Educating the public is a major step toward controlling population.
By educating the public they can then make better decisions on how to go about having and raising children and can set there own limitations. To educate the public the U.S. government can get the support of other organizations and set up places world wide to help slow the growth rate by educating people. Another thing the government could do is limit the number of children a family can have and set up laws to deal with that. By limiting the number of children per family it would obviously slow down the growth rate. As of now this may be a drastic measure, but in the future it could be very necessary if nothing is done now (Adams J.A.
Crusade Against Overpopulation). Since the death rate is so low the government could also increase the use of the death penalty. Most of all, the people of the world, including you, are the ones who have to sit back and think about the consequences of overpopulating our world and realize that something has to be done. If the government and the people work together at this issue, we could reach a state of equilibrium. Where the birth and death rate are equal.
If this happens disease will be less likely and other issues like pollution will be more easily controlled. So as you finish reading this decide on what you can do to solve this problem. You could choose to do anything from limiting your family size to donating money to organizations that work to control population. The most important thing you can do is to educate yourself on this topic. With the governments and your help overpopulation could become a problem of the past and the human race can continue on along with all of the other plant and animal life around us.