Planet in Crisis: An Overpopulated World

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History of an Overpopulated World

historical growth of an overpopulated world
Image by Our World in Data

An overpopulated world comes from the issue of overpopulation. It occurs when the population of a species exceeds its ecological niche’s carrying capacity. Our Mother Earth is now overpopulated. The number of people is increasing every single day because every child is born in every second. Our population currently goes over 7 billion and can reach up to 8 billion by 2025 worldwide.

In a long-term perspective, overpopulation can mean a population cannot be maintained due to the rapid depletion of nonrenewable resources. The populace cannot continue to strive under the degradation of nature.

According to George Morris, an overpopulated world is “when there are more people than can live on the earth in comfort, happiness, and health and still leave the world a fit place for future generations.”

What causes overpopulation?

Overpopulation is a serious problem we need to deal with. How is this explosion of the human population possible?

To rule out the problem, we must first find out what are the causes of it. There are many factors attributed to increasing population.

The main reasons are:

  • Medical advances – Medicine’s evolution has had a major impact in rising lifespan as well as alleviating suffering and making life a healthier place for most people. Every day, we continue to improve our medications such as doing research that can cure cancer. It prolongs the life of every human.
  • Increasing productivity in agriculture – The Improvement of food processing technology with improved sanitation also affects the livelihood of the human beings. Major advances in agriculture also have made it possible to increase the global population. Early farmers were able to settle for a steady supply of food that can supply enough
  • Immigration – It increases the number of consumers that affect the sustainability of resources and equilibrium of economy. When a person is born or a person moves into the country, the population of the country is growing
  • Declining death rates – Birth rates and death rates are also factors determining a country’s population development. Increasing birth rates while decreasing death rates will increase the population.
  • Poor family planning – Lack of family planning also contributes as a cause of overpopulation by increasing birth rates and it can result to poverty.

The Tragedy of the Commons

Image by Sustainable Environment UK

We now live in a world full of disequilibrium. It is even tragic to see that inequality is in everything from finances, class, to resource consumption. This has already been foreshadowed by biologist Garrett Hardin in 1968 in his theory of “The Tragedy of the Commons” wherein shared environmental resources are overused and eventually depleted. Here the environment suffers because a) people act in self-interest for the greatest short-term personal gain, and b) there are simply too much consumers for the finite water, air, land, and food resources.

Due to increasing population and used of technology, human beings have surpassed their environment’s carrying capacity, undermining human health and the ecosystem itself.

Certain problems associated with overpopulation include:

  • Increased demand for resources such as fresh water and food, natural resource use and degradation of living conditions.
  • It aggravates various environmental and social factors, including pollution, malnutrition, overcrowded living conditions, and lack of health care, making poor populations susceptible to infectious diseases.
  • It will be easier to spread diseases that can result to be a major problem.
  • Animal overpopulation often leads to growth in predator populations as a result of imbalance ecosystem. It results to damaging the equilibrium of life here in earth.
  • Scarcity of food and shortage of water


According to Dr. Allan P. Drew, a forest ecologist: “Overpopulation means that we are putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than we should. It is also contributing to global warming by excess carbon dioxide travelling to the air.”

Effects of an overpopulated world

Overpopulation within an ecological system can have several effects on the environment  as well as on other species. Not only humans are capable of overproducing offspring but animals too

The impact of human activity on biodiversity  is devastating. The effects of overpopulation are the growth of urban areas, the fight for food and water supplies, and the shortage of housing and employment opportunities. In human overpopulation, expanding number also increases degradation of the environment.

  • Industries uses chemicals in making their products and some are very irresponsible in disposing their waste. Some even release toxic waste in water bodies such as rivers and lakes, resulting in the deaths of marine animals and micro-organisms. A decline in decomposers can cause material delay to return to the non-living environment from the living.
  • With overpopulation, forests are reduced, and trees are burned down to meet people’s increasing demands, especially in developing countries that rely on firewood as their only source of fuel. Human beings began to rely heavily on fossil-fuel-burning energy.
  • The burning of fossil fuels resulted in almost twice the amount of carbon emissions. The result of an increase in atmospheric carbon emissions has a devastating impact on climate change.
  • In addition, deforestation leads to other environmental issues such as global warming, flooding, and desertification. It has a long-lasting impact of human deforestation on the ecosystem.
  • The fact that population growth exceeds the total amount of available water shows the sluggish water replenishment cycle in groundwater supplies, or aquifers, which are almost considered non-renewable sources.

Possible Solutions to Overpopulation

Most developing countries have large numbers of illiterate people living below the poverty line and having little or no knowledge of family planning

The possible solutions to overpopulation are

  • More economic opportunities,
  • Better access to education,
  • Extensive family planning programs – Maintain sustainability and take actions on future fertility rates also helps controlling the population. It can have a big impact simply by teaching men and women about contraceptives.
  • Adequate health care all have an impact on women’s reproductive choices – To avoid any unwanted pregnancy, one of the best ways is to let them know about various safe sex techniques and contraceptive methods available. Integrating family planning and healthy maternity services into primary health care systems.

In response to a growing demand for food and water, we must conserve our natural resources. Raising people’s awareness of family planning and letting them know about the serious effects of overpopulation can help curb population growth.

Conclusion

 The global community needs to establish a new kind of economy, based on clean and renewable energy sources, on the conservation and preservation of biological diversity, and on working with natural systems to provide for a sustainable number of people. It starts with the little things that even an ordinary citizen can do. Going zero waste is one lifestyle shift towards a better future.

Even doing little things like planting a tree can make a big difference. Commitment to stabilizing population growth by pursuing human rights and development also helps to control overpopulation. Spread knowledge and concern among your friends and family. Raise awareness about our overpopulated world on social media. At the end of the day, it is up to us to help our Mother Earth. It is our duty to ensure the well-being of our planet for future generations.

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