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Environmental Sustainability Can Only Be Achieved Through Population Control

1326 words - 6 pages

Environmental sustainability is when a person, community or area is able to meet the needs of the present, without compromising the needs of the future. Overconsumption will lead to hardship in the future, and possibly to the destruction of the planet’s finite resources; and if we continue using our resources as at current rates, which have been estimated to be 4 planets worth of resources, this will be inevitable. Populations are all the inhabitants of a specific area/country and this population can be controlled in various methods such as population policies, like the ones in China, Kerala and France; as well as control via migration by putting on limits.

A population control method that has achieve environmental sustainability is China’s one-child-policy which was incorporated into Chinese society in 1990 which made is compulsory that mothers only have one child. The policy was incorporated because the government realized that if birth rates stayed the same, as they were pre-1990, then the country would head into famine. The policy resulted in 400 million fewer births and averted the famine. The population policy that the Chinese took on did achieve environmental sustainability because as China develops economically, their population will require a larger ecological footprint; and with one tenth of china’s 120 million hectares of arable land contaminated, the reduction of population benefited the country environmentally and led to slower and more sustainable development. Economists have viewed the one-child policy, as a necessary regulation to control what was China’s exponential population growth, which helped relieve resource scarcity, water supply, renewable energy sources, and environmental pollution.

Various population / resource theories show results of a populations that exceeds resources and are therefore not environmentally sustainable, compared to populations that are environmentally sustainable. Bangladesh for example has a very high population density, nearly 1142 people per square kilometer, this high density has lead to low resource availability for citizens and hence is not an environmentally sustainable environment. On the other hand, Canada has a fairly low population density of just 3.75 people per square kilometer and with high resources, Canada is environmentally sustainable; some even say that Canada is under populated and therefore Canada is lenient on in migration.
Similarly to this, Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) had the theory that when population overshoots a certain point (usually food production) there will be catastrophic effects. The club of Rome, in 1968 published a report called the ‘limit of growth’, which stated that population growth will lead to an increase in food demand and this will eventually lead to resource exhaustion, which is obviously not environmentally sustainable. To prevent resource exhaustion, the Club of Rome decided that we have to regulate population growth and reduce fertility- and that is...

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