The Devastating Effects of Overpopulation
Imagine living in a world where darkness reigns continually due to a dense cover of toxic air pollution which blocks most sunlight. Starvation and death from the lack of energy resources is widespread and the people who have not perished yet live packed together, in overcrowded communities surrounded by waste and filth. This grotesque picture of future life on earth may seem far-fetched but with the continued rise in population and the abuse of our planet by billions, this scenario may be closer to reality then previously thought.
The Earth will soon not be able to sustain life if the population continues to escalate. With the constantly rising numbers of humans, vital resources needed to survive are becoming extinct and the environment is being polluted as to almost make life unbearable. Every individual will need to open his or her eyes to this growing and potentially devastating problem and take the necessary measures to stop it.
Is the planet really overpopulated? The estimated population of Earth is 5.5 billion people with an annual growth rate of 1.7%. This rate accounts for approximately 93 million births yearly (Daily 1). This means that the world’s population has more than doubled since 1950 and it is projected to continue to 8.2 billion by 2025 and eventually reach 14 billion in 2100 (Miller 1). Earth has a finite amount of resources and a fixed size but the number of people and the resources we consume per capita is continually
escalating. With this increase the carrying capacity of earth, which is to
say the number of living things a given area can support, is being threatened
and our planet may not be able to support its' inhabitants indefinitely. According to Paul Erlich, a leading authority on overpopulation issues, humans have exceeded carrying capacity already. As a result of this, he predicts a drastic population decrease due to insufficient resources to sustain human life in the near future (Daily 3).
There are two main contributors to overpopulation; a decrease in the
death rate and a rise in life expectancy. Professor of Microbiology, John B. Hall
claims that if we value human culture and a high standard of living
in general, there is evident need for an end to further growth of the Earth's population (Hall 67).
A study done by the National Center for Health Statistics - Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, in 1995, reported that in the United
States there is a continuing decease in death rates and an increase in life
expectancy from birth. The decrease in mortality is due to preventative
technology and treatments of major health problems such as cancer and heart
disease. The mortality rate was estimated to be at 503.9 per
100,000 deaths annually (Mortality 1). This analysis also found that at
birth the life expectancy was at a record high of 75.8 years (1).
The increase in the...