The Effects of Overpopulation on the Environment
The world population reached 6 billion, on October 12, 1999. It will
reach 9.3 billion by 2050. The impacts of continued population growth
are already felt by a majority of nations. Overpopulation is the root
cause of most environmental problems. The demands of increasing
population magnify demands for natural resources, clean air and water,
as well as access to wilderness areas. This means an increase in the
demand for living space. The quality of life for future generations
depends on stabilising both domestic and world population.
The dramatic rise, in population has transpired for several reasons;
1) Decreasing death rates in poorer countries, due to medical
enhancements, better nutrition and improved sanitation.
2) Modern agricultural methods, can now sustain the level of food
production, with the level of food demand.
3) High mortality balanced by a high birth rate led to stable
populations before the rapid growth in the eighteenth century (the
introduction of modern medicine & agriculture)
4) Religious beliefs that promote large families and lack of education
for women in poorer countries hamper the ability to control
5) Only Western forms of birth control techniques and educational
programs will slow birth rates. In all under-developed countries,
providing basic is education is difficult.
The increase in population is not the only pressure on the enviroment.
Increasing living standards amongst, developed countries, demands more
from the enviroment.
These two factors mean that;
1) Raw materials (including non-renewable energy resources) are
rapidly being used up.
2) More and more waste is being produced.
3) Unless waste is properly handled more pollution will be caused.
When the Earth's population was smaller, the...