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This Essay Is About Overpopulation And How It Effects The People, The Environment And The Individual. This Essay Is 20 Pages In Length And Is Very Extensive.

7418 words - 30 pages

OverpopulationThe Book of Genesis tells the story of creation of man. God said to man, "befruitful and increase in numbers; fill the earth and subdue it." Prior to thenineteenth century, it was believed that God would provide for those who cameinto the world (Day 101). But, in 1798, this view was shaken by Thomas Malthus'An Essay on the Principle of Population, in which he concluded that whilepopulation increases geometrically, agricultural production only increasesarithmetically. Current evidence shows that this theory may not be far from thetruth. The world population reached 6 billion on October 12, 1999, and isexpected to reach 9.3 billion by 2050! The impact of population growth isalready felt by a majority of nations. The U.S. population has increased by 78%since 1950. Growing at 3,000,000 per year, U.S. population is expected toapproach half a billion people in 50 years1. A number of factors drive thisgrowth. At the most basic level, it is because far more people are born eachyear than die. Advances in nutrition and health care have increased survivalrates and longevity for much of the world, and shifted the balance betweenbirths and deaths.The demands of increasing population magnify demands for natural resources,clean air and water, as well as access to wilderness areas. In the future, whenthere are not enough resources to go around, we will see significant scarcity,and a backlash of poverty. A number of problems lie behind scarcity and poverty.Ultimately, our own numbers, and the lifestyles many of us choose to live, driveall the critical issues we confront. Left unchecked, the combination ofpopulation growth and consumption- along with increasing inequity between richand poor individuals and nations-will soon threaten not only the well-being, buteven the lives of a majority of people on this planet.When population levels reach a critical threshold, we then see both a decline inthe resource base, and damage to the environment, which supplies all thoseresources. These trends reinforce each other - the damaged environment providesfewer resources, and the shortage of resources causes us to further damage theenvironment. World energy needs are projected to double in the next severaldecades, but no credible geologist foresees a doubling of world oil production,which is projected to peak within the next few decades. Many `growth' advocateswill argue that the natural ingenuity of people will overcome any problems thatpopulation growth creates. Advocates of `sustainability' argue that increasingpopulation and consumption are already causing massive damage to the planet andthat soil erosion, extinction of species, pollution of air and water, anddeforestation are all indicators of exceeding carrying capacity. Deforestationis driven by a wide range of social and economic forces, but underlying them allis the severe growth of human population and the rising demand for land andforest products such growth creates2. Due to overpopulation, and...

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