Over two hundred years ago, Thomas Malthus predicted doom if human population continued to rise unabated. Though humanity is not likely to end soon, adverse effects have already began to be felt and if the situation remains unchecked, it will lead to catastrophic experiences that will are likely to make life unbearable. The issue of the rise in human population has continued to hit the global headlines for long with debates being on the increase whether the world's capacity is being stretched beyond its elasticity point. An in-depth look at the impact of overpopulation indicates that it has led to a number of problems among them being environmental pollution and resources depletion.
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Questions have raged for long whether it is over population that has led to the depletion of resources or whether it is man's irresponsibility. Though to blame depletion of resources wholly on overpopulation is an oversimplification, increased human population has indeed led to increased consumption and exploitation of the natural resources. An increase in population means increased demand for resources, and as these vital resources are in an inelastic supply; an exponential increase in the population hence strains the supply. Water, energy and land resources available in the planet are being strained by the increased population. As a number of scientists have observed, the increased demand placed on the earth has far outstretched the available resources. With overpopulation, water and food have diminished. Though there exist arguments to the contrary with some scholars claiming that the existing food is sufficient to meet the existing demands, it is more than apparent that the level is not sustainable. A look at the third world countries indicates they are the most affected.
The existing statistics are tilted to the disfavor of the developing world which at the moment house over 80% of the world's population. Projections are indicating that after the first half of this century, 86% of all human population will be in the third world countries. With resource levels already declining, this increase in population is likely to erupt into social and economic problems. The issue of depletion of natural resources is dominating the global spotlight and has evoked reaction from the conservationists. There are huge campaigns for developed world to lead the path towards the conservation of the environment and to use renewable sources of energy. Afforestation and also the insistence on the human non-encroachment of natural habitats is also another campaign aimed at conserving natural resources (Nelson 4).
Increased population has also led to the degradation and pollution of the environment. Currently, the eyes of the world are fixed on the raging debate on global warming, the impact that it is having on the world and the threat to humanity. Increased human activity has continued to emit gases causing the green gas effect and destroying the ozone layer. A look at the correlation between overpopulation and pollution has to focus at the various factors that have led to this. Population explosion has had an effect of rapid urbanization. The existing projections indicate that in a century's time, 75 percent of the population shall be residing in the urban areas mostly in the southern hemisphere. (Nelson11). A Look at most urban center today indicates that they are characterized by traffic congestion. Motor vehicles emission is rated as the number one cause of air pollution. There are a number of causes of pollution and while they cannot all be linked to overpopulation, the growth in population is the leading factor.
The effects of global warming have captured global attention and have raised concerns over the need to limit gas emissions and also take positive steps towards reducing environmental pollution. There is a flurry of activities to ensure that this is achieved with campaigns directed to the United States and china which lead in greenhouse gas emissions. There are government regulations put into place to ensure that people reduce the use of products that increase environmental pollution.
Indeed the problems associated with overpopulation are immense but the most important range between environmental pollution and natural resources depletion. Increased population has led to increased demand for resources and human settlement is encroaching into the natural habitat. Water, land and essential minerals are being depleted as days pass by. Human population also leads to increased pollution due to intensification of activities that cause pollution. Steps are being taken to address the issue of overpopulation and also conserve the environment.
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