Overpopulation and why it matters more than you think

Overview
The human population is growing exponentially. Current estimates have the world population around 7 billion people with a jump to 10 billion expected by 2050. A lot of this population comes from Africa and parts of Asia. However the population of the united states continues to climb as well, with the average woman giving birth to 2.4 children during her life. This might not seem like a lot but when growth is exponential even a small gain over time will turn into huge number long term. If you want to see the united states numbers grow in real time you can check out this website from the us census bureau.
It shows that on an average in the united states we are gaining a person every 16 seconds (in terms of people born versus those that are passing away). This amounts to a net increase of 5400 people a day or almost 2 million a year in the United States alone.

How overpopulation affects the environment
Overpopulation is a serious issue when it comes to environmental concerns. This is due to the fact that everyone has a carbon footprint. While some work to reduce their carbon footprint many don’t do enough or anything at all. This means that as the population of the world increases the global carbon output increases as well. In fact many researchers believe that overpopulation is one of the worst (if not the top contender) causes of pollution. This line of thinking is easily backed up when you look at the data from both carbon reductions and population increases

For example a study in Portland Oregon from 2000-2005 showed that the average carbon footprint was reduced by 5%. However the population increased by 8%. This means that there was a net increase in carbon output from Portland residents in that time. It also important to note that while developed countries in general have a lower population growth than less developed countries, the average carbon emissions of developed countries is 3 to 4 times that of their less developed counterparts. That means that each additional person living in a country such as the united states or Australia has the same carbon output as 3 to 4 people in many of the countries in south america or Africa.


How it affects you
Overpopulation is a huge concern for global climate change. Hopefully everyone realizes how important global climate change is and how it affects us. The problem of population is deeper than just climate change though. Overpopulation raises additional risks of soil degradation, animal endangerment, loss of habitat, poverty, famine, overcrowding, smog and more. Overpopulation is definitely a big problem and it will affect you in your lifetime in at least one of the ways i just listed.

What can be done
There is a lot that can be done to help control overpopulation. Research shows that when people have access to affordable (preferably free) and effective contraception options, as well as proper reproductive care for women, that the average number of children per person goes down significantly. This suggests that people are having babies that they didn't plan and would not have had if they had access to additional resources.

Unfortunately reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies may not be enough. This means that people should consider having two natural children or less (one if conceiving as a single parent). This would guarantee that you only replace yourself and don’t increase the population count. If you wanted more than two children that adopting would still be an option. Of course this is something everyone must decide on their own or with their partner. However it is important to note that each additional child will that is born will account for far more pollution over their lifetime then you could save via any other carbon reduction method.

Further reading

Here is an article that goes far deeper into the numbers then i went

An interesting look at carbon emissions per ca pita by nation

Comments

Popular Posts