Overpopulation issue today

Overpopulation and Natural Resources

One issue most people have experienced at one time or another is crowds. Nobody likes crowds so people learn how to go places when the number of people at a store, a movie theater, or on the roads is typically at its lowest level. When cities become overcrowded because the population continues to grow people seek out alternative housing and work outside the city. Outside the city limits, contractors build new homes, condominiums, and shopping centers to accommodate the new population.

Reduction of Natural Resources

New construction in untainted lands sounds like an ideal solution to the overcrowding in cities. The truth is when new construction on untainted lands occurs due to overpopulation new problems arise. Although these new developments might provide a temporary fix, the truth of the matter is they are using up vital natural resources. Each new business, home, or mega mansion built requires land and building materials. Unless the materials used are recycled materials the depletion of the limited natural resources of the world continues.

Reduction in Farmland

Another aspect to overpopulation and excessive construction is the depletion of farmland. Without adequate farmland, the amount of food grown to feed the ever growing populous continues to diminish. Currently there are countries around the world that lack adequate farmland. A lack of adequate farmland and ultimately food resources coupled with an excessive growth in population leads to issues that include hunger, health issues, and ultimately death via starvation in many cases.

Freshwater Concerns

Food and land resources are not the only concerns related to overpopulation. One of the biggest concerns is that of fresh water supplies. With so many people using up the fresh water resources, there is the very real possibility of freshwater lakes going dry. When this occurs, people that rely on that fresh water source have nothing. Changes in rain levels and snowpack are also direct contributors to fresh water levels.

The argument that overpopulation would ultimately lead to an end to the world’s food supply started back in 1798 with Thomas Malthus. He published, An Essay on the Principle of Population. In his publication, he suggested that within the span of a few decades people around the world would no longer have an ample food supply. Despite his suggestion, the world, with a population of over seven billion, still maintains resources to feed most people. There is no denying that hunger does occur in places around the world.

Although it may appears as though the world has an abundance of land and resources to accommodate the world’s estimated seven billion people the reality is that is a false statement. It is apparent when looking at underdeveloped countries where drought, famine, and a mass exodus are the norm. Depending upon which direction the birth and mortality rates shift the world could find itself in a very precarious situation. A situation could develop where the need to control the world’s food, water, and other resources turn to a basis for wars.

Resources

  • http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/human-overpopulation-still-an-issue-of-concern/
  • http://planetsave.com/2012/05/27/over-population-the-most-serious-environmental-problem-for-science/
  • http://www.globalissues.org/issue/198/human-population

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