There are approximately 6 billion people on our planet now and by 2050 that number is expected to jump to 9 billion people. (http://www.prb.org/datafind/datafinder5.htm) Picture yourself driving down a crowded street or stuck in a traffic jam, have you ever wondered how it is possible for that many people to live all on the same planet.
I have had those thoughts several times and believe that overpopulation is one of the biggest problems in the world today. Overpopulation has become a major crisis in the twenty-first century and it’s detrimental affect on our living standards, environment, and much needed resources. The problem is not the number of people in this world, but the way people choose to live. The dilemmas created by overpopulation affect people of all races and social status. This is why we as the “human race” must work together to preserve our planet and necessary resources before it is too late.
The living standards embraced by today’s population causes people to consume more resources, which in turn produces more waste and raises life expectancy.
New industrial developments have provided a sense of stability and a lot more jobs for the people in their surrounding communities. Also, the increase in wages has allowed people to have larger families because they are able to support them financially. Statistics show that a child born in the U.S. today will produces 52 tons of waste and consume 11 million gallons of water by the age of 27. (“World Overpopulation Awareness” 2001) This is only one person; imagine what the numbers would look like for the entire population.
Certain illnesses and diseases can be linked to the exposure the abundant amount of waste products and have a tendency to be more devastation and promenade in overpopulated areas.
Fortunately, advances in the medical field, better doctors and new medications have all played a part in the decrease of these illnesses and have increased the life expectancy for people today versus 10, 20, and 30 years ago. The longer people live, the more influence their living standards have on the consumption of resources, disposal of wastes, and overall growing population.
A more serious issue brought about by overpopulation also has an effect on the environment. The growth in the population has created a need for more energy to be produced. Energy is an important resource that is in constant demand, regardless of the pollution it disperses into our air and water.
Air and water pollution can cause health problems and environmental issues which should not be overlooked, for the sake of our future and our children’s futures. The products used in this process release fumes into the air we breathe and are mostly invisible to the human eye. Air pollution rises into the atmosphere and combines with the moisture in the air and it causes acid rain. Acid rain then begins to contaminate our lakes and soil, as well as our drinking water, plants, and animals we consume. Some of the things we should do to lessen the amount of pollution immersed into our environment include, car-pooling, turning off lights when not in use, and even turning off the water while brushing your teeth. We definitely need energy to increase industrial developments, but we need to be smart about how we use it before it depletes every source of clean air and water available to us.
A more commonly recognized issue created by overpopulation is the shortage of food, water, and shelter to accommodate all 6 billion people. Food and water are vital resources needed to just maintain existence. Having a place to live is a much-needed luxury that gives us protection from the environment and has even become a necessity in today’s civilization. The increase in people means having to increase the amounts of food, water and shelter required to fulfill our human needs. The problem is there is only so much land left on this planet that we can use for food production and home building. Who decides what is more important? The amount of available land is decreasing just as fast as the need for these resources is increasing which creates a tremendous imbalance.
What happens when we run out .