With the population of people living on planet Earth recently reaching 7 billion, people from all around the world were left celebrating over this remarkable landmark. It is certainly astounding to think that in the early 1900’s the population had only just surpassed the 1 billion mark and now just over a century later the population has multiplied itself approximately 7 times. As great as all of this is scientists, geographers etc… have warned the human race of the problems that we could potentially face if the population continues to rise at this rapid rate. They have looked into such things as we’ll we have enough resources to supply for everyone, e.g. will there be enough water for everyone to survive? Other things includes whether we will have a reliable source of energy after fossil fuels run out. Ultimately the question we are left with is ‘Can the Earth cope with the world’s growing population?’ In this essay I will be addressing this question and critically evaluating it looking at various articles from different sources and trying to present both sides to the argument. There are obviously two answers to this question. The first being well yes we can cope with the world’s growing population and we will find a way to do so. The second being no we can’t cope with the world’s population if it continues to rise at this rate. I will also be looking at whether there is an optimum population we can reach and what number scientists think this optimum population level is. Firstly if we look at the problems that could arise due to a rapidly increasing population. Already as the population stands there are 1/7 of the population that are deprived of enough food and drinking water. If the population continues to rise then this number will also rise. (1) If we can’t keep everyone out of poverty as it is surely increasing the population is a ridiculous idea. Another problem that is caused by the increasing population is the fact that global warming is already a real problem with the population already emitting too many greenhouse gases. Increasing the population will ultimately lead to a higher emission rate of greenhouse gases from the population and make global warming an already bigger problem than it is. Considering that global warming is already responsible for disrupting our ecosystems and threatening billions of people with dislocation, making it worse is surely not a viable option. Next, energy sources such as wood and oil are already becoming scarce and are also becoming harder to find and extract. So unless we quickly find a new energy source which is reliable and will be able to cater for the growing population we could be left facing a real problem. Due to population pressures, people now live in areas that are basically unsafe. Hundreds of thousands of people died in 2010-2011 because they lived on floodplains in Pakistan or by the tsunami-prone coast of Japan. These regions were sparsely populated 30 years ago. Population growth also shows a strong correlation with the number of people living in poverty. If the population continues to grow at the current rate this will create a greater divide between the wealthy and the poor and lead to greater complication over the Earth’s finite resources. Increased number of people means and increased number of cars, motorcycles, planes, trams, etc… which will increase the traffic over the world and also lead to more pollution being emitted. (2) Roger Martin who is chairman of the Optimum Population Trust has expressed how worried he is about the problems that could arise from the growing population and he believes the Earth will soon reach an optimum population. He believes if we exceed this number than we will see extreme poverty and the Earth will face massive problems regarding resources and supplies. “The world needs to wake up to the fact that population growth is a driver of all environmental problems, on a par in importance with climate change,” says Roger Martin,...
Bibliography: 1) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/philipjohnston/5155095/Can-the-world-cope-with-billions-more-people.html Phillip Johnson April 2009
2) http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2013/09/27/how-the-world-can-get-a-handle-on-population-growth Hannah Gais September 2013
3) http://www.howmany.org/big_picture.php Institute for population studies 2010
4) http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jan/14/population-explosion-seven-billion Leo Hickman January 2011
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