“Whether we accept it or not, this will likely be the century that determines what the optimal human population is for our planet. It will come about in one of two ways: Either we decide to manage our own numbers, to avoid a collision of every line on civilization’s graph – or nature will do it for us, in the form of famines, thirst, climate chaos, crashing ecosystems, opportunistic disease and wars over dwindling resources that finally cut us down to size” – Alan Weisman A striking quote, if I may say so myself. It embraces and implies in one whole thought the problem of a majority of the countries all over the world are currently facing, the same problem our country has; overpopulation. First and foremost, what exactly does the term “overpopulation” mean? What does it refer to? Can it be stereotyped as something bad or is it actually a good thing? Arbitrarily speaking, like all other things, overpopulation has its pros and cons. According to the Merriam-webster dictionary overpopulation is “the condition of having a population so dense as to cause environmental deterioration, an impaired quality of life or a population crash” whereas according to Wikipedia, “overpopulation occurs when a population of species exceeds the carrying capacity of its ecological niche. It is a function of the number of individuals compared to the relevant resources such as, the water and essential nutrients they need to survive which can result from an increase in births, a decline in mortality rates, an increase in immigration or an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources.” Note that the prefix 'over' applied to other word case scenarios indicate 'more than desirable', this may also be applied to the word overpopulation. According to Casey B. Mulligan’s article, “The More the Merrier: Population Growth Promotes Innovation” she focuses on the conclusion that population growth should not be controlled in order to combat global warming, and other world problems since other economists ignore the significant economic benefits of large populations thus implicating that overpopulation is not a burden for a country but more or less an advantage. She justifies her point by quoting the director general of UNICEF, “Family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race” which strongly accentuates her belief that the larger the population, the more viable advantages it brings. One of the benefits of reduced population, it is claimed, is reduced carbon emissions and therefore mitigation of climate change. This statement takes technology for granted, yet technology itself depends on population. The more people on earth, the greater the chance that one of them has an idea of how to improve alternative energy or how to mitigate the climate effects of carbon emissions. It takes only one person to have an idea that can benefit many which focuses on appeal for innovation but this may only happen when the people in said community are encouraged to become responsible and productive. Many scientists agree that the human population is quickly reaching the point at which the planet will be unable to sustain it. This growth has placed a huge strain on the planet's finite resources and done serious economic damage to nations all over the world, but some people, aside from Casey B. Mulligan, believe that there are a few advantages to having an ever-growing worldwide population. Among the other advantages or benefits of overpopulation is (1) increased labour forces resulting to increase in produced goods and services thus providing an economic boost, (2) more minds or ideas that will generate greater technologies in the future and (3) increased military might. But, are these advantages enough to encourage overpopulation to just continue as it is now? There are a lot of questions and controversies linked to the fast growing issues about the population with...
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