Population Growth and the Ecological Balance
GEO 702: Technology and Contemporary Environment
Professor Valentina Capurri
Student Name Zohra Mohammad
Student Number 500 383 844
Submission Date 05/11/2014
With the rapid growth of population in various areas of the world, the global leaders have taken a moment to realize the consequences and the impact this is having on the ecological balance of the earth. While there are several ways in which humans are responsible for the disturbance of ecological balance on earth, for example through chemicals released into the atmosphere through manufacturing and driving, resource availability and climatic factors, this report focuses on the major issue at hand which happens to be the rapid growth of population. Although it can be argued that population growth is healthy for many countries and the development of their nation, there are adverse consequences to the exponential growth taking place on our planet, for example the degradation of living standards in these high populated countries. This report will outline the reasons behind population growth, the impacts population growth has on the ecological balance, provide ways to slow down the excessive population growth and safeguarding the ecological balance. Some readers may question the importance of ecological balance, but it is important to note that ecological balance creates a sustainable environment. It provides a capacity for the earth’s natural and human systems to survive, flourish and adapt to change. Whereas an unbalanced ecology will cause a country to be unstable and unsustainable which can cause total ecological collapse. So how does population growth cause this ecological collapse? Let’s use rabbits as a hypothetical example to describe the negative effects of population growth. If rabbits were to rapidly reproduce for a few generations, at first this would devastate local plant life and predators such as foxes would have a population boom due the rapid increase in food sources. However, once the plant food supply has been exhausted, the rabbits will begin to starve and eventually be wiped out as would their predators. In turn, this will eventually lead to total ecological collapse. From this example we can grasp the main factors that are caused from population growth. First, when population grows there is a greater necessity for natural services and resources. Sometimes these resources are readily available, but only to a certain limit. If there is a rapid growth in population, the renewable resources may not be able to keep up with this vast growth. Second, population growth greatly contributes to degrading our life-support system. Due to rapid growths, the earth’s natural resources cannot keep up with the massive and vast expansion, therefore causing negative effects to our life-support system. It is important to now verify the reasons behind this exponential growth in the human population. There are three major factors to consider which are the development of technologies, the development of modern agriculture and finally the drop of death rates. It was during the early ages of human history that the development of technology had a significant impact on the excessive growth of population as a large labour force was required to undertake construction and transportation. (Source: Boserup E, 1981) The second factor of the development of modern agriculture was due to the specialization of production units that allowed agriculture to become a modern miracle of food production. This in turn allowed for the growth in population as there was a rapid increase in food sources. (Source: Hamuda and Patko, 2010) Finally, it was after the 1950s when rates of population growth accelerated because of the rapid decline in mortality rates. This was mainly due to improved sanitation and health care that was developing globally. Although there is a decline in the annual exponential rate of growth this has not stopped...
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