A WHO report shows that environmental degradation, combined with the growth in world population, is a major cause of the rapid increase in human diseases, which contributes to the malnutrition of 3.7 billion people worldwide, making them more susceptible to disease. According to the World Health Organization, “Every three seconds a young child dies - in most cases from an infectious disease. In some countries, one in five children die before their fifth birthday. Every day 3 000 people die from malaria - three out of four of them children. Every year 1.5 million people die from tuberculosis and another eight million are newly infected.” Overpopulation exacerbates many social and environmental factors, including overcrowded living conditions, pollution, malnutrition and inadequate or non-existent health care, which wreak havoc on the poor and increase their likelihood of being exposed to infections diseases. As human overpopulation drives resources and basic necessities, such as food and water, to become scarcer, there will be increased competitiveness for these resources which leads to elevated crime rates due to drug cartels and theft by people in order to survive. As Aisha Tariq of the Pakistan Times states, “It has been observed that the countries which have balanced population, crime rate is very low in such regions. When people are not provided with the basic necessities, it elevates crime rate.” Every twenty minutes, the human population grows by over 3000. That’s the same amount of time that it takes for another plant or animal species to become entirely extinct (the rate of species extinction is roughly 27,000 per year).
According to a Harvard study, “Over the next forty years, nearly all (97%) of the 2.3 billion projected increase will be in the less developed regions, with nearly half (49%) in Africa.” Already strained with relentless population explosion, many developing countries, such as in Sub Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, will experience a degradation of their quality and length of life as they face increasing difficulties to supply water, food, energy and housing to their growing populations, which will have major repercussions for public health, security measures and economic growth. These situations are especially dire for populations in Uganda, Nigeria, and Bangladesh, which will double and, in some cases, even triple over the next 40 years. Even if a benign ruler of the world imposed a limit of 2.1 children per family right now, population would continue to increase for a full generation before stabilising. That’s because the current generation of children would grow up to have children while their parents (and in some cases grandparents) were still alive. Of course, increasing women’s rights and women’s education around the world has been shown to be the most effective and fair route to lowering the birth rate.
As population densities increase, laws, which serve as a primary social mediator of relations between people, will more frequently regulate interactions between humans and develop a need for more rules and restrictions to regulate these interactions. Aldous Huxley predicted in 1958 that democracy is threatened due to overpopulation and could give rise to totalitarian style governments and it turns out he was right. Rules and restrictions can be good ideas, but only because they are necessary in order to accommodate the growing populations that are encouraging such policies. Without these policies, the global ecological crisis, and the societal and economic issues that ensue, would be worse than they are today. Examples of such restrictions would be putting limits on water consumption, on driving and on what people can do on their land. Some are good ideas while others may be too invasive, but all are exacerbated by overpopulation.
Population growth isnâ€™t going to just put a strain on resources, it will put a strain on freedoms. The freedom to travel, the freedom to visit areas rich in natural resources, the freedom to choose what food you eat and the freedom to be effectively represented by government are just a few examples. When you calculate out the anticipated resources that will be available in A.D. 2100, the optimal world population would be about two billion people. That would give people a standard of living of about half of what Americans experienced in the 1990s. The actual anticipated world population by A.D. 2100 is over 11 billion, according to the U.N. The population of the United States tripled during the 20th century. But even more than the population increase was the consumption increase. Consumption of raw materials in the same time increased by seventeen times, yet American society is presently much more concerned about population growth than the consumerism growth it worships.
Human beings are currently causing the greatest mass extinction of species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago at rates 1000 to 10,000 times faster than normal. The 2012 update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species shows that of the 63,837 species examined worldwide, 19,817 are threatened with extinction - nearly a third of the total. If present trends continue, scientists warn that within a few decades, at least half of all plant and animal species on Earth will be extinct, as a result of climate change, habitat loss, pollution, acidifying oceans, invasive species, over-exploitation of natural resources, overfishing, poaching and human overpopulation. Human overpopulation has been dominating planetary physical, chemical, and biological conditions and limits, with an annual absorption of 42% of the Earthâ€™s terrestrial net primary productivity, 30% of its marine net primary productivity, 50% of its fresh water, 40% of its land devoted to human food production, up from 7% in 1700, 50% of its land mass being transformed for human
use and atmospheric nitrogen being fixated by humans than all other natural processes combined. Compared to the natural background rate of one extinction per million species per year, we are now losing 30,000 species per year, or three species per hour, which is faster than new species can evolve. The chart below further exemplifies the correlation between human population and species extinction.Human beings are currently causing the greatest mass extinction of species since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago at rates 1000 to 10,000 times faster than normal. The 2012 update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species shows that of the 63,837 species examined worldwide, 19,817 are threatened with extinction - nearly a third of the total. If present trends continue, scientists warn that within a few decades, at least half of all plant and animal species on Earth will be extinct, as a result of climate change, habitat loss, pollution, acidifying oceans, invasive species, over-exploitation of natural resources,.
Human overpopulation is a major driving force behind the loss of ecosystems, such as rainforests, coral reefs, wetlands and Arctic ice. Rainforests once covered 14% of the Earth’s land surface, now they cover a bare 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years and certainly by the end of the century at the current rate of deforestation. Due mainly to warming temperatures, acidifying oceans and pollution, close to 30% of the ocean’s reefs have already vanished since 1980, including half of the reefs in the Caribbean and 90% of the Philippines’ coral reefs, and scientists forecast that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef may be dead by the year 2050 and all coral reefs could be gone by the end of the century. Furthermore, the area of permanent ice cover is now declining at a rate of 11.5% per decade, relative to the 1979 to 2000 average. If this trend continues, summers in the Arctic could become ice-free in as few as 4 years or in the next 30 years. Wetlands are increasingly under threat in the United States, but also all over the world. In the U.S., less than half of original wetlands remain with 53% being lost, which is about 104 million acres. In Europe, between 60% and 70% of wetlands have been completely destroyed. As human populations continue to grow, so will our footprint on the interconnected, ecological infrastructures of life. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, “The largest single threat to the ecology and biodiversity of the planet in the decades to come will be global climate disruption due to the buildup of human-generated greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. People around the world are beginning to address the problem by reducing their carbon footprint through less consumption and better technology. But unsustainable human population growth can overwhelm those efforts, leading us to conclude that we not only need smaller footprints, but fewer feet.” Every national academy of science of every major country in the world agrees. Every professional scientific society in every field related to the field of climate endorses it. 97-98 percent of all scientists that are most active in publishing in the field of climate science agree with it. The consensus is unequivocal: human activities are causing climate change. The effects of climate change are profound and far-reaching. Learning the hard way that we can’t separate the economy from the ecological systems that support it, climate change, perhaps the greatest challenge and threat humanity has ever faced, has been left largely unchecked by world leaders to continue unabated threatening the basis of civilization itself.