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Introduction to Overpopulation

Overpopulation is an undesirable condition where the number of existing human

population exceeds the carrying capacity of Earth. Overpopulation can further be

viewed, in a long term perspective, as existing when a population cannot be maintained

given the rapid depletion of non-renewable resources or given the degradation of the

capacity of the environment to give support to the population.

Causes
Overpopulation is caused by number of factors. Reduced mortality rate, better medical

facilities and depletion of precious resources are few of the causes which results in

overpopulation.

From a historical perspective, technological revolutions have coincided with population

explosions. There have been three major technological revolutions the tool-making

revolution, the agricultural revolution, and the industrial revolution all of which allowed

humans more access to food, resulting in subsequent population explosions. Significant

increases in human population occur whenever the birth rate exceeds the death rate for

extended periods of time. Traditionally, the fertility rate is strongly influenced by cultural

and social norms that are rather stable and therefore slow to adapt to changes in the

social, technological, or environmental conditions. For example, when death rates fell

during the 19th and 20th century as a result of improved sanitation, child

immunizations, and other advances in medicine allowing more newborns to survive,

the fertility rate did not adjust downward fast enough, resulting in significant population

growth. Prior to these changes, seven out of ten children died before reaching

reproductive age, while today about 95% of newborns in industrialized nations reach

adulthood.
Psychological factors

Human psychology and the cycle of entrenched poverty, as well as the rest of the

world's reaction to it, are also causative factors. Areas with greater burden of disease

and warfare, contrary to popular belief, do not experience less population growth over

the long term, but far more over a sustained period as poverty becomes further

entrenched. This is because parents and siblings who have experienced calamitous

conditions suffer from a kind of post-traumatic stress syndrome about losing their family

members and overcompensate by having "extra" babies. These extra babies and

calamities fuel a vicious cycle, and only in the small minority of cases does it cease. As

this cycle is compounded over generations, calamities such as disaster or war take on a

multiplier effect. For example, the AIDS crisis in Africa is said to have killed 30 million to

date, yet during the last two decades money and initiatives to lower population growth

by contraception have been sidelined in favor of combating HIV, feeding the population

explosion that we see in Africa today. In 1990, this continent's population was roughly

600 million; today it is over 1,050 million, 150 million more than if the HIV/AIDS crisis

had never occurred.

Effects on climate
Depletion of Natural Resources: The Earth can only produce a limited amount of water

and food, which is falling short of the current needs. Most of the environmental damage

being seen in the last fifty years is because of the growing number of people on the

planet.

Degradation of Environment: With the overuse of coal, oil and natural gas, it has started

producing some serious effects on our environment. Rise in the number of vehicles and

industries has badly affected the quality of air. Rise in amount of CO2 emissions leads
to global warming. Melting of polar ice caps, changing climate patterns and rise in sea

level are few of the consequences that we might have to face due to environment

pollution.

Destruction of natural habitats: The ever growing population needs to settle in new

areas, which in turns means that wildlife habitats are turning into urban blocks, further

aiding the decrease in the number of specie worldwide.

Effects on modern society


Degrading of life quality: The rise of large urban areas has led to an increase in poverty

and squalor, which in turn creates a host of additional issues, creating a chain reaction.

The life quality of people in countries with high population growth is constantly

degrading and this leads to mass immigration, war and further demographic problems.

Rise in unemployment and cost of living: the massive number of available workforce

means that only the most skilled and qualified people will be able to work, driving an

ever growing group of people to unemployment. Furthermore, high demand means that

commodities such as food, healthcare, electricity and other basic but important products

are becoming more and more pricy and inaccessible.

Ways to decrease the issue


Better Education: One of the first measures is to implement policies reflecting social

change. Educating the masses helps them understand the need to have one or two

children maximum. Families that are facing a hard life and choose to have four or five

children should be discouraged. Additionally governments could raise awareness

among people regarding family planning and let them know about the side effects of
overpopulation. Lastly we could try to inform people of all ages about contraceptive

methods.

Government policies: Despite the failure of the controversial one-child policy that China

recently dropped off, there are some ways that governments could control the

population. If African governments for example designed tax bonuses for families with

fewer children, then parents wouldnt have to make 5-6 children to support the family.

That of course cannot be achieved by the economically and politically weak African

states. It is evident that an international solution is all but inevitable.

Greece and population demographics


When it comes to our country, Greece, does not have an overpopulation problem. On

the contrary it has deficit of births. Greece as a country is getting old according to the

demographics publicized by Eurostat. Its indicative that in 2012 the population of our

country was reduced by 5, 5% while the same year the population of the E.E. increased

by 2,2%. During 2012 100.371 births and 116.700 deaths were recorded, while the

same year 44.000 residents left Greece. Births during 2013 totaled in 94.134 presenting

a decrease in relation with last years 100.371 births. Whats more, the second biggest

demographic group in the country are pensioners and people above 65 years of age.

This causes logistic issues as well as gaps in the workforce.

The End?
There are some of the future scenarios that our planet is going to deal with in the near

future.

In 2041, we will not have a cheap source of energy; energy will be more expensive than

it is now. However, energy production will be more diverse and less centralized. Oil will
still be our primary energy source, but it will be much harder to extract, and much more

expensive.

Food production, for the most part, will not be reformed (or reform will be too late). The

oceans will be mostly depleted (though some areas will be protected and recovering).

Higher cost of living will result in more small-scale wars (most battles over food and

energy resources), and more revolutions. The most stable government configurations

will be those that manage to keep their poorest people well fed and adequately housed.

Governments that fail to do this will experience massive protests, revolutions, and

military coups.

According to projections, the world population will continue to grow until at least 2050,

with the population reaching 9 billion in 2040, and some predictions putting the

population in 2050 as high as 11 billion.

The world population is currently growing by approximately 74 million people per year.

Current predictions estimate that the world population will reach 9.0 billion around 2050,

assuming a decrease in average fertility rate from 2.5 down to 2.0.

Almost all growth will take place in the less developed regions, where today's 5.3 billion

population of underdeveloped countries is expected to increase to 7.8 billion in 2050. By

contrast, the population of the more developed regions will remain mostly unchanged, at

1.2 billion.

During 20132050, nine countries are expected to account for half of the world's

projected population increase: India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the

Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, United States, Ethiopia, and China, listed according to the

size of their contribution to population growth.


Global life expectancy at birth is expected to continue rising from 65 years to 75 years in

20452050. In the more developed regions, the projection is to 82 years by 2050.

Among the least developed countries, where life expectancy today is just under 50

years, it is expected to increase to 66 years by 20452050.

The population of 51 countries or areas is expected to be lower in 2050 than in 2005.

10) During 20152050, the net number of international migrants to more developed

regions is projected to be 98 million. Because deaths are projected to exceed births in

the more developed regions by 73 million during 20152050, population growth in those

regions will largely be due to international migration.

11) Birth rates are now falling in a small percentage of developing countries, while the

actual populations in many developed countries would fall without immigration.

Question:

What other solutions do you suggest regarding the issue of overpopulation?

Answer:

Better Education

Making People Aware of Family Planning

Tax Benefits or Concessions

Knowledge of Sex Education

Minimize your consumption

Use contraception

Do all you can to protect the environment

Question:

What do you believe is the worst case/ future scenario that could potentially happen?
Answer:

Wars

Expansive energy sources

Scarce food and water

Feeding on lab-created foods

Rebellions

Sources

Ecointernet Earth blog (http://ecointernet.org)

Conserve energy future (http://www.conserve-energy-future.com)

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_overpopulation)

The guardian (http://www.theguardian.com)

CIA world factbook : (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-

factbook/geos/gr.html)

J.D Moyer blog: (http://jdmoyer.com/2011/03/25/how-it-might-go-down/)