Sitting in your class right now may only be 30 people, and when you get home there might be 4 other people in the house. Your community or school many seem small, but the world population is growing at an alarming rate. In twelve years from 1999-2011, one billion people were born in this world. Just alone in the 20th century, the U.S population tripled (“10 key facts and statistics about overpopulation”). These numbers might not seem astonishing but with 7.7 billion people in this world, there is bound to be a crisis. A global crisis would have to effect a majority of the population, the environment, and cause harm or disruption to something. Overpopulation is an undesirable situation in which the number of people in an area exceeds the capacity in which the environment can sustain. The depletion of natural resources, limited food available, and the increasing emergence of epidemics are crucial reasons that overpopulation has affected this planet and its people, and should be considered a global crisis.
Throughout the world us humans have limited natural resources, and the little resources we have left are being depleted as we speak due to too many people needing them. The world’s population is greatly affecting our amount of freshwater. We all need water to survive and currently our freshwater supply is running out. According to the article “Human population” from the website Gale in Context , “Only 1 percent of the world’s freshwater supply is currently accessible. Should the human population continue to use water at current rates, the demand for fresh water will require the use of 70 percent of the world’s available supply by 20205.” With a small amount of the world’s water supply available and it being used at alarming rates, water is going to become a scarce element. However, humans, plants, and animals need water to survive for everyday functions, and without that our population will be in trouble. With more and more and more people on this earth using fresh water, the less there will be per person to sustain our overpopulated earth.
Furthermore, the limited amount of food to feed the population is a big factor of why overpopulation is a concern. Although in some countries people are overweight and consume too much food, 89.4 percent of the population is healthily nourished, leaving 10.6 percent of the world population undernourished (Roser and Ritchie). That is roughly 700,400,00 people without proper nutrients and possibly starving due to lack of food from not enough food. It is difficult enough to feed a small country, let alone an entire populated planet. With more people being born, the more mouths there are to feed. However, not enough crops and production of food are produced to properly feed billions of people to have them nourished and not hungry. The limited food produced is simply not able to sustain a overpopulated planet.
Also, the most amount of hunger is found in developing countries. According to an article written by the Population Reference Bureau Combining Malnutrition with more than income growth, “Poorer populations often lack access to the right variety of foods and the right amount of foods, leading to inadequate nutrition.” In poorer countries the average household income is far less than a developed country, which leaves little room for expenses. Wealthier populations have access to buy more diverse foods that are richer in essential nutrients as to where poorer countries often lack access to a wider variety of foods, and the right amount of nutrients, leading to inadequate nutrition. An inadequate nutrition is a clear effect of lack of proper food.
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Additionally, overpopulation is becoming a global crisis because of the increasing emergence of epidemics. The increasing emergence of epidemics is made in part by poor environmental conditions mainly found in developing countries with high populations. “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.” With more people being born into undesirable living conditions, the higher poverty they are living in. The more impoverished someone is the more malnourished they are likely to become. Therefore the more malnourished someone is, the more susceptible to disease they are. This resembles a domino effect that shows when there is overpopulation, people are becoming sick and dying.
Not only has overpopulation caused people to become more susceptible to disease, but there has also been a rise in HIV and unwanted pregnancies from the lack of medical assistance and non-existent healthcare. For example, “In Africa, extreme poverty has forced many women into the “sex for fish” trade, in which they are intimate with local fisherman in exchange
for a portion of the daily catch.” This practice enlarges the spread of HIV and makes undesirable pregnancies more probable. Because most women in less- developed countries and regions like Africa has limited or no access to a doctor, healthcare, or contraceptives, the more likely they are to have an unwanted pregnancy, in the end likely having a malnourished child.
On the other hand, some people could argue that overpopulation is not a global crisis because of rapidly growing information utility and more smarter people working. “With twice as many people doing jobs like these, we could all get roughly twice the benefits (more art, culture, science, technology), or they could work roughly half as many hours. A larger population thus has the potential to make life much better.” However, we will not have the people to do more specialized work and get the benefits if we cannot feed them. “The earth’s population is expected to grow 9.7 billion over the next 33 years. That’s a lot of mouths to feed, especially when you consider the vast hunger issues the world faces today.” With the population growing at an increasing rate every day, it will be difficult for an environment to sustain that many people keep them properly nourished. Overall, some could argue that with the more people we have, the smarter we will be and the more information we will have, the downside to this is the fact that we have to still be fed and live in a sustainable environment.
In conclusion, overpopulation has been and will continue to be a global crisis in our world today due to the depletion of natural resources, limited food available for everyone, and the increasing emergence of epidemics. Our planet’s health and wellness along with the people and animals living in it are being affected by the overpopulation of people on Earth. Thomas Malthus has been commenting on overpopulation since the 1800’s and today it is still a problem that effects our entire planet. Overpopulation will continue to be a global crisis until we do something about it.