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Which of the following are overpopulation issues
Which of the following are overpopulation issues?
What is overpopulation? Overpopulation is an undesirable condition where the number of the existing human population exceeds the carrying capacity of Earth. Although many people believe it’s not that big of a problem it is among the most pressing environmental issues. It is silently aggravating the forces behind global warming, climate change, loss of freshwater, the spread of disease, food, pollution, and waste.
Humans have greatly impacted the global environment. Throughout the course of history, the human population has rapidly increased. If the population continues to grow exponentially, by 2025 75% of the world’s population will be urban. For example, China is the most populated country in the world with 1.379 billion people and India is in second place with 1.324 billion. If India’s population continues to increase the way it is, it will overtake China by 2024. Together they make up 37% of the world’s population. The U.S. then comes in 3rd place with a population of 325.7 million. As the population continues to grow, Earth is reaching its limit capacity. As of right now, the world’s population is at 7.6 billion. This is due to the fact that every year the world’s population is expanding by 83 million people and Earth’s maximum carrying capacity is 10 billion. If consumption and population continue, by 2030 we will need the equivalent of 2 Earths to support humanity (Everything Connects,2014).
Human population growth is a major contributor to global warming and climate change because humans use fossil fuels to power the mechanized lifestyle. Most scientists agree that the main cause is greenhouse gases effect. According to the National Climate Assessment, human influences are the number one cause of global warming, especially the carbon pollution we cause by burning fossil fuels and the pollution-capturing we prevent by destroying forests. Carbon dioxide, methane, soot, and other pollutants released into the atmosphere act like a blanket that traps the sun’s heat, causing the planet to warm. Evidence shows that from 2010-2016 were hotter than any other decade in at least the past 1,300 years. This warming is altering the Earth’s climate system, including its land, atmosphere, oceans, and ice in far-reaching ways (Lallanilla,2018). As the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere continues to increase due to the greenhouse gases. Global warming will melt some of the polar ice caps, bringing greater risks of floods to low-lying and coastal regions worldwide. Heat waves, droughts, hurricanes, and torrential rain will become more common. Dry regions will become drier and wet regions will become wetter. By this Earth is set to become a hotter, drier, unhealthy, unstable, and dangerous place in the coming years.
As the population continues to grow the demand for water increases. 75% of Earth is covered with water, but 97.5% is the ocean. This leaves human beings with only 2.5% of freshwater. which is a problem because most of the freshwater is either unreachable or polluted and leaves humans with less than 1% of the world’s fresh water, or 0.003% of all water on Earth (Everything Connects,2014) At this point, fresh water is at least being consumed 10 times faster than it can be replenished. By 2030 half of the world’s inhabitants will be living in areas of acute water storage. Global warming is exacerbating and securing the global water crisis by increasing the intensity, frequency, and duration of heat waves and droughts. The melting of glaciers, which then mix with salt water that becomes too salty to drink leads to an increase in ocean volume. This causes sea levels to rise, contaminating freshwater sources along coastal regions. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, rising sea levels can turn coastal aquifers into saltwater and cause problems for the local water infrastructure that is known as the saltwater intrusion. An example is the Biscayne aquifer that supplies water to the Florida Keys. Rising sea levels would add saltwater to the Biscayne aquifer, making it saline. Across the planet, seawater is already encroaching, and it doesn’t take much of it to cause contamination because with just 2% salt water makes fresh water undrinkable, and 5% makes the water useless for farming (Everything connects,2014). Therefore, with more extreme weather events are created like hurricanes and floods that they can contaminate and destroy freshwater resources.
Likewise, not enough food is an overpopulation cause when it affects global warming. Global warming that is caused by humans is also the cause of water loss and many people not having enough food or no food at all. For instance, a year of not enough rain or too much rainfall, a hot spell or cold snap at the wrong time, or extreme flooding and storms, can have a significant effect on local crop yields and livestock production. With every 1 degree Celsius rise in global average temperature, yields for crops like rice-wheat will fall 10%.
In addition, more humans mean more houses will need to be built. This leaves fewer and fewer space for food to grow because about 99% of the world’s food supply comes from land, which is being lost at high rates. A food crisis is already happening in many parts of the world. Nearly 1,000 million people do not get enough food and over 400 million are chronically malnourished. Developing countries are already struggling for survival, as the population increases it will only get worse. By the year 2030, the demand for food will increase by 50%, leaving many people all over the world desperate for food. Being desperate for food will cause people to steal various items to feed their families, but those who haven’t yet suffered from this take food and water for granted.
Furthermore, diseases have been around for many years, but changing environmental conditions and human behavior affect the spread and impact of infectious diseases. Diseases like Lyme, malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, plague, and avian influenza, or blue flu can become more difficult to control and more widespread due to the climate change humans cause. As temperatures rise, diseases vectors can now grow, which are the carriers that transmit diseases, such as mosquitos. Mosquitos will mature faster and have longer active seasons. With warmer weather, their cycle is altered and this allows them to multiply at a much faster rate. These diseases won’t only affect humans, but it will end up contaminating food resources. As the population continues to occur drastically, there will soon be a disease breakout.
Moreover, waste is another problem people around the world have caused, but how is the U.S part of this problem? Certainly, the U.S generates more waste than any other country in the world, recycle far less than other developed nations. To point out, the U.S is the 3rd most populated country in the world. Every year Americans throw away enough paper, plastic cups, forks, and spoons to circle the equator 300 times. For example, 51 billion plastic bottles are used every year and only 1 0f 5 is recycled. 80% of the things thrown away in the U.S. is recyclable, but 28% is actually recycled. Americans use approximately 1 billion shopping bags that create 300,00 tons of landfill waste (Everything connects,2014). The amount of trash produced is insane that each year enough trashed produced by the U.S. can cover the state of Texas twice.
Further, humans cause air pollution directly through the use of electricity, fuels, and transportation. Most of this air pollution cause results from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, natural gas, and gasoline to produce electricity and power people’s vehicles. A major cause of air pollution is transportation because, after the industrial age, transportation has become a key part of our lives. Cars and heavy-duty trucks, trains, shipping vessels, and airplanes all burn lots of fossil fuels to work. Emissions from automobile engines contain both primary and secondary pollutants. This is a major cause of pollution and one that is very difficult to manage. This is because humans rely heavily on vehicles and engines for transporting people, good’s and services (Air pollution,2018).
Finally, if these solutions such as sex education, changing government policies, and decreasing population are taken into action we can avoid population from increasing dangerously. The more people know about sex as they are younger, the less likely they are to have unplanned pregnancies. It’s something that can be uncomfortable but it should be taught both at school and at home. People need to start considering solutions about this situation. The internet has become so open now and it’s better to educate them rather than them finding false information on the internet. Parents and teachers need to get over the uncomfortable feeling of discussing sex with teenagers. Many of them are sexually active, and parents need to arm them with information to ensure they’re making the right decisions. This advice goes beyond overpopulation, and extends to having happier, healthier sexual experiences (O’Donnell,2018). Changing the government policies would be a major help to lowering population because several countries across the globe offer benefits to parents who have more children. For example, kids who are born in the U.S parents are helped by the government with food stamps and medical care. If parents aren’t able to afford things the government helps them out with that. The more kids people have the more the government helps them. One method of changing policy might be to reward families who decide to have two or fewer children with tax breaks. This won’t harm anyone who has a larger family but might dissuade some parents from having an excessive amount of kids (O’Donnell,2018). Another solution to this is to decrease the population as China has. China has a One-child policy that was introduced in 1979 before it changed into two kids per family that ended up preventing 400 million births. This would be a big help because before it would take 200,000 years for the population to grow 1 billion, now it only takes 12 years due to a population growing 75 million per year (Paul,2013).
Overpopulation is one of the most important problems facing humanity today. Our planet’s health and wellness are being affected by the overpopulation of people on the planet. As the population continues to increase, the bigger the problems will become with global warming, climate change, waste, loss of food, pollution, loss of fresh water, and spread of diseases. This is something human beings caused and something must be done about it before they end with everything Earth has provided humans with. For this reason, these solutions such as sex education, changing government policies, and decreasing population should be put into place.