BIO - 220
November 23, 2014
Professor Berenise Charlton
A Demand for Fewer People is Not the Answer
Having children is a free will that should not be deprived from people. However, be fruitful and multiply is not the same as, have reckless and irresponsible sex. Just as controlling population will not end environmental issues.
According to the United States Census Bureau, over 7 billion people live in the world today and expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050 (U.S and World Population Clock). Regulating how many children people can have is not the answer to environmental issues. In 1968, “the right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information, education and means to do so was first recognized as a human right” (The Day of 6 Billion, 1999). There are several ways to improve environmental issues that are caused by humans without placing a limit on the number of children people can have. One way is to drastically lower everyone’s’ footprint. This will not be an overnight process however; there are small steps that can eventually have big effects. Reduce uneconomical energy. “Energy used to produce, deliver and dispose of junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 2.8 million cars” (How to Reduce your Carbon Footprint). Eliminating junk mail would be an easier and more humane method than eliminating humans. For some this may still be challenging, so there are some more tailored method for one’s transition. Turning off lights and switching to energy efficient light bulbs, when purchasing appliance look for those labeled as energy efficiency, lower water usage, change of diet by consuming less meat and dairy and recycle. Education in all probability is the most powerful means accessible to people, one that releases new potential. “Most developing nations have larger number of people who are illiterate, live below the poverty line and have little or no knowledge about family planning” (Overpopulation). “Those people may be unable to understand the harmful effect humans can cause to our environment and lack of ignorance prompts them to avoid family planning”(Overpopulation). “Raising awareness among people regarding family planning and the importance of our environment can help curb population growth. The best way is to let them know about the various safe sex techniques and contraceptives methods available to avoid any unwanted pregnancy” (Overpopulation).
Concerns about the world being over populated and the effects, date back to Aristotle’s era. Thomas Malthus the British economist stated that, “human population would grow more rapidly than our ability to grow food, and that eventually we would starve” (Dimick, 2014). There are many effects of overpopulation, global warming, rigorous farming practices, habitat loss, limited natural resources, extinction, and environmental pollution. “According to UN-Water, 75 % of planet Earth is covered in water, 97.5 %of that is ocean and 2.5 % is fresh water and of that 70 % of fresh water is divided in to glaciers and ice caps and the remaining 30 % into land surface water, such as rivers, lakes, ponds and groundwater.” (Effects of Human Population, 2013). “ Most of the fresh water resources are either unreachable or too polluted, leaving less that 1 % of the world’s fresh water , or about 0.003 % of all water on Earth, readily accessible for direct human use” (Effects of Human Population, 2013). “The pressure for agricultural land accounts for 60 to 80 % of the world’s deforestation” (David Pimentel, Xuewen Huang, Ana Cordova, Marcia Pimentel, 1999). Greater than 99 % of the world’s food source comes from land (David Pimentel, Xuewen Huang, Ana Cordova, Marcia Pimentel, 1999). This causes farm production to decrease for lack of adequate land.
“If there is a slower population growth that leads to eight billion people in 2050 rather than to the currently projected 9.1 billion would save one billion to two