Overpopulation Research

Even if overpopulation were to prove to be a problem, it is one with an expiration date: due to falling global birth rates, demographers estimate the world population will decrease in the long run, after peaking around the year 2070.It is now well-documented that as countries grow richer, and people escape poverty, they opt for smaller families — a phenomenon called the fertility transition.

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Though the rate of growth has slowed, by late 2011/early 2012, we will have passed the 7 billion mark, and continue to increase by over 83 million a year.

The UN currently predicts 10 billion people by 2100.

According to the Global Footprint Network (GFN), “Today humanity uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste.

This means it now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year. Turning resources into waste faster than waste can be turned back into resources puts us in global ecological overshoot, depleting the very resources on which human life and biodiversity depend.” According to GFN, this overshoot is having a drastic effect on the world’s flora and fauna: “The threats facing the rich array of plant and animal life on the planet seem greater than at any time in modern history.

“The human population is now so large that the amount of resources needed to sustain it exceeds what is available at current consumption patterns,” said Mr.

Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program in 2007.

Living standards were transformed and lifespans lengthened. By the 1970s, overpopulation hysteria came fully back into vogue.

As farms mechanized, food became more plentiful even as the population grew. Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich publishedin 1968, which opened with the lines, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over.

Asked whether or not the growing world population will be a major problem, 59% of Americans agreed it will strain the planet’s natural resources, while 82% of U.

S.-based members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science said the same.

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