Effects of Overpopulation in Our World Today
Overpopulation occurs when global limited natural resources fail in sustaining its population. The world's population has increased tremendously, and estimates suggest the world population will be six billion by the end of the 21st century and 10 billion by the year 2040 (Jakab, 2008). This expansion creates challenges and this research study seek to address the effects of overpopulation in the world today. Population growth affects natural resources negatively such as water and land. Since natural resources are scarce and limited, overpopulation will strain and drain them with consequences such as the extinction of species. As population increases space become limited and houses become overcrowded. When population increase so does the demand for water to irrigate farms, wash clothes, drink, cook among other activities. Competition and scarcity lead to poor quality water and shortages leading to sanitation and health problems.
Overpopulation leads to clearance of forest land to create farm lands and settlements which lead to deforestation. This leads to loss of ecosystems and rise of greenhouses that emit dangerous gases to the atmosphere. More people generate more waste such as garbage and sewerage leading to environmental degradation. Increased inefficient sewerage and dumping of wastes leads to pollution which causes global warming and climate change. These changes affect agricultural productivity and food supply, and since demand increase with a population, people could starve or become malnutrition. An increase in the number of people leads to congestion and development of traffic jams minimizing economic efficiency.
Health problems occur as the population grows due to overcrowding, poor waste disposal, pollution and consumption of unclean water. Poor sanitation will lead to diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and communicable diseases. Overpopulation contributes to increase of poverty and unemployment in the community which contributes to crime. According to Jakab (2008), social structures collapse and social dynamics change. The negative factors in the community that affect population lead to low levels of life expectancy. However, there exist positive effects of overpopulation such as a large cheap labor force. Since negative effects outweigh the positive ones, a society should try and stabilize its population for future generations.
Overpopulation Effect on Food Supply
Although, population increases with time, food production is limited by finite factors as land and water which do not increase with time. Therefore, population increases faster than increase in food production implying demand for food outweighs available supply. Increased population eventually uses up land for settlements and water reducing food production, lowering supply of food. Most of the world's food supply comes from land, and human beings and animals depend highly on agricultural production for maintenance (Kuo, 2012). Environmental degradation leads to global warming affecting climatic conditions and ultimately affects food production. Deforestations and use up of land leads to loss of essential nutrients needed to produce food. As the population increases, the rate of food production falls, and it might be difficult to feed all people. However, as population increases innovation could increase accelerating food production but this increase does not satisfy increasing population. Supply of food according to Kuo (2012) can result from the competition of individuals for scarce resources leading to conflicts and civil strifes sometimes ending up in serious scarcity of food.
What is the Future Going to Look like Due to Overpopulation? Prevention Measures
Given the population increases by approximately 80 million people per year, the future is not encouraging. If population growth remains uncontrolled, land in the future might become an enormous waste dump with no animals and trees. The environment might be poor as a result of global warming and poor soils. Poverty will increase while food and water will become extremely expensive, leading to starvation (Kuo, 2012). Unemployment will rise as the governments fail in creating enough jobs to include everyone. Those who fail to secure jobs will result to illegal activities leading to chaos.
In order to protect the future, these problems should be prevented. Positive check suggests that nature takes care of overpopulation through massive die offs. Since land for growing vegetables is usually small compared to land for rearing cattle, people should embrace vegetarian eating habits in order to conserve land. Preventive measures such as deferral of marriage, celibacy and birth control can be adopted to solve the problem through reduction of birth rates. Moral restraint involving refraining from marriage until one is capable of supporting a family also reduces population growth. However, those who want to have children should limit their number to one or two. Alternatively couples can consider adopting a child. The government can introduce one child policy as evidence in China which will cut down population growth. Citizens need be educated on the problems of overpopulation and ways of minimizing the same. People should buy and recycle recyclable items so as to minimize waste.
In conclusion, environmental problems increase in population. Overpopulation leads human beings into a competition for scarce resources. This may eventually lead to conflicts, civil strife, environmental degradation and food scarcity. Therefore, in order to facilitate a promising future for generations to come population growth should be put in check.
Jakab, C. (2008). Overpopulation: Global Issues. Smart Apple Media.
Kou, G. (2012). Mega Crisis. Overpopulation is the Problem.23-31. Retrieved from http:// www.2greenenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/WFR_Fall2012_Kuo.pdf