Overpopulation is the most serious problem faced by humans today. Population continues to expand at an alarming rate forcing depletion of natural resources. The demand for food, shelter and water causes havoc on the natural biodiversity of the Earth. Many species of plant and animals are eradicated and the freshwater resources are drained beyond recovery. The existing resources are not sufficient to sustain the increasing population. The increase in the demand for consumption of goods has led to a change in the cultivation pattern resulting in biological imbalance. Changes in the size of population affect all issues which range from food security, exploitation of natural resources and changes in climate. Carrying capacity is the maximum population size that can be continuously supported by the Earth. This includes the individual preferences in different types and quantity of consumption and the evolution of the resources which supplies the required consumption units. Analysis of the carrying capacity helps to understand the biophysical and social carrying capacities under particular technological capabilities and in different social systems. The rapid depletion of natural resources and degradation of quality of the environment is an indication that the social carrying capacity is exceeded. (Jones, R.R., and T.Wiggley.1989).At present the population is more than 7 billion whereas two hundred years back it was only 1 billion. The increase in the population was greatest between 1900 and 2000 .In 100 years the population increased from 1.5 to 6.1 billion. (World population 2016) The population is currently growing at a rate of1.13% annually. As the current population is exhausting the Earth’s resources, the scenario of lack of water, fuel, electricity and shortage of food and other items will be the actual situation in the future.
Population growth has negative impact on the environment as well as on the quality of life. Most of the environmental problems in the world at present are due to the increase in population. Ecological imbalance and the degradation of ecosystem are caused due to expansion of land by converting forests for agricultural purpose. Urbanization and industrial developments has led to extinction of many species due to the loss of their habitats. (Cormac 2009) Water and air pollution affect the lives of many people. In the developing countries untreated industrial waste is dumped into waters which pollute the usable water. Human waste contaminates water courses significantly due to lack of adequate and proper sanitation facilities in the developing countries. Contaminated water causes diseases in humans and also reduces the biological health. Fresh water ecosystem is affected and many fresh water species are becoming extinct. With too many people the need for food also increases. Social and economic conditions deteriorate and many poor countries struggle to provide basic needs to support their population. Overpopulation gives rise to unemployment which leads to crime and conflicts. Lack of income, food and poor health results in inability to work. Air pollution is major problem globally as increased human activities have reduced the quality of air in the atmosphere. Ozone layer depletion is a major challenge for the world today. Chlorofluorocarbons used in freezers and for other cooling purpose account for 80% of the stratospheric ozone depletion .The reduction in the ozone layer causes skin cancer and decrease in yield of crops. The Ultra violet Rays causes’ development of cataracts, and other eye diseases. It also causes weakening of the immune system. Global warming is caused by burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. The carbon that is released in the atmosphere traps the heat which is responsible for warming. The evidence for global warming can be observed from the changes in climate as it responds to the variations in the greenhouse gas levels. The rise in sea level, warming of oceans and decreased mass of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctic are some of the impacts of warming. Observations reveal that recorded highest temperature has been increasing and record low temperature has been decreasing. Changes in the climatic conditions and decrease in snow cover has been related to Global warming.
The adverse impacts of overpopulation have been recognized as a matter of serious concern and various measures are undertaken to reduce population. Educating people and creating awareness about the problems of overpopulation through different media and campaigns, Implementation of measures and policies for birth control, providing access to family planning and birth control devices are some of the measures undertaken by different countries to curb the population growth. Measures are taken to reduce unwanted fertility by providing free healthcare and education facilities. As healthy population is necessary for economic development and growth it is important to implement policies depending on the long term effects. The U.S does not recommend population control, but believes that it should be the desire of the couples to decide the family size. Educating people should be the priority as it makes them understand the problems of having more number of children. Creating employment opportunities and participation of women in the labour force and making adults responsible for their own livelihood will create awareness about the adverse effects of overpopulation. Each individual should make an effort to understand the causes of the negative impact of global warming, air and water pollution. Efforts should be taken to avoid activities which would contribute to environmental degradation. Renewable energy from wind and solar can be used at homes. All the appliances used at homes should be energy efficient. Greenhouse effect should be controlled by reducing the burning of fossil fuels which releases carbon. Total consumption of energy should be reduced by maintaining vehicles and also not using them for short distance. Water conservation can be done by saving rain water and minimizing wastage. Likewise, solid waste production needs to be reduced by recycling and reusing. Containers and reusable bags help to reduce wastes. Compost bin can be used for biodegradable wastes.
Every person should take up the responsibility to preserve our planets natural resources. Conservation of water in the households can be done through efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances. Low flush toilets are effective in saving water. Rain water harvesting can be done to conserve rain water. All the appliances must be used to its maximum efficiency and avoid wastage of water and energy. Reusing and recycling can help to reduce the waste generated in the households. Segregation of waste helps to recycle and minimize dumping. Sharing things like books and newspaper with friends and neighbors, replacing paper towels with cloth towels and buying products with less packing help to reduce wastes. Energy used in transportation causes the change in climate to a great extent. This can be reduced by using public transport and making use of bicycles for short distances. Car sharing or carpooling will help to reduce the number of cars owned by households. Awareness about the expanding needs for families with more members and the importance of limiting population have brought changes in the population growth of many countries in the present times.
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