The existing estimates project that the world’s population by the mid of the 21st century will clock 9 billion. This, as many analysts warn, spells doom and overstretches the existing resources and needs urgent attention. A critical analysis of the surroundings indicates how much the environment is reeling under the strain of overpopulation; the available resources continue to shrink and are failing to meet the daily needs of the population.
Although the issue of increased population has not dominated the agenda of the international organizations, it is apparent that it is leading to adverse effects on the population. The issue about overpopulation has been characterized with huge controversies with a number of scholars maintaining that those alleging it will lead to negative effects are alarmists and that the world still possesses immense resources for everyone’s use.
However, there is unanimity that overpopulation negatively affects the environment due to the increased human activities and exploitation of the existing resources. The direct link between increased population and adverse effects on the environment lies in the increased pollution. A direct link to pollution is the global warming. The last one century can be characterized by the elevated use of non-renewable sources of energy. In the lead of this is oil which has become an engine that drives human progress and development.
This however has been at a grave danger to the environment especially due to the emission of Carbon Dioxide which has been identified as directly causing the green house effect and consequently global warming (Nelson 5). The causes of global warming have remained hugely controversial and the existing studies are still at a tentative level. However, most scientists have speculated upon the carbon dioxide emissions as being the lead cause. Overpopulation has a direct link to this as it fuels increased human activity, industrialization, urbanization and traffic congestion.
(Nelson 6) With the largest proportion of the earth being covered by water, water is regarded as a basic and largely available commodity, this is not so. Studies have pointed out that sources of fresh water are shrinking and water shortage is being experienced by about one tenth of the world’s population. The coming years are bound to impede on its availability as population increases. The United Nations has already issued a red alert to a number of countries that risk having inadequate water for both domestic consumption and farming (Nelson 8).
The agricultural sector will be unfavorably affected as more water will be channeled towards the increased population in the urban centers. Other environmental problems due to population increase are sea, land and air pollution which have adverse health effects and also decrease biodiversity which is an important component of humanity (Nelson 9). The issue of water and indeed pollution has been widely examined by scholars and also by analysts who have illuminated the seriousness of the problem to the world.
The recent efforts to cope with global warming are notable, the international community has taken up this problem with zeal and the current US administration has voiced its commitment to formulating clear policies on how to address global warming. The United States and China have been accused of lackluster approach to the problems despite being in the lead for environmental pollution. Though various approaches are being put down to cope with global warming, scientists are advising that it has first to start with regulating population as further explosion will have adverse effects on the environment.
The correlation between increased human population and environmental degradation is undeniable. High population means increased human activity and also pollution. The more people there are the more carbon dioxide emissions and consequently global warming. Land and water are also being at the receiving end due to industrial wastes and also humanity spreads its activities into the wild damaging the water catchments areas.
Nelson, Lynn D. Sociology In Global Perspective. Washington DC; Digital Text Plus LLC, 2007