What are the consequences of overpopulation?



  1. 0 Votes

    Overpopulation has both negative and positive effects.

    Julian Simon has famously argued that more humans means more inventors, more problem solvers, more entrepreneurs that work to improve life for humankind. To some extent this is true, but with 6 billion and growing some serious problems are arriving that are unchecked by our inventors, problem solvers and entrepeneurs.

    Unemployment: Modern population growth is occurring in poor countries, this means an excess of unskilled laborers of which there are only so many jobs for. This link has statistics about population: http://www.xist.org/default1.aspx

    Pollution: Since population growth is occurring in poorer countries the majority of new humans are poor and while poor people use less resources they use dirtier resources and when you aggregate their pollution it is very large and is mainly due to lack of access to technology that increase efficiency. Also, since poor people do not have the resources to contain their pollution they often live amongst it which causes a large scale health issue. And, unhealthy people can not do productive work so their society is even worse of for having to take care of so many sick people.

    Disease: HIV, Malaria and Diarrhea are among the epidemics occurring in the third world right now. With so many people not having the resources to prevent the spread of disease diseases grow, creating major health and economic problems.

    Resources: Having massive amounts of poor people puts a strain on resources since they will use resources in unsustainable ways to survive. Slash and burn farming is one such example. Farmers do not have the resources to sustainabley farm so they cut down forests, burn the refuse, farm for 1-3 years and then move on to cut down more forests.

    Natural Habitat: As there are more humans, they use more space, the more space we use the less there is for other plants and animals. Habitat loss is one of the major environmental problems of our times and is a great contributor to the mass species die-off being experienced right now.

    Rich people are not good for the environment either, as one American uses as many resources in one day as about 60 Bangladeshis do in one day. Less people means less resources are exploited. But, overpopulation can also be framed as an efficiency problem, if we were highly efficient and used renewable resources we could add more people to the planet and it would create little problems, but our technology is not advancing fast enough. But, the future could surprise us as technology has surprised all past generations.

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