I would argue that the worst thing about population growth is the way our global society encourages bigger and better ad infinitum on a planet with very finite resources. The world’s population is growing at an exponential rate and, as a result, we are rapidly reaching our earth’s carrying capacity. There simply will be not enough food or clean drinking water for the population of the future unless drastic measures are taking. Forget worrying about oil and coal and other fossil fuels. The big fights will be over food and clean drinking water on a planet that has a human population it can’t support.
I agree that the main concern with population growth is the Earth’s carrying capacity (k). This is an ecological concept that occurs in every species. The Earth can only sustain a certain amount of a species. After a certain capacity, the resources that are needed to survive, like water, food and clean air, diminish. The main concerns are the same concerns we are facing today. We are fighting for clean water and air, and for natural, unprocessed food. As the population grows, we will have to fight harder and these threats will become more threatening.
While I do agree with the above two statements, there are many theories and reasons to believe that population growth is actually proving to be beneficial, not as detrimental as many currently believe. Yes, growing populations are contributing to a much higher demand on all of our resources and the bare essentials. However, likewise, the amount of individuals that pass away in a day and the amount that come into the world balance out to an extent. What matters is not the number of humans, but whether or not we can provide them with proper education and bring about more progressive and proactive ways to economize to help preserve our environment. If we as a culture assimilate to the changing tide that has been occurring over the past decade or so, we can turn things around. Many children, in Western cultures anyway, are learning at a faster rate, are excelling in areas quicker than past generations and become accustomed to technologies that will hopefully help us in the years to come when some of them take on productive roles in environmental preservation. The worse problem is a lack of awareness and spread of information.
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