Overpopulation is a reason for numerous problems, which are frequently connected with the environment. In fact, overpopulation despite being the cause of the issues can help them reach a global scale. In fact, some scientists suggest that according to the growth rate of the population in recent years, quite soon the Earth will be overpopulated, since it can hold a limit of 10 billion people (Beauchamp, 2015, p. 346). Moreover, overpopulation is waiting for the humankind in the future since this issue has long been existing, affecting all social processes. Overpopulation is not the achievement of certain absolute values with respect to overcrowding. Such recognition does not weaken but strengthens the idea that the demographic factors are paramount.
Population growth leads to the progress of social differentiation and to the emergence and enlargement of agriculture. Environmental problems can be regarded as a product of demographic issues. Overpopulation is believed to be an almost invariable humankind’s companion over the last thousand years. Throughout the 21st century, the process entered its final phase, when the local overpopulation replaced planetary overpopulation. According to Nabe (2015, p. 96), the ‘Limits to Growth’ is primarily a reference to the inadmissibility of the endless sprawl of humanity. In general, the problem of overpopulation as a global issue faced by humankind is a moot point. Therefore, the ever-increasing number of people is the greatest problem of the world community at the current stage of the civilization’s development, as it represents a real threat to the future generations on the planet.
Is Overpopulation the World’s Biggest Problem?
Humankind currently perceives the population number as normal, assuming that people over their lives do not harm the ecosystems of the planet, allowing them to further increase their number. Furthermore, it is believed that it does not affect the environment, flora and fauna, as well as the lives of people. However, in fact, humanity has passed all bounds, making the planet suffer now as well as in the future. The Earth cannot sustain such a huge number of people. 500 million is the limit for the safe number of people on the planet according to all environmental standards (Drew, 2015, p. 103). Today, this figure has exceeded the limit by 12 times, and scientists have a tendency to predict that by 2100, it hypothetically may double (Drew, 2015, p. 103). The modern human population in the most parts of the Earth does not think about the global harm it causes by further augmenting the number of people.
The humanity cannot be provided with comfortable, safe, and beneficial conditions if the number of population exceeds the norm, and will face shortages in resources and availability of habitable areas. Since the beginning of civilization, mankind is in the state of war with each other for resources and territories (Drew, 2015, p. 103). Meanwhile, the progress does not contribute to the problem’s solution because humans, instead of monitoring its numbers, have started to equip a convenient and comfortable life for themselves and their future generations. Thus, people started responding to technical and scientific progress, absorbing all the benefits, which have been achieved by knowledge and technology, and adding the number of humans, who remain below the poverty line.
Every day in the world the turmoil-complicated conflicts, wars, and territorial claims occur. All of them are based primarily on the division of the resources, such as oil, gas, minerals, and fertile soils. Due to the overpopulation of the Earth, any conflict in the form of the active military confrontation results in the targeted killings of children and women, carnage, mass murders, hostage-taking, terrorist acts (Nabe, 2015, p. 96). Any natural disaster relusting from overcrowding also causes massive loss of lives around the world. Many groups of people have long settled in the areas, which are totally or partially unsuitable for permanent residence (for instance, flooded river valleys, the foot of volcanoes, places with unstable softened soil, seismically dangerous zones, and avalanche area, etc.). In fact, overpopulation is the reason of all the above-mentioned misfortunes of people, from minor inconveniences to global wars.
As a result of human actions, overpopulation on the planet became a major factor, negatively affecting the cumulative life of the world, all its life forms and the planet itself (Nabe, 2015, p. 96). The affects of this issue can be also applied to the extermination of many species of insects, animals, birds, the unrecoverable destruction of the environment, nature, climate, etc. Moreover, plundering of the earth by the man who appropriates oil, gas, ore, minerals, and crystals in such a huge amount makes the Earth slowly but surely exhaust its resources.
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On the contrary, certain scientists, with a reference to the information provided by the UNO, claim, that human beings live in an era characterized by the most intense growth of urbanization (Reynolds, 2016, p. 20). It may seem surprising, because in many countries, this peak has passed in the middle of the 20th century (Beauchamp, 2015, p. 346). However, nowadays when the urbanization level is high enough, the remains of the rural population of the planet are moving into the cities. It is known that the urban lifestyle helps reduce fertility on a subliminal level. It means that there is no sharp shift up or down in the number of newborns.
In addition, there are scholars who believe that overpopulation is not the biggest problem, due to the development of medicine. At first glance, this issue should contribute to the problem of overpopulation and lack of resources (Kopnina, 2015, p. 989). However, the desire of people to increase their life expectancy suggests the development of a healthy and active lifestyle. This motivation presupposes that the additional years of a person will be productive and will bring economic benefits to the local and global society. Besides, if people could look forward to a longer life, they would have a vested interest in the future, and they would no longer worry about the long-term consequences of their actions. Simply put, the larger the populace, the more hands and minds would be working on the brand new ideas and solutions.
The opposite points of view have their place in the overpopulation discussion; however, their standpoints are not supported by the exactly positive proofs and, as a consequence, they do not contribute to the claim that overpopulation is not a problem. In any case, it is believed that the number of people, which can be fed by the planet and which can maintain a sufficient level of life with no harm to the environment depends on the level of technological development. New technologies, from simple improvements in land reclamation and management, to modern breakthroughs in genetic engineering, would manage to increase the food production (Kopnina, 2015, p. 1000). Many radicals offer return to an idyllic pre-industrial age, when people are supposed to live in harmony with nature. The problem is that they are wishful thinkers.
It is obvious that the Earth is being ruined continuously by growing overpopulation, resulting in the whole life of the planet and all existing life forms to be threatened and destructed. There is no doubt that any of the encountered hardships and evils today transpire solely and exclusively only because of the overpopulation crisis. Furthermore, this issue results in humans being unable to live peacefully, constructively and safely in the environment. The population will double over the next 100 years, if it is not maintained or even reduced with the help of conscious control of fertility rates through family planning. Moreover, if required, strict, radical, and coercive measures in the form of relevant laws and regulations, which can be issued and implemented by each country separately as well as by international institutions.
To date, the main problem the world community has faced is the overpopulation of the Earth. As the scientists have pointed it, population growth, which is currently uncontrollable, is one of the main causes of natural disasters. The study of population distribution by a country plays a vital role in understanding the economic and political development of the whole humankind. This problem requires decisive actions to address and solve it. Moreover, it is useless to invest in the fight against terrorism, environmental improvement, and struggle against wars when the issue of overpopulation continues to exist.
Overpopulation is the biggest global problems requiring urgent solutions. This issue might inevitably lead to the fact that half of the world’s inhabitants would be short of food and fresh water, and would hypothetically begin global world war for safe dwelling places. Accordingly, the issue is tightly connected with environmental disasters, because population growth will lead to the increase of industrial production, as well as raised emissions, climate changes, frequent natural disasters, fevers, hurricanes; there is a real threat of melting glaciers and rising sea levels. The problem of overpopulation of the Earth is at the root of many problems, including the destruction of environment, wars, terrorism, the disappearance of many species of plants and animals, and negatively affected life conditions on the planet. The problem of overpopulation threatens the very life on Earth; hence, it should be solved with the most decisive methods.
Humankind today is simply obliged to restrain its growth, reconsider its role in the ecological system of the planet, and to take up the construction of human civilization based on friendly and meaningful existence. The study of population distribution by a country plays an important role in understanding the economic and political development of all mankind.