Ecology of Population Growth

In: Social Issues

Submitted By FutureBrain
Words 1252
Pages 6
Chapter 2: The Ecology of Population Growth
Review Essay by Max Kosusnik

Earth’s population has increased by the billions at rates deemed too quick for us to be capable of controlling. We, as a race, grew to our first billion in 1804. In 1927, only 123 years later, we had reached our second billion. To make matters more substantial, it only took 33 years until we had reached our third billion, in the year 1960. The rate would speed up so much that, on average, every 13 years our world’s population would reach another billion, getting us to 7 billion in 2011.

This fast paced growth comes with many consequences. Human demands will and possibly already have overrun the amount of our natural support systems, and our food supplies, such as our fisheries, grasslands, forests, soils, and aquifers. If our demands increase over the sustainable output these resources provide for us, then it will result in overfishing, overgrazing, overcutting, overplowing, and overpumping.

A recent demographic projection by the U.N. shows that the world’s population will grow to well over 9 billion by 2050. Although many believe this will materialize, it is unlikely due to the hardships we will face increasing the food supply, global warming, and water shortages.

Although world population growth has slowed down from the peak of 2.1 percent in 1967 to 1.1 percent in 2011, it is still unclear whether the population growth has slowed due to the shift to smaller families or the opposite, that we are failing to shift to smaller families so eventually death rates begin to rise.

These population projections are based on many assumptions, including life expectancy and fertility rates. They can create an illusion that the world can support these large number of increases. So the real question could be, will there be enough water for the couple billion more people that will be on earth…...

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