The Enviromnetal Degradation As A Result

8 August 2017

Of Overpopulation Essay, Research Paper



There are merely excessively many people on our planet, and the population is non demoing any marks of

decelerating down ( see Figure 1 ) . It is holding black effects on our environment. There are excessively many

deductions and interrelatednesss to discourse in this paper, but the three substances that our Earth

consists of: land, H2O and air, are being destroyed. Our woods are being cut down at an alarming

rate, bearing tremendous impacts on the wellness of Earth. Our oceans and seas are being polluted and

overfished. Our ambiance is injected with increasing sums of C dioxide, which hurts the

full planet. All of these jobs can be traced to our vast, quickly spread outing population, which has

stressed our universe far excessively greatly.

Our Population

In 1994, the universe population was 5 602 800 000. This population had a doubling clip of merely

forty-one old ages ( De Blij and Muller, 1994, p.527 ) . The monolithic sum of people has had extremely

destructive impacts on the Earth? s environment. These impacts occur on two degrees: planetary and local. On

the planetary degree, there is the accretion of green house gases that deplete the ozone bed, the

extinction of species, and a planetary nutrient deficit. On the local degree, there is eroding of dirts ( and

the loss of flora ) , the depletion of H2O supply, and toxification of the air and H2O. The Earth

is dynamic though, all of these facets are interrelated, and no one impact is wholly isolated. All

of these destructive elements can be traced to our tremendous population. As the population additions, so

make all of the economic, societal, and technological impacts.

The construct of impulse of population growing is one that must be considered. It states that

countries with traditionally high birthrate rates will hold a really immature construction age. Therefore, a lessening in

the birthrate rate will still ensue in a greater absolute figure of births,


as there are more possible female parents. Populations are really slow in seting to lessenings in birthrate

rates. This is particularly scaring when sing that South Asia has a population of 1 204 600

000 ( and a doubling clip of 30 two old ages ) , Subsaharan Africa has 528 000 000 ( duplicating clip: 30

one old ages ) , and North Africa/Southwest Asia has 448 100 000 ( duplicating clip: 20 seven old ages ) ( De Blij

and Muller, 1994, p. 529-531 ) and all of these countries have traditionally high birthrate rates.

Although 3rd universe states do hold a far larger population than industrialised states, and

the tendency is invariably increasing, their populations should non bear the duty for our

population-enduced degrading environment. The impact we make on the biosphere is sometimes expressed

mathematically by ecological economic experts as I = PAT. I being impact, P population, A richness

( ingestion ) , and T engineering ( environmentally bad engineering ) ( Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 1990, p.24 ) .

Concern sing population additions frequently focuses on the 3rd universe, since it is at that place that growing is

exponential. Yet, it is necessary to acknowledge that people are by no agencies equal or identical in their

ingestion, and therefore their impact on the environment ( see Map 2 ) .


Our Forests

? The sky is held up by the trees. If the forest disappears the sky, which is the roof of the universe

prostrations. Nature and adult male perish together. ?

– Amerindian fable

Forests are a cherished nexus in the life systems of our planet. They are a portion of these critical

ecosystem services without which Earth would non hold been habitable by the human species in the first

topographic point and would surely hold become inhabitable once more. Forests have important functions in the C,

N, and O rhythms that nourish and sustain life on Earth. They protect the water partings that

support agriculture and influence clime and rainfall ( Lindahl-Kiessling, 1994, p.167 ) . They save the dirt

from eroding and are home to 1000s of species, and forest peoples whose lives depend on them. They

are besides a beginning for industrial and medical intents.

In developing states, much deforestation is for both local intents and for export. The UNFPA

( United Nations Fund for Population Activities ) said in it? s 1990 study that population growing may hold

been responsible for every bit much as 80 per centum of the forest land cleared between 1971 and 1986 to do

room for agribusiness, cowss ranching, houses, roads and industries ( Ramphal, 1992, p.55 ) . It is

estimated that in that period about 60 million hectares of forest were converted to farmland and a

similar sum of wood was put to non-agricultural utilizations. This is tantamount to the mass of 12

hundred square meters of wood added to the population ( Ramphal, 1992, p. 57 ) .

Quite frequently, countries of forest were cleared in such a manner ( ex. : cut and burn ) that they will

ne’er turn back. After a forest country has been converted to croping lands or intensive agriculture, the dirt

will merely prolong it for a few old ages. Then the land is left lifeless.

The increasing demand for fuel wood as populations expand is another of import factor taking to

deforestation. In most developing countries, wood is the primary beginning of fuel. In many of these countries,

the demand for fuel wood is lifting at about the rate of population growing, and in front of the devastation

committed by lumbermans ( see Figure 2 )


( Hardaway, 1994, p.201 ) . Peoples are distributing out farther and farther to make fresh forested countries to

run into their fuel demands. It should besides be noted that when wood is unavailable, carnal droppings is burned for

fuel. This diverts a great value of nutrition from the dirt.

Developed states deplete their woods at a rate that is merely as alarming, and are a great

beginning of the demand for wood from developing states. The primary usage of this wood is for industrial

intents, i.e. the building of goods and capital goods. Again, the ingestion of persons here

is far greater than those in the 3rd universe, so their impacts are non much different overall.

The decrease of forest land possesses two chief environmental dangers. Forests are great natural

depositories of C. Trees breathe in C dioxide and shop it, moving as C reservoirs. As

such, they are priceless agents in maintaining the degree of C in the ambiance stable. As woods

are destroyed worldwide, particularly by firing, C dioxide is released into the air, adding to the

stock of nursery gases that are now warming our planet and altering its clime. The adverse of this

negative consequence of forest loss on clime is the positive function of woods in modulating the ambiance

and climate through their life-support services ( see Tables 1 and 2 ) ( Ramphal, 1992, 69 ) .

Forest land is besides the universe? s chief depot of species, the workss, animate beings, birds, and

insects with which Earth has been blessed. Tropical woods expand approximately between ten grades North and

South of the equator. In a little part of the Earth lies about half of Earth? s biological species,

many endemic. The rapid rate of deforestation is wipe outing our bio-diversity.

Desertification is closely related with deforestation. Again, woods are rather frequently cleared in

an particularly destructive mode, rendering them lifeless. This finally leaves the land waste.

Agricultural force per unit areas are the other premier population-enduced beginning of


desertification. Increasing populations in developing states drive people into desiccant and desiccant

parts to farm. Trying to farm in countries that are already hapless or unsuitable may

damage the dirts irreparably. Another indirect cause is as population additions in these small towns, so

does the figure of caprine animals, which are a beginning of meat and milk. The caprine animals ( which multiply quickly as

good ) are left to roll the countryside, and gnaw the dirts greatly while making so ( Lourdes, 1994,

p.376 ) ( see Map 1 ) .

Our woods are priceless resource to all. Not merely for the wood, but as they maintain life on

Earth. They are go oning to be destroyed at a rate that will non allow their return when humanity

recognize its mistakes. Our woods are possibly the most threatened facet of Earth as a consequence of

population growing, and the 1 that we can least afford to lose.


Our Oceans

Axial rotation on, thou deep and dark bluish Ocean & # 8212 ; axial rotation!

Ten 1000 fleets sweep over thee in vain ;

Man marks the Earth with ruin & # 8211 ; his control

Michigans with the shore.

– from Childe Harold, by Byron

In the early 1990? s, the province of the universe? s piscaries made headlines. Many coastal countries of

North America have tried to restrict their gimmicks, or hold them all together. It has been recognized that

farther harvest home could destruct a valuable nutrient resource and aquatic bio-diversity. Our population

growing has begun to out gait that of the aquatic life.

These stairss against huge ocean harvest home are change by reversaling the tendency of recent decennaries. A planetary

seafood crop of 20 two million dozenss in 1950 increased to one hundred million dozenss in 1989 ( see

Figure 3 ) ( Brown, 1994, p. 82 ) . For the mean individual, seafood ingestion doubled. All of this did non

occur without effects.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization concluded that 17 of the universe? s major fishing

parts are presently harvested at or beyond their capacity, and nine are in a province of diminution ( Ramphal,

1992, p. 35 ) . A deficiency of proper direction will merely take to farther. As the idea of a hereafter planetary

nutrient deficit looms, overfishing could go particularly destructive.

Whereas overfishing is a direct method of humanity and overpopulation consuming fish stocks

worldwide, pollution is an indirect manner. The Aral Sea between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan yielded 40

thousand dozenss of seafood in 1960 ( Brown and Kane, 1994, p. 94 ) . The river that fed it was diverted for

irrigation. The sea became progressively salty, and is now biologically dead. Approximately one tierce of

the universe population lives within 60 kilometers of a coastline ( Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 1970, p.125 ) .

This obviously leaves the oceans and lakes vulnerable to a great trade of pollution ( see Map 1 ) . The

run-off of H2O tainted with phosphates from fertilisers is a major subscriber. In many developing

counties ( and to a lesser extent, developed states ) unprocessed sewerage


and industrial waste is pumped or dumped straight into riv

Ers and oceans. Global heating besides has an

consequence on the universe? s piscaries. The increased extremist violet beams that enter our ambiance kill

phytoplankton in the Arctic by an increased 20 per centum ( Brown and Kane, 1994, p. 118 ) . These are a

great resource of marine production, as they are the beginning of the aquatic nutrient concatenation.

As populations of many municipalities grow, their sewerage intervention installations are rapidly

outgrown. Industry grows every bit good, spiting a huge array of contaminations into our H2O supply: lead,

detergents, sulphuric acid, hydrofluoric acid, phenols, benzines, ammonium hydroxide and so on ( Ehrlich and Ehrlich,

1970, p.203 ) . As population and industry grow, so does the demand for increased agricultural production.

This consequences in a heavier water-borne burden of pesticides, weedkillers and nitrates. A consequence is the

spread of pollution in watercourses, rivers, lakes and along coasts. This spread of pollution is non

confined to merely these parts, as it besides enters the groundwater where purification is about


The oceans are a cherished beginning of nutrient. If they were lost, there would be a greater focal point on

agribusiness. Agricultural streeses are already destroying the planet. Therefore, the oceans must be carefully

monitored, to guarantee that they are non being overexploited. Pollution into H2O is besides destructing the

fish and aqua civilization. This could take to a great loss of the planet? s bio-diversity. That in itself

has untold effects.


Our Atmosphere

Think how the Crown of Earth? s creative activity

Will slay that which gave him birth,

Rending out the slow uterus of Earth

– from The Golden Gate, by Vikram Seth

The H2O vapor and C dioxide of course present in our atmosphere absorb and block merely

plenty get awaying heat to maintain the planet at an mean temperature of 15 grades Celsius ( Ramphal,

1992, p. 97 ) . As the sum of C dioxide in the ambiance increases, more and more heat is kept

in. Carbon dioxide is besides the gas emitted when we burn fossil fuels ; therefore an addition in the sum of

dodo fuel burned consequences in more C dioxide in the environment. We besides add new nursery gases

like CFC? s which are compounds of our ain devising. Together, these two groups of emanations, produced

chiefly by developed states, history for some 80 per centum of planetary heating ( Arizpe, 1994.

p.12 ) . Carbon dioxide emanations and CFC? s are removed really easy from the environment. The

Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change warned that? even if all human made emanations of C

dioxide were halted by the twelvemonth 1990, about one half of the addition in C vitamin D!

ioxide concentration caused by human activities would still be apparent in 2100? ( Ramphal, 1992, p. 119 ) .

Carbon dioxide histories for half of planetary heating, and fossil fuels account for two-thirds of

manmade C dioxide ( Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 1970, p.134 ) . The ingestion of energy from fossil fuels.

Coal, oil, and natural gas used for industrial, commercial, residential, transit and other

intents consequences in big emanations. Therefore, the energy sector histories for about half of planetary heating,

40 six per centum. Industry through CFC? s, histories for about another one-fourth, twenty four per centum.

The staying one-fourth or so is shared by forestry, through deforestation, and by agribusiness


through methane from farm animal and rice cultivation ( Ramphal, 1992, p. 201 ) . With action to phase out

CFC? s already spurred by the dismay over depletion of the ozone bed, it is

clearly the ingestion of energy from fossil fuels that attending must be focused on if humanity is to

face up to the deductions of planetary heating ( see Map 2 ) .

Highly caustic sulphuric acids and azotic acids are formed when oxides of S and N

combine with H2O vapor in the air ( Lourdes, 1994, p.158 ) . These oxides are spewed out as gases

chiefly by electricity-generating workss, smelters, and industrial boilers that burn coal and oil.

Nitrogen oxides besides come from car fumes. The acids return to earth in rain, snow, and fog, and

are besides deposited straight from the air and trees. The pollutants travel long distances on prevailing

air currents, of class taking no history of national boundary lines, so that the S dioxide produced in one

state frequently ends up in another.

Many polluted countries rainfall in the universe can fall every bit low as 3.5 on the pH graduated table, which is

between the acerb content of apple juice and lemon juice ( Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 1990, p.182 ) . Most fish dice

at pH degrees below five. Therefore, many lakes and watercourses around to a great extent polluted countries are left without

fish. Even at 3.5, which is the OECD norm, we are accepting rain that is a hundred more times acidic

than it should be ( Brown, 1994, p.182 ) . Not merely fish and lakes and rivers are deceasing, but woods as


The IPCC estimated that if emanations of nursery gases continues to turn as presently

projected, planetary mean temperatures will increase at the rate of about 0.3 grades Celsius each decennary

over the following century, which is a rate of addition greater than that of all time seen over the past 10 1000

old ages ( Ramphal, 1992, p. 77 ) . These predicted alterations seem little, but are really of great magnitude. A

rise of even a grade or two could hold terrible reverberations, changing forms of rainfall,

escalating drouth, raising the sea degree, doing inundations and storms, and impacting agriculture, the

handiness of nutrient, and


wellness ( Ramphal, 1992, p. 77 ) . What nature has tried to convey about over millenary may be achieved in

four decennaries. It may besides look that this gradual heating may profit states

in the upper latitudes, but in the long tally at that place would be no victors. These alterations will be to sudden

for ecosystems to get by.

The addition of nursery gases into our ambiance could besides speed up the terminal of life on

Earth. The depletion of the ozone harms virtually all facets of life. The woods are the lone factor

maintaining this under some grade of control, and they are being destroyed. The ozone bed has shown

recent marks of convalescence, and it is perfectly necessary.



Humanity is engendering itself into a corner. If population growing continues on its current way,

ecosystems will be subjected to greater and greater emphasiss of assorted kinds. Since the universe is so

dynamic, and all the types of impacts made on the environment, including those non straight mentioned in

this paper, are interrelated, fault can non genuinely be laid on any one subdivision of the universe. Not on the

developing states with the bulk of the population and fastest growing, nor the developed

states whose richness extremely exceeds that of those in the developing states. A conjunct

attempt will be required by all states to minimise their impacts.

The primary end for most developing states should be to cut down their birthrate rates. This

will necessitate a great trade of birth control and household planning. Medical demands and engineerings will besides

be required to better conditions so that households do non experience the demand to hold every bit many kids. There

is a minor fright that if conditions are improved excessively greatly, that these people will seek and obtain the

richness of those in the developed states, and potentially go even more destructive towards the


Developed states must seek to cut down both their richness and ( environmentally bad )

engineering. Government ordinances must go stricter sing the impacts made on the environment

by all sectors of the economic system ( industrial, residential, etc. ) .

Economicss is closely associated with population related environmental debasement. With the

increased population comes an addition in demand for perfectly everything. Industries compete to acquire

their merchandises and services out at the lowest possible cost, frequently without much respect towards the


Overpopulation of our planet could turn out to be cataclysmal. The following few coevalss may populate in

a universe that is far, far worse off than we presently are. If society


is to go on along it? s current tendencies, the environment will fall in, and drag humanity with it. It

will merely non be plenty to seek and better engineering. Birth rates must be

drastically cut, in a the most humanist manner possible. Merely concentrating on one specific facet of these

impacts will non do other. The biosphere is woven in a really complicated mode. We are unknoting

it rapidly, and it must be stopped to continue Earth in all its beauty.


1. Arizpe, Lourdes. Population and Environment. Boulder: Westview Press, 1994.

2. Brown, Lester and Kane, Hal. Full House. New York: Norton and Co. , 1994.

3. De Blij, H.J. and Muller, Peter O. Geography: Realms, Regions and Concepts. New York: John Wiley

and Sons, 1994.

4. Ehrlich, Paul and Ehrlich, Anne. Population Explosion. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990.

5. Ehrlich, Paul and Ehrlich, Anne. Population Resources Environment. San Francisco: Wilt

Freeman and Co. , 1970.

6. Hardaway, Robert. Population, Law, and Environment. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994.

7. Lindahl-Kiessling, Kerstin. Population, Economy, Development and Environment. Oxford: Oxford

University Press, 1994.

8. Lutz, Wolfgang. The Future Population of the World. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd. ,

1994 )

9. Ramphal, Shridath. Our State, The Planet. London: Lime Tree, 1992.

10. Schlaepfer, Rudolph. Long Term Implications of Climate Change and Air Pollution on Forest

Ecosystems. Vienna: IUFRO, 1994.

11. Stanford, Quentin H. Canadian Oxford World Atlas. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1993.



Our Population 1

Our Forests 3

Our Oceans 6

Our Atmosphere 8

Decisions 11

Bibliography 20


Figure 1 13

Toatal Projected Population 1990 & # 8211 ; 2100 Harmonizing to Scenario

Figure 2 16

Time Series of Fuelwood and Charcoal Production

Figure 3 17

World Fish Catch, 1950 -1992

Map 1 18

Environmental Damage

Map 2 19

Global Heating


Table 1 14

Effectss of Global Warming

Table 2 15

Certainty of Climatic Change and It? s Direct Effectss on Vegetation

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