Six Billion and Counting
On Tuesday, October 12, 1999, a baby named Adnan was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Adnan was just one of 370,000 babies born that Tuesday, but his birth was a milestone for the world; he was named the world’s six-billionth human being. From the world of 1billion in 1804 and 3 billion in 1960, we reached 6 billion less than forty years later. This very rapid population growth is having serious effects on our food supply, our environment, and our species diversity.
Our growing population is affecting both the total amount of food we have and the distribution of food to those who need it. Because of improvements in agriculture, we are still increasing the amount of food the world produces, but the rate of increase is slowing down. According to the World Health Organization, in developing country, 20 percent of the population does not have enough quality food. While people in developing countries often eat too little, people in the Western world eat for too many calories. For example, they need 30 percent fewer calories from fats, and another 70 percent more calories from complex carbohydrates, based on committee on Nutrition and Human Needs in the U.S. senate. Getting high-quality food to all those who are in need is a serious concern in a more and more crowded world.
Our skyrocketing population is also leading to serious problems in the quality of the environment. For instance, India’s population expanding at the rate of 18 million people annually. Our waste products are polluting our air, water, and soil. For example, there are 400 million metric tons of hazardous wastes worldwide every year. Moreover, nuclear pollution of serious radioactive increase to a large part of Europe. Developed countries are creating many more waste products than developing countries as well as using more of the world’s energy. In short, the pressure of our expanding population on our resources is of great concern.
The third effect of our growing...
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