Human Overpopulation

Topics: World population, Overpopulation, United States Environmental Protection Agency Pages: 5 (1496 words) Published: November 3, 2008
Overpopulation of Humans
The impact of human activity on the environment is catastrophically devastating and destructible. Assisting to that destruction is the increasing number of people that make up the worlds population today. Overpopulation is the condition of giving birth to a number of people living on earth that over exceeds the amount of space, resources and land found on our planet. According to reports from the United Nations (2007), “World population is currently growing by approximately 75 million people per year.” Such growth should be considered alarming and a possible threat to people as well as our environment. Humans all over the world must understand that these changes in population growth will foreshadow many changes in the years to come, including death. The world’s population is rapidly increasing and the necessary resources that were once in abundance such as clean water, clean air, fuel, electricity, and food are now becoming scarce. As the population continues to expand, there will be that much greater demands on our planet that will create pollution, deforestation, and atmospheric changes.

The issue of overpopulation is in fact related to birth control and poverty. Many of the most overpopulated countries with a population of over 200 million people each are China, India, United States, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Brazil (2007). In contrast, there are people who believe that the population of humans will not continue to increase as estimated by scientists and the government. Doug Allen, dean of the school of Architecture for Georgia Institute of Technology, disagrees and believes that “nothing ever continues at its present rate, neither the stock market nor population growth” (Hoevel, 2008). Allen continues to say that, “there is a substantial body of evidence that the world population will flatten out in about 30 years” (Hoevel). In spite of Allen’s theories, the environment must still face an issue at large that deserves to be contemplated and whether or not the population will flatten, these changes are unstoppable. Pollution

Pollution is one of the most common effects of human population that is affecting the planet on a daily basis. Air, water and land are three atmospheric sources that are heavily affected with high pollution from solid wastes due to human related activities. The sources of pollution are varied productions that emerge from four major human-activity fields: agriculture, energy, industrial, and transportation.

The agriculture sector is a huge pollutant factor. As the population of people increases, so do crop yields, made possible from fertilizers and pesticides. Nitrogen-based fertilizers are the result of the contamination of water mainly rivers and oceans. According to The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), “adding large amounts of nitrogen to rivers, lakes, and coastal systems results in eutrophication, a condition that occurs in aquatic ecosystems when excessive nutrient concentrations stimulate blooms of algae that deplete oxygen, killing fish and other organisms and ruining water quality” (2005).

Pollution from energy comes from the burning of fossil fuels that convert carbon into carbon dioxide. Fossil fuels such as coal, contains nitrogen and sulfur which greenhouse gasses when burned. “When coal is burned, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury compounds are released” (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2007).

Industrial activities are also a major part of air and water pollution including the contamination found many of the foods harvested in earth’s soil. Many manufactories use an abundance of freshwater to wash away chemicals of all sorts. “The waste-bearing water, or effluent, is discharged into streams, lakes, or oceans, which in turn disperse the polluting substances” (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 2008).

The use of transportation has been a great contributor to high emissions of pollution...

References: Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, The. (2008). Water Pollution: Industrial Pollution.
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Hovel, A
Cable News Network. Retrieved on July 11, 2008, from
National Soil Erosion Research Technology, The. (2008). Soil Erosion and WEPP
Earth System. Retrieved on June 01, 2008, from
U.S Environmental Protection Agency. (2007). Coal. Retrieved on July 05, 2008, from
U.S Environmental Protection Agency. (2007). Human-Related Sources and Sinks of
Carbon Dioxide
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