With the abandonment of a hunting-gathering way of life and the rise of permanent settlements and eventually cities, the human population has undergone dramatic growth. "It took until after 1800, virtually all of human history, for our population to reach 1 billion. Yet we reached 2 billion by 1930, and 3 billion in just 30 more years, in 1960" (Withgott & Brennan, 218). Today the world's population has grown to an estimated 6.5 billion people. "Increased population intensifies impact on the environment as more individuals take up space, use natural resources, and generate waste" (Withgott & Brennan, 220). Despite these concerns, population growth is considered by some as beneficial to economic, political, and military strength. Provided in the following discussion is a critique of different viewpoints, and possible solutions to reaching economic sustainability and maintaining ecosystems and quality of life for the future. "The Great Population Debate" is a section from the book Biosphere 2000. This segment of the book discusses various viewpoints regarding population growth, and attempts to clarify concepts on either side of the debate....Is human population a problem? Two groups believe that "there is no population problem", Cornucopians and Marxists. "Cornucopians argue that people are the world's ultimate resource and the more of them, the better" (Biosphere 2000, 130). The Cornucopian viewpoint sees continued population growth as positive, and if problems arise human inventiveness will solve them. "Marxists argue that poverty is the result of the unequal distribution of resources rather than unchecked population growth" (Biosphere 2000, 130). They believe the primary focus should be on distributing people more evenly. Three groups believe that "there is a population problem", Malthusians, Neomalthusians, and advocates of zero population growth. Malthusians follow the works of Thomas Malthus that "unless population growth is controlled by laws or other...
References: Kaufman, Donald G, and Cecilia M Franz. Biosphere 2000. Chapter 8: An Environmental Imperative. Pages 130-131. 1993.
Withgott, Jay, and Scott Brennan. Environment: The Science Behind the Stories. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2007.
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