Are you aware that the current population of the planet exceeds 7.7 billion people? Or, that scientists estimate that the earth can only support between 9 and 10 billion people? Human overpopulation is becoming a growing concern. Due to the population growth of the last 100 years, the planet’s natural resources and land mass are being exploited at record rates.
Overpopulation is defined as the condition of having a population so dense as to cause environmental deterioration, an impaired quality of life, or a population crash. The human population has grown from 2 billion people in the early 1900s to 7.7 billion people today – almost quadrupling in size. This growth has led to changes in weather patterns, habitat loss, environmental pollution – as well as natural resource degradation happening at speeds faster than the planet can regenerate. Let’s take a look at some additional facts regarding overpopulation.
- Human beings are currently causing the greatest mass extinction of species – since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago – at rates 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than normal.
- Human overpopulation has been dominating the planet’s resources – with an annual absorption of 42% of the Earth’s primary productivity, 30% of its marine net primary productivity, 50% of its fresh water, 40% of its land being devoted to human food production.
- In 1985, the demand for resources exceeded its supply. The distribution of the available resources was quite equitable before 1985 – where there was equilibrium between the demand and the supply of resources.
- Overpopulation is not only attributed to population growth. The increase in the life expectancy level has also played a role in overpopulation.
- Over 50% of the world population is under 30 years. This translates to about 3.8 billion people between the ages of 0-30.
- By 2030, nearly half of the world’s people will be living in areas of acute water shortage. The planet is in the midst of what the United Nations is calling a “Global Water Crisis.”
- Freshwater is the most fundamental finite resource with no substitutes for most uses, yet we are consuming fresh water at least 10 times faster than it is being replenished in regions of northern Africa, the Middle East, India, Pakistan, China, and the U.S.
How can I make an impact:
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Continue to educate yourself on overpopulation. The more informed we are, the more mindful we can be in our everyday life to preserve our natural resources.,
- Empower women. Much of the population boom is happening in developing countries. Studies show that educating and empowering women on sexual health, allows them to make informed decisions on ways to prevent pregnancy as well as gives women tools for healthy pregnancies.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1
- Promote family planning. Over half of pregnancies were reported as unplanned or unwanted. Family planning is a great way to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
- Lobby for worldwide governments to provide universal access to safe and effective contraceptive options for both sexes.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Action 1 & 2
- Request the government end policies that reward parents financially based on the number of children they have.
- Convince leaders to commit to stabilizing population growth through education and the exercise of human rights and development.
- Choose to be an Ambassador for Change, and always Spread Love and Spread Light.