More People, More Problems
by Georgi Maslyankov on September 20, 2017 - 1:57pm
Since the industrialization, human population has grown exponentially. Through the use of environmentally-destructive technology and overconsumption, the consequences of human action have grown to a global scale, endangering life itself, and in the years to come, population growth is bound to play an even more important role in climate change. Though an easily avoidable problem, short term planning is completely detrimental to long term human and environmental conditions because it encourages the use of environmentally-damaging technologies for immediate economic convenience. For instance, coal and fossil fuels will be prioritized over cleaner renewable energies. This is especially the case for poor and developing countries where the population growth is happening at a faster rate since the competition between nations force them to “catch up” to richer developed countries, and hence use the most immediately effective technologies.
Furthermore, population growth also leads to increased consumption and waste. In the food industry, FAO already states that a third of produced food is wasted or lost. Rich countries obviously contribute the most to this, having a rate of more than 250kg of food wasted and lost per capita per year. In fact, there is so much lost that these countries (U.S.A., Canada and Europe) alone could feed all of the starving people in the world. This obviously illustrates how wasteful the food industry can be and not always so for good reasons. For instance, did you know that up to 30% of fruits, vegetables and roots are thrown away because they simply look too ugly to sell? All this trash isn’t handled well either. It is actually responsible for a fairly high level of greenhouse gas emissions. From increased methane production by cows and pollution of water, air and earth, to the overuse of lands, the growth of human population would only increase the dangers to the environment.
Finally, as we said earlier, most of population growth will occur in Central African countries, India, Pakistan and China. This countries are among the ones that suffer the most from climate change, and their growing population will put in the future more people at risk. It will also slow down their development and will retard their population’s access to education and medical care.
In the end, the growth of human population will harm the environment because of the current systems and infrastructures currently in use. This growth will also have social consequences that need to be understood. However, understanding of this gives light to solutions such as smarter consumption, reduced waste, use of more efficient technologies and use of cleaner energies at a global scale.