Too many Problems, so little solution (SuperPost)
by Rainertaycho on December 11, 2017 - 2:49pm
The world is riddled with problems such as climate change, pollution, poverty, wars, and etc. These problems are currently unresolved and will most likely stay as is for longer periods of time. Although that is case, here are few examples of problems which can be addressed at a shorter period of time, and will help lessen the burden of the aforementioned problems.
In the article "Collapse: how societies chose to fail or succeed" by Jared Diamond, the author addressed overpopulation through historical events and statistics. Diamond compares the fall of Rome to the situation of the West as massive amounts of immigrants from less developed countries are being taken in by more powerful and technologically advanced countries such as United States. Disparate birthrates is playing a role here as the powerful countries are failing to reproduce generation after generation; while the immigrant population is growing ever larger. How this contributes to overpopulation is that the less developed countries reproduce and migrate to other countries at a much faster rate than the more developed ones. Diamond explains that a 3% growth per year would result in human mass exceeding the planet's in under 2000 years. As an example, Africa is has one of the fastest growing population with a recorded 4.1 per annum, which doubles every 17 years. The Arab population grows at a rate of 3% per annum and doubles every 20 years. Diamond also stresses that the continuous growth of the population of less developed countries contribute to the massive emigration pressures and political chaos; just as is currently displayed in the middle east. Diamond states that the reason for the sudden influx of the population in africa is due to many reasons such as the introduction of improved hygiene and preventive medicine, fixing of national boundaries and opening of settlements in formerly contested areas, but most of all food and financial aid from the first world nations. This might seem great at first glance but the situation can be viewed in the context of Malthusian theory in which the food production only arithmetically but the population grows exponentially. The solution proposed by Diamond in order to resolve the area conflicts genocide. Although it is completely horrid and just unacceptable, it is a solution to decrease the current global population. Diamond uses the situation in Rwanda and Burundi, where Rwanda produced the third largest body count among global genocides since 1950. Diamond had also compared the mass suicide of the lemmings after their summer multiplication. The author had described this as an inevitable result of overpopulation as it creates excessive pressure on the population of the land, along with endless conflicts over it. Even china, has seen a great transformation when in half a century, the population doubled and the urbanization has increased from 13% to 38%. China along with the population increase had also become the second largest producer or electricity and chemical textiles while it is also the third largest oil consumer. Not only that China is continuing to lose fertile land and forests with major problems with air quality. Although their government has a policy on birthrate, it I still damaging th ecological health at an alarming rate. As can be seen from this example, overpopulation causes more ecological problems such as deforestation and chemical wastes from the growing industries, and solving this problem may give some leeway to finding the solutions to other growing problems. Diamond argues the if overpopulation cannot be solved through policies, it will be solved by war and extermination; as even during the rising of the GMOs, it fails to feed the majority of the third world countries in which 80% live in poverty.
Deforestation might not seem like a huge problem, but looking at it from a different perspective, if cured can help solve climate change and other environmental problems. Deforestation is the second biggest source of global carbon emission; just after fossil fuel burning. In Canada, deforestation accounts for 1.7-2.5% of the country's total carbon emission. Although comparatively low in global terms, it is still quite significant. According to Natural Sources Canada, the agricultural center alone accounts for over half of the country's deforestation; the remainder caused by urbanization (19%); hydroelectric development (10%); the forest sector (10%); and other natural resource extraction industries (8%). Deforestation was observed in the Waskeiu Hills and Red Deer River of the Boreal Plain Ecozone. It was also stated that on private holdings unprotected by federal and provincial law; deforestation continued to occur after a decline in population. Meaning Industries are coming in and taking advantage of the vulnerability of the unprotected woodlands.
Loss of biodiversity:
Deforestation ties in with the loss of Biodiversity. The more trees people cut, the less homes the animals can live in. A report by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service found that in Hawaii, 15 species fall under the endangered species category and recognized a taxonomic change in a plant within the endangered species category. A few examples of the Hawaiian wildlife currently under threat are: kookoolau, haha, aku, haiwale,picture-wing fly, and anchialine pool shrimp. Currently certain policies have been implemented in Hawaii in order to prevent the extinction of such species. As such, a permit must be obtained in order to allow the collection of such species but only for scientific purposes; in order to propagate and better the survival of the species. According to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SUAS), "There is now unequivocal evidence that biodiversity loss reduces the efficiency by which ecological communities capture biologically essential resources, produce biomass, decompose and recycle biologically essential nutrients." (SUAS, pg. 4 para, 20). Also, according to SUAS, biodiversity increases the stability of ecosystem function overtime. Total resource capture and biomass production become more stable as the diversity in a place flourishes. It was also found that biodiverse communities are more productive as they have access to key species that largely influence productivity. Although the value of biodiversity to us as humans and how it can truly affect us is still debated, it is imperative that we take care of biodiversity as the chances of reversing the effects of its loss will be close to nil when it is too late.
To conclude, it can be seen that these problems are intertwined; overpopulation causes deforestation due to the need of infrastructures, and deforestation causes loss of biodiversity. It could be a very slow process, but curing these problems will possible with more research.
Fitzsimmons, Michael. "Estimated Rates of Deforestation in Two Boreal Landscapes in Central Saskatchewan, Canada." Canadian Journal of Forest Research, vol. 32, no. 5, 2002, pp. 843-851, Canadian Business & Current Affairs Database; Research Library; SciTech Premium Collection, https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/230517786?accountid=44391.