Exploding Human Population: Short Essay

The world population in 1750 AD was 791 millions. This was the pre-industrialized world and the sweeping changes brought on by the steam engine, power looms and machinery happened 10 years later in 1760. By 2050, the world population is projected to be 11 billion. This means in 400 years we would have added 10,209,000,000 people on the planet. This staggering number is undoubtedly putting a heavy strain on the environment and severely eroding its natural resources in order to keep humanity fed, clothed and sheltered. That we need drastic lifestyle changes in the decades to come is an understatement. Current ways of living are highly unsustainable and we will be responsible for all the conflicts and wars over natural resources like water, clean air and unpolluted land that will break out between nations. Improved healthcare has led to drop in mortality due to disease and increased the life expectancy of human beings. As fertility rates continue to be high, the lack of contraception and lack of education in poorer countries is making the population race impossible to control.

Over-population has led to many related issues such as:

  • Habitat destruction
  • Land degradation
  • Resource depletion
  • Excessive burning of fossil fuels to meet growing energy demands
  • Rapid urbanization

Over-population has increased the demand for land and man is forced to intrude into forests and convert it to farmland or mine it for mineral resources that lie underneath the forests. This has led to widespread habitat destruction and affected the biodiversity. Human needs are far in excess of the carrying capacity of the Earth.

India has ranked very poorly when it comes to tackling the environment challenges. It stands at 155 out of a total of 178 countries covered in the Environment Protection Index. Even China, Russia and Brazil fare better and rank at 118, 77 and 73, respectively. Overgrowing population is a massive problem in India; and it has failed to protect its citizens from the harm caused by environmental degradation.

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