The Good, the Bad and the Population Growth.

The purpose of this post is to present information regarding the world’s population growth and how it is related with our natural resources. Also, we are going to see the two different percpectives on this issue and accordingly each side’s predictions and suggestions for the years to come.

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[4] World Population

What about now? What about today?

I shall start by saying that the world population has reached the stagering number of 7 billion people with a continuously increasing rate of growth every year.There are several reasons for the population growth that we are experiencing..

First of all we should mention the high birth rates that keep increasing as well as the low death rate.Additionally our technological advantages and of course the innovations concerning the field of medicines have contributed fairly enough. Alsom through urbanisation, resources are being used in a higher rate . Last but not least we should not forget the fact of immigration and of refugees using conserved resources. And so here we are having an increase in poverty  inequality and decrease in life quality..becoming more and more. [2]

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[5] Urbanization

As a result, we cannot but wonder..can earth support all this population? When talking about carrying capacity ,we define it as the maximal population size of a given species that an area can support without reducing its ability to support the same species in the future. Although we cannot say exactly how many people are the limit for earth’s carrying capacity we can be pretty sure that we are on our way to reaching it. Or not? [1]

We have have a big debate and the teams are : The Cornucipians VS the Cassandras.

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[6] Cornucipians VS the Cassandras

The Cornucopians claim that with the help of the technological advances we will find a solution and resources will not run off but instead people will continue to have possibly alternative sources to get their nutrients and power from.

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On the other hand we have the Cassandras who state that the population continues increasing and we keep exploiting our resources at this rate then eventually we will have nothing left and we will be unavoidably lead to a world catastrophe.
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Personally, I believe that anything done excessively has bad consequences and right now we are overexploiting earth’s resources. Therefore, I do think that unless we change our current behaviour , it may not be tomorrow, but close is the day when our resources will vanish.

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[7]Paul Ehrlich.

Paul Ehrlich is an American biologist and Professor of Population Studies at Stanford University. He is well known for his book The Population Bomb where he predicted a mass starvation of humans in the 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation. He also suggested that immediate action should be taken in order to limit population growth.

Ehrlich created the IPAT equation, which is a formula used to describe the impact of human activity on the environment. More specifically human impact (I) on the environment equals (=) the product of Population (P), Affluence (A), Technology (T). It describes how these three factors contribute toward our environmental impact.

United States

To begin with, the United States are a huge,developed country with great technology. Additionally, the afluence of the U.S is really high and of course increasing.What’s more,there are no restrictions on births per family .What does this say for the IPAT? Obviously the United States have a really big impact on the world’s environment.

China

First of all,China’s technology development is quite remarkable and it’s increasing rate extremely high.When it comes to the affluence however,China is lower than the US.However, China’s population is staggeringly higher than this of the US. We should mention at this point that steps have been taken for the population’s decrease; yet  the (P) factor at the time is high and also is the (T) and so is China’s IPAT result.

Greece

Greece’s population is relatively low, at 11 million inhabitants. About the technological developement? We wish we had at least some! What’s more when we talk about Greece’s affluence,especially nowadays that the economical crisis is taking place, it is obvious that Greece does not have a big (A) impact on its IPAT . The result is a very small IPAT and a very small therefore impact on the environment.

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[8]Hans Rosling

Hans Roslingis professor of International Health at the Karolinska Institutet, the medical university in Stockholm, Sweden. Additionally,he discovered konzo, a formerly unknown paralytic disease caused by malnutrition and intoxication.He has also studied other links between poverty and health in Asia and Latin America and been an adviser regarding vaccination and essential drugs to WHO, UNICEF and Sida. He co-founded Médecines sans Frontiers in Sweden and is a member of the International Group of the Swedish Academy of Science.Besides pioneering global health teaching in both under and post graduate training and recently published “GLOBAL HEALTH, an introductory textbook”,he also co-founded Gapminder (www.gapminder.org), a non-profit venture for development of software that unveils the beauty of statistics by converting boring numbers into enjoyable moving and interactive graphics. His award winning lectures with animated statistics were labeled “humorous, yet deadly serious”. In 2007 Google acquired the animation software from Gapminder and Hans Rosling is now pioneering the use of animated statistics to show global trends on video and in TV. [3]

[9] Rosling on TED

What Rosling tries to emphasize on is that we can still make changes and provide a better future for the next generations. In his lecture he clearly shows the difference between different parts of the world and the evolution between the years. It is shocking to see what the expectations used to be and how they changed through the years. What’s more I found really intersting the change of the death rates and I believe that we should all be disturbed by the picture presented in the 3rd world countries. I think that his graphs can be very educational for everyone although I personnally believe that the general picture given as a conlusion is very optimistic. I really wish that the future takes the path Rosling suggests but I trully think that what he says is difficult to be succeeded. After all maybe I am just a Cassandra, opposed to his Cornucipian,ambitious views.

[10]Gapminder’s data for 1900[10].Gapminder’s data for 1975

10.Gapminder’s data for 2011

As we can see from Gapminder’s charts the life expectancy overall in the world has increased drastically over the last century. My country has experienced also a life expectancy change as well with people living more an more years. This change has come since the last century science has taken many steps forward. More specifically, the field of medicines and generally the health section has had incredible innovations. Also, the quality of life has been improved . It is therefore for us to see how Greeks can live up to those ages nowadays.

Conclusion.

All in all, as we can see population is a big issue for the world and especially in this era that it has reached the outstanding number of 7 billion. The predictions can be either positivity or negative but it is in our choice to select what’s going to happen in the future. I personally believe that unless we take drastic actions, the resources will eventually end. It is not imposible though , still, to improve the situation and “design” a bright future.

Works Cited

1. “Daily, G. C., Ehrlich”, P. R. (1992). Population, Sustainability, and Earth’s Carrying Capactiy. Bioscience.

2. “Withgott, J. & Brennan, S”. (2010). Environment: The science behind the stories. 4th Ed. San Francisco: Pearson Education.

3.”Hans Rosling – Biography.” Hans Rosling – Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. <http://www.worldcongress.com/speakerBio.cfm?speakerID=2163&gt;.

4.”October 12 1999: The World Population Hits 6 Billion.” HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. <http://people.howstuffworks.com/population-six-billion.htm&gt;.

5.”Explain THAT Science!: World Population and Statistical Lies.” Carl Sagans Dance Party. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. <http://csdphumor.com/2011/02/15/world-population-and-statistical-lies/&gt;.

6.”Club Wyndham vs. WorldMark, the Club.” Club Wyndham vs. WorldMark, the Club. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. <http://www.sellingtimeshares.net/club-wyndham-vs-worldmark-the-club/&gt;.

7.”Paul Ehrlich Still Prophesying Doom, and Still Wrong.” News Paul Ehrlich Still Prophesying Doom and Still Wrong Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100153735/paul-ehrlich-still-prophesying-doom-and-still-wrong/&gt;.

8.Christakis, Nicholas A. “Hans Rosling.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. <http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2112170,00.html&gt;.

9.”CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY: Hans Rosling in TED: Religions and Babies.”CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY: Hans Rosling in TED: Religions and Babies. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. <http://paulacarrielsoc151.blogspot.gr/2012/06/hans-rosling-in-ted-religions-and.html&gt;.

10.http://www.gapminder.org/

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