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human population

October 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Go Forth And Multiply!” That’s what the human population has successfully been doing for thousands and thousands of years, expanding, exploring, migrating, conquering, utilizing, evolving, civilizing, industrializing, and now, destroying the very land upon which we live.

Many feel (as has been the case throughout history) that the major international wars to be fought in the future will continue to be over natural resources. Power conflicts and self-interest will perhaps mean that there will be gross violation of basic rights and death or misery for millions of innocent people. Throughout history, most wars have had trade and resources at their core (leading to ideological battles) fueled by imperialistic motives. In the future, while this pattern is likely to continue, as resources get depleted and wasted in these wars (hot and cold), additional conflicts and contention will arise through access to even more limited resources.

Many of us have grown up learning and being told that 6 billion is too much and this “over population” is primarily impacting the planet’s ability to cope. But is that really the case? Sure, the planet is facing incredible stress. But how much of that is due to large populations, and how much is based on other factors, such as how we choose to live, how we produce, consume and waste our resources? The poor are numerous, but as we shall see, consume far less resources of the planet, for example.

Studies point to ecological limits to sustain people, but these limits can be different, based on the way we consume resources etc so it is hard to say for sure what over population means let alone if we are at some threshold, below, or above it. The information understood so far provides valuable insights and is very important to consider, nonetheless. Yet, the figure of 6 billion and literature about over-population naturally looks to the poor regions where there are high populations and environmental degradation as the problem.

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Categories: HUMAN POPULATION