Friday, December 17, 2010

Some Effects of Human Overpopulation

The Catholic Church's former attitude re Birth Control, now changed for 2010 and years thereafter.
Some problems associated with or exacerbated by human overpopulation:
  • Inadequate fresh water[144] for drinking water use as well as sewage treatment and effluent discharge. Some countries, like Saudi Arabia, use energy-expensive desalination to solve the problem of water shortages.[168][169]
  • Depletion of natural resources, especially fossil fuels[170]
  • Increased levels of air pollution, water pollution, soil contamination and noise pollution. Once a country has industrialized and become wealthy, a combination of government regulation and technological innovation causes pollution to decline substantially, even as the population continues to grow.[171]
  • Deforestation and loss of ecosystems[172] that sustain global atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide balance; about eight million hectares of forest are lost each year.[173]
  • Changes in atmospheric composition and consequent global warming[174][175]
  • Irreversible loss of arable land and increases in desertification[176] Deforestation and desertification can be reversed by adopting property rights, and this policy is successful even while the human population continues to grow.[177]
  • Mass species extinctions.[178] from reduced habitat in tropical forests due to slash-and-burn techniques that sometimes are practiced by shifting cultivators, especially in countries with rapidly expanding rural populations; present extinction rates may be as high as 140,000 species lost per year.[179] As of 2008, the IUCN Red List lists a total of 717 animal species having gone extinct during recorded human history.[180]
  • High infant and child mortality.[181] High rates of infant mortality are caused by poverty. Rich countries with high population densities have low rates of infant mortality.[182]
  • Intensive factory farming to support large populations. It results in human threats including the evolution and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria diseases, excessive air and water pollution, and new virus that infect humans.
  • Increased chance of the emergence of new epidemics and pandemics[183] For many environmental and social reasons, including overcrowded living conditions, malnutrition and inadequate, inaccessible, or non-existent health care, the poor are more likely to be exposed to infectious diseases.[184]
  • Starvation, malnutrition[143] or poor diet with ill health and diet-deficiency diseases (e.g. rickets). However, rich countries with high population densities do not have famine.[185]
  • Poverty coupled with inflation in some regions and a resulting low level of capital formation. Poverty and inflation are aggravated by bad government and bad economic policies. Many countries with high population densities have eliminated absolute poverty and keep their inflation rates very low.[186]
  • Low life expectancy in countries with fastest growing populations[187]
  • Unhygienic living conditions for many based upon water resource depletion, discharge of raw sewage[188] and solid waste disposal. However, this problem can be reduced with the adoption of sewers. For example, after Karachi, Pakistan installed sewers, its infant mortality rate fell substantially.[189]
  • Elevated crime rate due to drug cartels and increased theft by people stealing resources to survive[190]
  • Conflict over scarce resources and crowding, leading to increased levels of warfare[191]
  • Less Personal Freedom / More Restrictive Laws. Laws regulate interactions between humans. Law "serves as a primary social mediator of relations between people." The higher the population density, the more frequent such interactions become, and thus there develops a need for more laws and/or more restrictive laws to regulate these interactions. It is even speculated that democracy is threatened due to overpopulation, and could give rise to totalitarian style governments.[dubious ]
Some economists, such as Thomas Sowell[192] and Walter E. Williams[193] argue that third world poverty and famine are caused in part by bad government and bad economic policies. Most biologists and sociologists see overpopulation as a serious threat to the quality of human life.[10][194]

From the Wikipedia article on Overpopulation.

1 comment:

Bill Cover Insurance said...

Overpopulation can also lead to poverty.