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Society 205 views Sep 13, 2018
Unsustainable Growth

Environmental sustainability is the process by which people satisfy their needs and improve the quality of life by utilizing scarce resources while safeguarding the interest of future generations. Most third world countries face rapid growth in population, urbanization, poverty as well as scarcity in resources, reduction in production, and low resistance to climate change. The combined effects of overpopulation have a negative effect on natural resources, cause pollution and global warming. As a result, the world faces shortages in natural resources, soil exhaustion, forest and coastline degradation, as well as air and water pollution.

Overpopulation leads to overconsumption and hence a negative effect on ecology. For example, ecologists believe that there is an optimal number of species sustainable by an ecosystem. The number is the "carrying capacity," and when it exceeds the limit, then there will be negative consequences to the ecosystem such as overconsumption. The work of Tina Stancheva “Effects of overpopulation on Environment” illustrates the effects of overpopulation on natural resources through water. She says that, in the last 50 years, the amount of fresh water available per capita decreased by one third. The shortage is most felt in the developing countries especially in Africa, South America, and Asia. For example, in some African countries, more than 50% of people daily carry fresh water from the sources from more than two-hour walking distance. In other areas, where overpopulation is rampant like Beijing, the water table falls with an average mark of more than two meters annually.

Overpopulation influences pollution significantly. As the population grows, human activities also increase. As a result, toxic waste will increase; since there are not enough treatment plants, most of untreated effluent drains get into waterways. For example, more than 90% of untreated urban sewage in the developing countries drains in waterways or fields. The main contributors are factories and open mines, which discard waters containing heavy metals and other toxic substances. As a result, oceans are the toxic dumps, which leads to marine pollution. Approximately 39% of rivers, 46% of lakes, and 51% of estuaries in the U.S cannot be fished because of water pollution. Marine pollution also caused nearly 20, 000 beach closings in 2004, which the Negative Population Growth Organization blames overpopulation for.

Human activity is a contributor to global warming given that humans use fossil fuels to power the increasingly mechanized lifestyle. As people grow in population, the demand for gas, oil, coals, and other sources of power also increases. According to The United Nations Population Funds, human population grew into 5 billion during the 20th century. During the time, emission of CO2, the leading greenhouse gase, grew by 12fold. The United States, for example, has 5% of the world's population, yet contributes 25% of the world's CO2. The United Nations Population Funds also predicts that fast developing countries, like India and China, will produce more than 50% of the world's CO2 emission by mid-century.

In conclusion, natural resources are under the increasing pressure that threatens environmental sustainability caused by overpopulation. For example, overpopulation leads to an increase in human activities, which later causes shortage of natural resources, pollution, and global warming. Various studies and statistics reveal that overpopulation has many negative effects on the environment that need to be dealt with.

I am a freelance writer. I'm specialized in essay writing on different topics. I like to experiment with different styles and genres. It may be a small high school essay or research. What I like the most about my work is that there is always something new to learn. That's why I usually read a lot. The last articles I read were Should Congress Allow the Buying and Selling of Human Organs?Globalization: Wal-Mart in South Africa and Sport and Exercise Physiology : How the body adapts to long term exercise?