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1. Human Population Growth

May 13th, 2008 · 65 Comments

Summer Environmental Reading Responses. For each article you read, write a paragraph summarizing the content, and a paragraph discussing your reaction.  Consider the following: 

  • What key points were made in the article?
  • What are the points of view presented about this issue?
  • Does the article teach you something new?
  • Does it support or refute other information you have heard or read? If so why / in what way?

The sources may be scientific publications, popular magazines, newspapers or the like. Try the NY Times (especially Tuesdays), National Geographic, Discover Magazine, Natural History Magazine, as well as the more scholarly Scientific American, Science, Nature, etc.  You may find it convenient to search the web for some magazine’s interactive websites. The ten (10) articles MUST be drawn from the topic list, making sure that you only have one article from each topic area.

Title each summary according to its topic and make sure to include your name.  For example, if your first article and summary is about topic one. Your title will be “1. Human Population Growth – your name”.  Make sure you post it to the correct BLOG chain on the website. Good Luck and have fun learning about the different aspects of environmental science / environmental studies!!!

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65 responses so far ↓

  • 1 1. Human Population Growth-Maddy Perry // Aug 5, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Human overpopulation is one of the most pressing issues facing the world today. Increased population density results in disease, famine, and war. A major reason for the rapid growth of the world’s population is- believe it or not- charity. When developed countries send aid in the form of food to starving countries without education on contraception and family planning, the countries receiving aid are actually harmed more in the long run. An example of this phenomenon is Ethiopia, where millions of dollars in aid was delivered between 1984 and 1985 with no instruction as to family planning. The population then was 41 million and is now 82 million, and the country is fast approaching another famine. You can see now how aid without education, while fixing the problem for a short time, in the end only increases the amount of human suffering.
    I was completely unaware of the fact that giving aid solely in the form of food and money could actually be harmful to those receiving it. The article suggested mandating that the governments of the countries receiving support also educate their populations on contraceptives and have them readily available, and also to promote smaller families. This seems like a good idea to me because this would cut down on overpopulation issues such as human suffering and starvation. Overall, all aid given should come with adequate education on ways to control the population growth before it escalates even farther out of control.

  • 2 1. Human Population Growth- Landon NeSmith // Aug 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    This article describes how an Institute of Medicine in America is doing there part in trying to slow the U.S. population growth. They want to make birth control a free part of health insurance in order to encourage women to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Amazingly, almost half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, so this preventative step would not only lower the growth rate but also the number of unplanned pregnancies which in turn would lead to less abortions. Medical experts also believe that this would help women space pregnancies which lowers risk to them and their kids. This plan could possibly be included in the new health care plan.

    I think this is a great way to take care of more than two birds with one stone. And after reading other articles and comments I know that this is a necessary action in order to keep the world’s population in check. I’m glad that they’ve decided to follow through with this considering I’m against abortions and know the harm unplanned pregnancies can bring. I hope that in the future more helpful actions like this will be taken.

  • 3 1. Human Population Growth- Andrew Harris // Aug 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    According to my article the global population is expected to reach 7 billion people. In 1999 there were 6 billion people. It is estimated that another 2.3 billion people will be added between now and 2050. 2.3 million people is the same amount of people that lived on the earth in 1950. Estimates from the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations say that by 2100 there will be 10.1 billion people. Almost all of the 2.3 billion people projected will live in less developed areas. About half are projected to be in Africa. For most of human history the population has gradually grown. It took until 1800 to get 1 billion people. But, over the past fifty years, has gone from 3 to 7 billion. It is projected that in 2011 135 million people will be born and 58 million will die. This is a net increase of 78 million people. These projections form some challenges. These challenges are overpopulation which can cause disease and famine. Overpopulation would be detrimental to less developed areas. The article also says that developing countries dealing with overpopulation will face difficulties supplying housing and energy to their growing population.

    I was shocked to see how much the global population is projected to grow in a short amount of time. As the article states it took 1,800 years to reach 1 billion people and in just forty years this is projected to be another 2.3 billion people added to the population. This article makes me feel bad for the less developed countries who are going to have little food water, and shelter to provide to their growing population.

  • 4 1. Human Population Growth- Zac Thompson // Aug 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    In this article the writer explains how many jobs need to be created per month in order to keep up with the population growth in the country. The article says that approximately 125,000 to 154,000 new jobs would lead to a recovery of the employment population in America. It also says that instead of adding jobs we cut 37,000 positions and are only creating about 117,000 jobs which are only enough to tread water in the unemployment crisis.
    The amount of jobs that the country needs is surprising sounding but the 117,000 in comparison to the amount needed to recover does not make the current job market surprising with the lack of available jobs.

  • 5 Human Population Growth- Jordi Garcia // Aug 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    This article was very fun to read. It said that the global population was going to reach 7 billion by the the end of this year. I was really surprised at this because only 200 years ago the world’s population was only 1 billion. (But the reason there was a great increase of population is because of the replacement rate during that time.) Furthermore, in 2045 the global population should reach 9 billion people. It’s also predicted that by 2100 the world population will be 10.1 billion. Many people fear that there will be food shortages, pollution, and such. But there’s a solution to every problem. For example, things like overcrowding shouldn’t be a problem because it’s predicted that in 2050 70% of us should be living in cities.
    The news of the ever-nearing 7 billion milestone is exciting! I am always interested in the future and I’m very curious to find the answer to the question of how will we’re going to handle the upcoming problems! The article says that conditions will be fine as long as we balance our resources. The fact that 5% of people are using 23% of the world’s electricity is going to have to change. That means either people need to use less electricity or there’s going to be more power plants. This may lead to unhealthy environmental conditions if greener standards aren’t set. I’m excited to see how the world is going to handle such a large population.

  • 6 1. Human Population Growth- Greer Maddox // Aug 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Our global population is close to 7 billion today. Each day there is 218,000 more mouths to feed, which is 80 million more each year. Populationists say that over population is an illusion. Karl Marx says, “It’s not the size of the population, but the distribution of wealth.” The prediction is that the global population will be around 9 billion in 2050 and 1o billion in 2150.

    This article taught me a lot about theories. People predict so many things from just the slightest change in population. I had no idea our global population was at its high level that it is at today and I learned how much it is growing each day. What upsets me the most is that the less fortunate countries have even less than we do and its losing many more than we are each day.

  • 7 Human Population Growth-Phillip Moore // Aug 5, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    According to this article the global population is expected to reach 7 million later this year, up from just 6 billion in 1999. By 2050 an estimated 2.3 billion people will be added to the worlds population, and according to the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations another 10.1 billion will join us by 2100. Nearly 97% of the 2.3 billion will come from less developed regions of the world, with nealy 49% of that being in Africa alone. This rapid growth of the human population is being caused by more succesful child births and a longer life expectancy that is due to advances in modern medicine. This large growth will most likley lead to a sever lack of food, water, and living space in the locations that will be most affected.

    This article did not tell me much that I did not already know. Ever since humans have been around we have been steadily increasing in number. With todays advanced medicines and science it is no surprise that the population will increase dramatically. I feel as though we should help these under developed countries prepare for the increase as best we can, but other than that what can we do?

  • 8 1. Human Population Growth - Vicki Hill // Aug 6, 2011 at 8:29 am

    The article I read tells how the world population will reach 7 billion this year and could reach 10 billion by 2050. Although fertility rates have decreased in recent years the population still continues to grow at an alarming rate. Mondern medicine and new ideas on sanitation have all helped in the soaring population of the last century, making researchers wonder whether the Earth can sustain this many people. Some countries such as China have decided to limit the number of children per household, but this is not possible in all of them. Others try to promote things such as vasectomies, but these are only available to the people who can afford them. An important point they brought up is that eduacted women have fewer children then ones that lack one. If the population puts more into global education it has the potential of lowering the birth rate across the globe. Even if this does occur, people need to be able to support the huge population that is here today. By making smarter decisions for the planet and lowering our carbon footprint, we can in essence save our planet and have a good place to live for mamy years to come.
    This article really put alot of things into perspective for me. It made me realize how many people are really out there and how limited our resources can seem. Living as a middle class American I dont really realize how many people are in poverty and how that can adversely affect my life. The world can only hold so many people and it is up to everyone to decide when we reach that point.

  • 9 Population Growth- Bayleigh Cook // Aug 6, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    The population in China has been increasingly slow than expected. In 2000, the population was 1.34 million and rose to 73.9 million in the 2010 census. The expected was to be 1.4 billion, missing the margin by about 30 million. The policy in China in 2000 was that each family have one child in hopes to have a more economically stable society. China wavers on wanting to have a larger population so to be ahead in the united nations tally or to have a safer economy.The president is worried that the population is decrease too fast, because the number of childern under the age of 15 is down, but the number for people over the age of 60 has increased. This may cause problems in the distint future.

    This article made me aware that the Chinese goverment is found a way to moniter there population and for the most part keep it under wrap. I think from here the goverment should keep the population stable and, with the economy at a higher point that they have right now, in hopes the goverment will become wealthy enough to allow it’s population to gradully increase.

  • 10 Population Growth-Hunter Dodson // Aug 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    As I have just learned the world population is now almost seven million people. The article suggests that we will eventually over populate the earth and use up all of its resources.”We’re already way past the carrying capacity of this planet by a very simple standard,” says Paul Ehrlich.
    I have often thought about these theories myself for many years. I am glad to finally do some research and educate myself on the subject. I think that will all of the advancements in medicine and technology the mortality rate will drop drasticly. People will get older and older and the Earth will keep getting more and more packed. I worry what the solutions may be for this sort of issue but something must be done.

  • 11 1. Human Population Growth – Eunyoung Jo // Aug 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Although biodiversity has positive effects, an ecosystem can actually function with a minimal number of species because so many species occupy similar ecological roles. Therefore, a diverse ecosystem was originally believed to be able to lose a few species without any major repercussions. However, researchers have discovered that human populations are more harmful to diverse ecosystems due to mankind’s selective pursuit of large fishes. These fishes lack the competitors that could replace their roles in the ecosystem; removing the apex predators is detrimental to an ecosystem. Dense human populations are connected to heavy overfishing, land use, and coastal development. Some 75% of the world’s coral reefs are near human settlements, and 82% of countries with coral reefs are expected to double their human populations within the next 50 to 100 years. Although human overpopulation has always been a sensitive topic dealing with science, religion, and politics, a solution to protect marine biodiversity must be found soon. It has been proven repeatedly that the growing human population cannot be supported without the decline of the world’s natural resources.

    I’ve always questioned human overpopulation and how it could ever be solved. Whenever an animal starts to become overpopulated, people have always encouraged the killing of the animal to control its numbers. Take for example the deer. The hunting of these animals has been defended and encouraged due to their vast numbers. However, this method would obviously not be able to solve human overpopulation. Another solution suggested is the restriction on the number of kids each family may have, such is the custom in China. Many people consider this method to also be inhumane, and the question would remain on how to control the number of births everywhere around the world and what to do with any illegal births. Still, it seems that a vast majority are content to leave the problem be and see what happens. It makes me sad to see such beauty like the coral reefs deteriorate due to human overpopulation. Yet, the fact of the matter is, while humans are rapidly damaging nature, there is no easy answer to the problem of human overpopulation.

  • 12 1. Human population growth - Jiwoong Jeong // Aug 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Many demographer and people who work for UN Population Division are worried about human population growth. They predict that the population will reach nine billion before 2050, and as population grows, there will be serious problems that could damage people such as lacking of natural resources. Especially in India, a nation policy adopted in 2000 called for the country to reach the replacement fertility of 2.1 by 2010 and still it’s going on by sterilization. Some people’s thought was making cities and towns livable is important than reducing population. They think that Even if population decreases, the problems are going to remain.
    I did not know the India has high rate of fertility and there are policy about that. There are much more problems occurring from population growth then I thought. Natural resources, starvation, destruction of environment and etc. I can’t imagine what’s going to be happen when the earth explore by high population. Even though human population growth can damage on earth, choosing its fertility and pregnant is person’s won decision and the government should respect and consider each view of the person and find out the way to deal with the problem.

  • 13 Population Growth- Susan Dean // Aug 8, 2011 at 10:59 am

    The world population is expected to reach 7 billion this year. David Lam, the president of the Population Association of America, said that dispite the large population growth, we have been producing enough food and reducing poverty. World population doubled in 39 years between 1960 and 1999. Lam says the population will decline and lose momenteum due to the number of childbearing women right now because of the population growth over the past 40 years ago. There are programs designed to aid in the increased need of food, for example the green revolution which increased food production by 41% in 49 years. Urbanization also has a huge effect on human population growth and the increased investments in education which allow for the increase in population. Lam explains how the challenges facing us now are “staggering. But they’re nothing compared to the challenges we faced in the 1960’s.”
    This article amazed me because it is completely different than any other opinions I’ve heard about the human population growth. It supports the growth and tells us not to fret over the issue unlike everyone else who has been saying the human growth is a bad thing and we do not have enough food and global support. I enjoyed reading this article and it showd me a completely different side to the human population growth issue.

  • 14 Human Population Growth-Will Hamaker // Aug 10, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Global population is expected to soar to 7 billion within this year. The saddest part is that most of the population is expected to come out of some of the poorest nations in the world. The numbers are staggering places like africa where a woman can expect to have as many a 7 children in a life time and India where the gross population is expected to succeed China population by 3 million people. Altough the U.S. and Canada are expected to supply most of the population of the “developed” nations their numbers are simply over ran in comparison to these “developing” countries. With this staggering increase can the earth support the amount of people it will aquire?
    This article shocked and intrigued me. Living in a house of 7 is hardly comfortable in suburban America but imagine the cramped setting of a hut with limited food supply and the threat of rebels waiting at your door. It is hard to imagine the U.S. being a small countries but as the numbers are predicted to grow it is a freightning prospect for me. With even more people in these awful 3rd world settings the idea of immigrating seem grander, and grander a problem the U.S. cannot fully deal with at the present time. With these huge amounts of people how is any government suppose to delegating lands to farming,housing,and preserving nature’s splendor. Healthcare also becomes an issue in my mind not in the way of treatment but as it is only natural medical care itself with evolve keeping more people alive. There are so many questions this article gave me but its hard to find answers to a developing world.

  • 15 Human Population Growth - Daniel Wertz // Aug 26, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    This article is describing the basic state of the urban world. The increase in the amount of urban areas is not just due to the fact that there is a big population growth, but that local businesses, in pursuit of making more profit, buy out the rural land to expand their influence. The highest increase of urban growth are in the world right now is in, you guessed it China. Also along with China, India and Africa fall into this category. With most of these urban areas being along a coast of some sort, a lot of effort needs to be made to keep these infrastructures safe.

    When I read this article I was under the mindset that rural areas are being eliminated in order to make way for the growing human population, but when I saw that it was the corporate world that was driving this growth, it all made more sense to me. It is clear to me that corporate America needs to get a grip on how much land they use vs how much land they really need to carry out their business.

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