Too Much of a Good Thing (… Us)

Photo+illustration+by+Deleah+Gill
Back to Article
Back to Article

Too Much of a Good Thing (… Us)

Photo illustration by Deleah Gill

Photo illustration by Deleah Gill

Photo illustration by Deleah Gill

Photo illustration by Deleah Gill

Isaiah Lawrence and Brooke Richmond

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Concerns over mass starvation and the depletion of natural resources have been around since the 1800s. With our current population being at 7.6 billion, many are concerned with the effects of overpopulation. War, degradation of natural resources, increase in unemployment, and higher cost of living are progressively demanding issues. If the population continues to grow at its current rate, those won’t be the only dilemmas future generations will face. Insufficiencies of clean water and food will become a common challenge, while the population approaches Earth’s theorized maximum capacity — 10 billion — resources will become scarce.

The extinction of species is one of the many negative results of human population growth, along with the destruction of ecosystems and the production of greenhouse gases. As our population increases, the need for food increases. We can satisfy this need through agriculture, but not without extensive side effects. The amount of deforestation due to agriculture in support of our growing population is overwhelming. In fact, 80% of deforestation worldwide is caused by agriculture. Deforestation is often related to loss of habitats and extinctions, but it causes a huge problem for us as well. The reduced amount of vegetation leads to a higher amount of CO2, which further contributes to the greenhouse gas issue.

Although 10 billion appears to be a far away number, our population of 7.6 billion is quickly growing. Every year, our population grows by 1.09%, adding 83 million people to our society. According to the Population Reference Bureau, the population is expected to reach 9.9 billion by 2050. Most people do not fully comprehend what it would be like with over 10 billion people on Earth. In a world with 10 billion people, if everyone were to have a diet strictly made up of grains, we would require 3.5 billion acres of crops. This mass would be larger than the entire US (2.3 billion acres), produce approximately 2 billion tons of grains annually, and leave little to no food for livestock. Space, unlike other necessities, wouldn’t at all be an issue. It is very much possible that we could fit our current population in the 103,000 square mile island that is New Zealand, therefore we would have no problem spreading 10 billion people across Earth’s land. Although overpopulation seems like a nightmare, it is possible to support the enormous population of 10 billion, but maybe not in the way you think.

A possible solution would be to migrate to another habitable planet. When scientist William Hershel spotted a planet that was not visible to the naked eye in 1781, people began to question whether or not humans could live on other planets. In 2016, NASA researchers found 7 earth like planets rotating around a sun. It has not been justified that humans could live on these planets and will never be tested. The reality of the situation is that we would be unable to reach the planet. We would have to carry 9.9 billion people in space shuttles across the universe. These planets are 229 trillion miles away, approximately 817,000 years at our current pace. In addition to that, it would take an estimated 10 to 12 months to build and organize the shuttles. It would simply take too much time.

A more obvious solution to our problem is to have fewer children. Although this won’t completely “solve” our problem, it could aid in slowing down the process and even in lowering the population. As Americans, lowering the amount of children we have would have the most influence on population stabilization, in comparison to other countries. While the lack of contraception in third world countries has a noticeable impact, Americans use an exponential amount of resources for the size of our population. We are only 5% of the population, but we consume an estimated 25% of the world’s energy and having just two children triples the amount of resources you will use in your lifetime.

At the end of the day, population control is impossible without collaborative effort from all fronts. That is not to say that just one person is unable to reduce the consequences of overpopulation. Factors such as choosing a vegetarian diet, conserving energy, or even something as simple as taking a shorter shower could great reduce the amount of resources you use and your contribution to certain pollutants.

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.

Navigate Left
  • Too Much of a Good Thing (… Us)

    Artist Showcase

    Dancing with the Vampires

  • Too Much of a Good Thing (… Us)

    Features

    The Racism We Face In Society

  • Features

    You “Bready” For This Sandwich?

  • Too Much of a Good Thing (… Us)

    Features

    2018 Election Recap

  • Too Much of a Good Thing (… Us)

    Features

    Rest In Peace: Stan Lee

  • Too Much of a Good Thing (… Us)

    Features

    True Student Athletes

  • Too Much of a Good Thing (… Us)

    Features

    Is Theatre for You?

  • Too Much of a Good Thing (… Us)

    Features

    Our Recipes are the BEST!

  • Too Much of a Good Thing (… Us)

    Artist Showcase

    Dancing with the Vampires

  • Too Much of a Good Thing (… Us)

    Features

    The Racism We Face In Society

Navigate Right

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Too Much of a Good Thing (… Us)