The relation between population and natural resources by Miles Villegas on Prezi
Not only the number of people, but also the lifestyle, consumption patterns, and The relationship between population growth and environmental degradation may More people demand more resources and generate more waste. for all environmental ills and the view that more people means the development of new . Read chapter Population Growth, Resource Consumption, and The The relationships between human population, economic development, and the natural. of the Relationship Between Population and Consumption as a Means to and increased resource consumption with rapid population growth will result in a .
The National Academies Press. As the experience of the United States, other industrialized nations, and developing countries indicates, birth rates and economic development are closely linked. The world's population was 2. Current population growth worldwide is 1. Over the next 50 years, within the lifetimes of many of us, economic activity worldwide is projected to quadruple, and global population is expected to double to about 11 billion before leveling off. If population growth of this magnitude occurs with current industrial processes, agricultural methods, and consumer practices, the results could be both environmentally and economically disastrous.
According to the assessments of many environmental experts, the most critical need facing the world is the slowing of human population growth National Commission on the Environment ; NRC c. Continued global population growth of the current magnitude—1 billion more people every decade—has the potential not only to negate efforts to protect the environment, but also ultimately to overwhelm economic and social progress.
The reasons for giving the highest priority to reducing population growth are ethical, practical, and scientific. Many of the countries that are experiencing rapid economic growth and increasing consumption of goods aspire to a pattern of consumption like that of the United States and have government policies that encourage economic growth.
But as economic growth and thus consumption increase, so do the environmental impacts of a population as it works and lives. Page 82 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Second, no net loss of water or air quality.
Third, stabilization of our food supply, to include quantity and quality. Fourth, stabilization of plant and animal biodiversity.
Fifth, no net loss of wetlands; watersheds; national forests, parks, wildlife preserves, and wilderness areas; or lake, stream, or ocean commercial and recreational fisheries stocks. Sixth, continued monitoring of global climate change, such as global warming, acid rain, and loss of the ozone layer.
However, large-scale worldwide demographic and health surveys have demonstrated a large unmet need for family-planning in nearly every country of the world. These needs are for low-cost, accessible, and safe means of contraception. In developing countries, we cannot and should not deter economic development; but by recognizing the unmet need for contraception, we can influence the rate of population growth by helping people to manage their own fertility.
People in developing countries want both economic development and smaller families. Many countries are already experiencing marked fertility declines; given additional resources and assistance, they can increase these declines. Combining rapid economic development and increased resource consumption with rapid population growth will result in a compounding of the effects of economic development, which might overwhelm the capacity of a country to address them.
The human population has not always been so large. Around 10, years ago before the invention of agriculture, it is estimated that the human population was only a few million people worldwide. After the invention of agriculture, the human population began to grow slowly until the s, when a rapid increase in the human population began. With increases in technology and medical advancements, the human population was able to reach three billion in the s. Since that time, the population has more than doubled and continues to increase.
Impact on Resource Consumption Now that you have an idea of how large the human population is and how it has grown, what impact do you think this will have on natural resources? Can the Earth sustain all of these people and supply the resources every person needs to survive?
Consumption in relation to population, environment and development.
Due to this increase in the human population, there has been increased pressure on the natural resources that we rely on for survival. Continued population growth forever raises the stakes for achieving sustainability. To move toward sustainability in the future will require managing human numbers, resources, and wastes so that the total impact of activities in the United States is within the bounds of sustainability.
These are the reasons why population and consumption matter in the United States today, why it is necessary to address population and consumption together to create a sustainable United States, and why the Population and Consumption Task Force of the President's Council on Sustainable Development was created and undertook its work.What is CARRYING CAPACITY? What does CARRYING CAPACITY mean? CARRYING CAPACITY meaning & explanation
Those conditions in turn alter the impact of U. Considering the entire picture at once is daunting and confusing. Scientists Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren have popularized the following formula: Using this formula, the physical, aggregate Impact of a country on the global environment can be described as the product of the numbers of people Populationconsumption of goods and services per capita a measure of the scale of resource use, termed Affluence for brevity, and convenienceand Technology a measure of the degree to which inefficient and environmentally unsafe methods are used to produce and consume goods and service.
Obviously, a high number in any one of the terms--population, affluence, or technology--produce a large impact. A small population can have a large impact if it consumes a great deal per capita or if it consumes modestly but produces goods with inefficient or dangerous technologies. Modest consumption per capita or efficient and safe technologies can lessen the impact of a large population, And a large population with high per capita consumption level inefficient and polluting technologies has the greatest impact of all.
Thus, the environmental impact of the United States is great. Continued population growth can cancel efforts to improve the efficiency and cleanliness of technologies and to stabilize per capita consumption levels.
Similarly, continuing to rely on inefficient and polluting technologies can keep environmental impact high, even if population and per capita consumption are stable.
And rising per capita consumption can cancel the results of improved technology and a stable population. The precise effects depend on the numbers involved. The United States experiences a total population growth of 1. Over a decade's time, U.
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Similarly, absent technological change, continued population growth means that per capita consumption of natural resources would need to fall by half in 50 years' time just to keep environmental impact from worsening-again, without considering the compounding effect of continued growth. Also, population growth at today's rate would cancel the environmental benefit of a 1. A few examples illustrate the dynamic. Between andper capita energy consumption in the United States fell slightly, while total energy consumption rose by 10 percent.
Population growth of 32 million people, or 14 percent, during the period drove total consumption up despite the decline in per capita use. In recent decades, population growth has been the only force driving up total use of most resources in the United States. Important exceptions are paper and plastic, where per capita increases have also played a role. Between andthe total increase in per capita paper use in the United States averaged about 1. This rise in per capita consumption would overwhelm technological changes improving efficiency in paper use by 1.
It also multiplies the effect of population growth. It says nothing, for example, about the distribution of resources that lies behind total consumption.
Packed invisibly into the "affluence" factor in the United States today are the millions of people far from affluence, such as the poor, who need better nutrition and health care; the illiterate and functionally illiterate, who need additional education; and the unemployed and underemployed, who need jobs and job training-people who need to increase their consumption of goods and services. The statement, based on the formula, that reducing the consumption factor would reduce environmental impact is not meant to imply that everyone in the population should reduce consumption equally, or even proportionally, and no such implication is intended in this report.
All these arrangements can mediate the impact of the three factors on the environment. Elements, such as the extent of democracy and equality of access to resources and political power, can mean a great deal to the stability and durability of a society, to environmental impact, and thus to sustainability.
Other formulas attempt to capture these elements. For example, the POET model adds to population, environment, and technology an element for human organization 0 in order to capture this feature.
It reveals the necessity of looking at all components simultaneously, lest failure to make changes in one cancel out efforts on others. Indeed, it is possible to consider that continued population growth and rising per capita consumption, where they occur, forever raise the stakes, so that technology must achieve ever greater improvements to reduce environmental impact.
Nor is it possible to know with confidence the exact sustainable level of resource consumption and kind of technology, given the current and projected U. And neither population, consumption patterns, nor technology is infinitely malleable, given the starting places today. Continuing current population and consumption patterns with today's technology is clearly not environmentally sustainable, however.
Both overuse and contamination diminish nature's productive capacity and will, in time, diminish actual production. Our activities also harm the ability of the Earth's natural systems to absorb waste and perform the other functions with which we have evolved and on which everything we do depends-the way that water, air, forests, and other "commons" generate the clear water, blue sky, healthy soil and vegetation, and biological diversity that are the foundation of life on earth.
More than 20 percent of U.
Population and environment: a global challenge - Curious
Underground water tables are dropping in many places. Less than half of America's original wetlands remain, and important U. In the last two centuries, the country has lost 90 percent of its northwestern old- growth forests, 99 percent of its tailgrass prairie, and hundreds of documented species of native plants and animals alone.
The United States is the world's top producer of garbage and the leading generator of toxic and hazardous substances. And this nation, the world's third largest, is the only major industrialized country in the world experiencing population growth on a significant scale.
As the world's largest economy, the United States is the world's largest single consumer of natural resources and the greatest producer of wastes of all kinds. These are not the conditions on which to build a durable future or to provide an example for the rest of the world. This occurs despite an average family size of two children, slightly under the so-called replacement-level fertility that just replaces parents.