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Updated January 17, 2019

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HYPERLINK “” the last half century the population of the world has exploded.

At the time of writing this technical essay, there are 7.4 billion people on the planet and this number is projected to grow rapidly in a short period of time. This fact is known to be Overpopulation. Overpopulation is an undesirable condition where the number of existing human population exceeds the carrying capacity of Earth. Of all of the environmental challenges facing the planet today, overpopulation is one that sometimes slips under the radar. Overpopulation is one of the most major issues occurring to this present day and yet issues like pollution, climate change and water shortages all seem to take precedence. But what is failed to see, is that overpopulation is one of the main contributors to all these environmental issues.

Overpopulation is caused by a number of factors. Reduced mortality rate, better medical facilities, depletion of precious resources are just a few causes which results in overpopulation. Here we will discuss the causes, the effects as well as provide some solutions to the problem at hand. Causes of Overpopulation Reduced Mortality Rates: – Decline in the death rate is one of the main causes of overpopulation today. If the number of humans born equals the number of humans that die each year, then the population rate will stabilize. However, due to the modifications and improvements in medical technology, the mortality rates for many serious diseases has lowered.

The result of these new enhancements shows that the rate of deaths is not equal to the rate of births, hence one aspect of overpopulation. Better Medical Facilities: – Today the health care system has definitely grew in terms of technology and betterment. Medical science made many discoveries thanks to which they were able to defeat a whole range of diseases. Illnesses that had claimed thousands of lives till now were cured because of the invention of vaccines.

Child Labour: – For thousands of years, a very small part of the population had enough money to live in comfort. The rest faced poverty which would lead to them giving birth to larger families just so that they, in the near future, have more hands to help overcome their poverty state. These “extra hands” are known to be child labour or seeing your children as a source of income. As distressing as it may be to hear, child labour is still used extensively in many parts of the world and these children who begin to work at a young age loses the educational opportunities they should be granted, particularly when it comes to birth control and soon or later, these children will have children of their own. Technological Advancement in Fertility Treatment: – Though it only plays a minor role in comparison to the other causes of overpopulation, improved fertility treatments have made it possible for more people to have children. Couples who weren’t able to conceive to undergo fertility treatment methods and have their own babies.

Today there are effective medicines which can increase the chances of conception which leads to a rise in the birth rate. Lack of Family Planning: – Most developing nations have large number of people who are illiterate in terms of new technology, live below the poverty line and have little or no knowledge about family planning. Getting their children married at an early age as well as practicing unsafe sex due to lack of knowledge, increase the chances of unexpected pregnancies and producing more kids. Immigration: – Unchecked immigration into countries may lead to overpopulation to the point where those countries no longer have the required resources for their population. This is particularly problematic in countries where immigration numbers far exceed emigration numbers. Effects of Overpopulation Depletion of Natural Resources: – Most of the environmental damage being seen in the last fifty years is because of the growing number of people on the planet.

The Earth can only produce a limited amount of water and food, which is falling short of the current needs. Degradation of Environment: – With the overuse of coal, oil and natural gas, it has started producing some serious effects on our environment. Rise in the number of vehicles and industries have badly affected the quality of air. Rise in amount of CO2 emissions leads to global warming.

Melting of polar ice caps, changing climate patterns, rise in sea level are few of the consequences that we might have to face due to environment pollution. Conflicts and Wars: – Overpopulation in developing countries puts a major strain on the resources it should be utilizing for development. Conflicts over water are becoming a source of tension between countries, which could result in wars. Rise in Unemployment: – When a country becomes overpopulated, it gives rise to unemployment as there fewer jobs to support large number of people. Rise in unemployment gives rise to crime as people will steal various items to feed their family and provide them basic amenities of life.

Desalination: – personal opinion on overpopulation is simple. We can no longer prevent it from happening. It is occurring to this present day and there nothing we can do about it. However, we can definitely develop ways to control it. Can engineering solve this or not? If so, how? To me, engineering can definitely help in solving this problem.

However, instead of looking at overpopulation as being the problem, I changed my point of view by switching my focus from overpopulation to Earth’s natural resources. One of the major effects of overpopulation is the depletion of Earth’s natural resources. Some of these resources are as follows: – Water Air Light Plants Animals Soil/Stone Minerals and Fossil fuels We humans need some of these natural resources to stay alive, while we use the others to make our lives better. Overpopulation has led to the demands for these resources, overpower the supply of it.

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