Author: Dennis Dimick
Date: September 20, 2014
Chapter 7: Human Populations
Content of the Article: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140920-population-11billion-demographics-anthropocene/
The problem in the article is the increasing human population in relation to the Earth's carrying capacity as well as the over consumption of resources and resulting waste products. The players are the humans because in most countries, a women can choose how many children she wants to bear during her reproductive years, and the current world-wide pattern is higher than the ideal number-2.1 children per household. The humans and thousands (if not all) of species are the ones being affected because humans are over hunting animals and over grazing or over cutting plants. As the human population grows, the more resources needed to maintain the human population, which ultimately results in humans exploiting resources and damaging ecosystems as a whole. Some solutions to the problem are to increase the availability of birth control options and educate women worldwide on the reproductive system and the costs of raising a family. Programs to help break cultural beliefs (i.e. gender discrimination) as well as family planning programs are another solution that can help slow and even stop population growth because it helps families realize how many children they can support while still living a decent lifestyle. Other solutions to this problem are stricter and are often seen as a disenfranchisement of women's rights, like China's One Child Policy, where the government decides the number of children bore to women. I feel that this article has made me realize that the Earth is not something we should take for granted because it follows the laws of nature and cannot support exceedingly high population sizes. This article is related to AP Environmental Science because Thomas Malthus's theory of population growth in relation to food supply explains how the population tends to increase at an exponential, or compound, rate while food production remains stable or slowly increases. I have learned that in the year 2100, the human population can reach 9.6 and 12.3 billion according to a United Nations research study.