In the current year, 2011, world population is approaching the 7billion mark: one billion more than the statistics taken in 1999. This is a definite indication that the human population is rapidly increasing. The most ironic fact is that much of this population growth is happening in the Less Developed Countries (LDCs) as compared to the Most Developed Countries (MDCs).
The overpopulation menace is generating a lot of concern since it is putting a lot of strain on our planet and its natural resources. A significant note to be taken concerning overpopulation is that it does not just refer to the density of the population, but it is a comparison of the density as a ratio of resources.
With this in mind, solutions to overpopulation do not only target the reduction of numbers but also tackle issues concerning the environment’s sustainability. In this article, I will briefly air my opinion on the causes and effect of rapid population growth. I will suggest what can be done to bring the situation under control.
The causes of overpopulation vary with geographical location and the level of development as in the case of LDCs and MDCs. In the LDCs, common causes include: declining mortality rates (due to available treatments stemming from MDCs), increasing birth rates and inadequate education. In the MDCs however the case is slightly different.
They majorly are exposed to more scientific and technological advancements which go along way in improving their health and increasing their food production which results in an increase of their life expectancy. They are also affected by migration with people moving to “greener pastures”.
Another factor associated with population growth is ignorance on birth control measures especially in the LDCs. Cultural beliefs that controlling of birth is evil and against the doctrines of nature is dominant in LDCs resulting to continuously growing populations.
Mainstream churches such as the Catholic Church has been having a strong stance against the use of contraceptives as a means of controlling birth. Taking into consideration the huge followers of this faith it cannot be assumed that such a stance by the Catholic Church will not have an effect on increasing the population.
The effects are so visible especially to our environment ranging from cutting down of forests to pollution in densely populated areas. Extra mouths to feed will definitely result in economic strain especially in LDCs leading to poverty. With places faced with economic strain as a result of population increase, poor living conditions become evident.
Religion has even been blamed by some due to the restriction they impose on contraceptives and abortion. Others include: global warming, starvation and malnutrition, land and resource disputes, increased crime rates among others. The overwhelming consensus is that something needs to be done fast to prevent even worse consequences.
For the LDCs education and woman empowerment has by now continued to produce fruitful results hence it should be enhanced. General education to the public will also bring insight to the population concerning the magnitude of the problem at hand.
Many nations could also adopt the use of renewable energies (to reduce pollution), teach families the importance of family planning and also develop the rural areas in order to curb migration processes. An extraordinary solution is also being explored though its+ viability is yet to be proven: it involves extraterrestrial settlement.
The solutions need to have a more personal inclination. Once one is brought to the knowledge of the prevailing problem of overpopulation, then it is essential that we all do our part as individuals in order to be able to achieve the common goal of curbing the population menace at the same time making our environment sustainable.