WORLD POPULATION

The world’s human population has reached 7 billion as of October 31, 2011 as per the United Nations.  It is currently growing at a rate of 1.10% per year, which translates to an average population change that is estimated to be around 75 million per year.


RESOURCE DEPLETION, CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY CONCERNS

Overpopulation is one of the culprits for the exhaustion of renewable and non-renewable resources within a region.  The depletion is caused primarily by overconsumption and/or excessive or unnecessary use of resources as well as habitat degradation brought about by mining, logging, agriculture, urban sprawl and trawling, and introduction of invasive species.

  • The search for oil has led to the exploration of the Alaskan wilderness. In the wake of a projected oil supply decline from the existing North Slope Reserve, exploratory oil drillers are focusing their attention on the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA) in the Arctic wilderness. The NPRA is a 23-million-acre area in northwestern Alaska, a region which geologists consider to be the last, great untapped oil field in North America. Environmental experts fear that oil and gas development will seriously harm the area.
  • A research conducted by the University of Virginia has noted that the great boreal forest in Russia, particularly in Siberia, is undergoing a continually accelerating large-scale shift in vegetation type in response to a warming climate.  This shift will promote additional warming and vegetation change, particularly in areas with low species diversity.
  • The United States Department of Agriculture’s 1997 Natural Resources Inventory found that nearly 16 million acres of privately owned open space, which includes forests, croplands and wetlands, were developed in the five years between 1992 and 1997. This is more than the total for the entire decade prior to 1992, when 13.9 million acres were developed.
  • In 1998, the FAO estimated total annual bycatch–the amount of fish killed and tossed back–amounted to 22 million tons, or one quarter of the total catch. In addition to fish, hundreds of thousands of birds, seals, dolphins, turtles, and other species are killed in an effort to maximize harvest with minimal efforts to protect non-target species.
  • A proposal to create a 171.5-km highway that cuts through the Serengeti National Park, linking Lake Victoria with Eastern Tanzania, was made by the Tanzanian government in 2010.  The road was scheduled to commence in 2012 and conservationists have contested that the road will adversely affect biodiversity in the form of increased road kills of large mammals and attendant scavengers including vultures and disrupt the ancient migratory patterns of over 1.8 million antelopes and wildebeests, touted to be one of the largest migratory systems on the planet.

 


POPULATION CONTROL

Different sustainability advocates have announced that the Earth can only sustain from under 500 millionto 2 billion people and that with the current growth rate, it is essential for the human species to develop a flexible, equitable, and internationally coordinated set of initiatives focused on reducing the current world population by at least 80%.

  • CNN founder Ted Turner expressed his sentiment about the ideal optimum population:

A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.

Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.

  • Renowned explorer, innovator, scientist, and marine conservation pioneer Jacques Cousteau famously stated:

What should we do to eliminate suffering and disease? It’s a wonderful idea but perhaps not altogether a beneficial one in the long run. If we try to implement it we may jeopardize the future of our species…It’s terrible to have to say this. World population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. This is so horrible to contemplate that we shouldn’t even say it. But the general situation in which we are involved is lamentable.