Two billion more people now than in 1987 reek havoc on planet

In 1987 the population of the globe was around 5 billion people and since that time another 2 billion people have been born making the population of the world today around 7 billion people. Several environmentalists have suggested that the population of the globe needs to be controlled and that the amount of children people can have should be limited. Many have admitted that this would be an enormous task.

The increasing global population has meant that there are a great many issues that people are having to tackle. Resource scarcity as well as agricultural capacity is something that is beginning to become concerns for the world. Also, controlling the level of greenhouse gases emitted is a pressing concern when population is rapidly expanding.

It is not so much a problem of sheer population numbers, but as time passes the requirements of an individual person increase. For example, since 1987 the amount of energy required by one person has dramatically increased. There is evidence to suggest that if energy consumption was not increasing the planet would easily be up to support well over 20 billion people. However, because of this increasing energy demand radical steps are going to have to be taken so that we can survive and continue to increase our numbers into the future.

Population growth is something that was not a great issue during the 20th century and before as what is now the developed world would simply send its excess population abroad. Once the UK had explored the corners of the world it had to deal with population growth in its own borders. In today’s world however the number of places to explore and expand to has simply run out.

Demographic momentum is an important issue that most people do not grasp fully. To give an idea of what sort of effect this momentum has on global population we can look at a few figures. If growth rates were to remain at 3% into the next century than the population of the planet in 100 years would be nearly 20 times what it is today. In 1974 the population of the world was 4 billion, today the figure sits at 7 billion.

An example of a country that has taken population growth into account and attempted to control it is China. They implemented a one child policy which meant that couples could only have one child and this has dramatically reduced their population growth. Many people suggest that this is the only way that population levels can be brought under control. Unfortunately though, there are significant consequences of adopting this policy, China’s leaders have highlighted the economic consequence of this and it paints a rather bleak picture for this country.

Other than the economic problems, the one child policy has led to a significant social problem. Generally the Chinese have a preference the male children, and this is something that the culture shares with most countries at some point in their history. When a parent has a girl as their child they will often abandon the child so that they can try again in hopes of having a boy.