Is Human Population Growth A Threat Environmental Sciences Essay

Even though population is frequently considered a sensitive subject, it is going progressively hard to disregard the construct that population growing threatens the environment. The rapid addition in population growing over the past few centuries has led to an increasing involvement in, and a turning concern for population growing as one of the cardinal menaces to the environment. A menace to the environment can be in many different signifiers, such as dirt eroding, clime alteration, deforestation, wastes, and pollution. The purpose of the undermentioned essay is to research how population growing is considered to lend to these issues and degrade the environment. In order to accomplish this purpose the essay will be split into two chief parts. The first subdivision will sketch theories that argue population growing is a menace to the environment. This will be supported by Malthus and Meadows et Al. In order to derive a compendious analysis this essay will concentrate on the natural environment, in peculiar researching how deforestation is threatened by population growing. However, the 2nd portion of the essay will dispute this and intent that population growing does non jeopardize the environment. It will reason that an increasing population could better environmental quality. It besides will claim if resources are managed sustainable so population growing will non negatively affect the environment. This is supported by Tiffen and Mortimore and Fox. Local instance surveies are used as micro surveies show the relationship between population and deforestation more clearly, as macro surveies are affected by many other influences. Finally the decisions reached are population growing is non the root cause of environmental harm. If resources are managed sustainably and new engineerings are used, so population growing itself would non endanger the environment.
A positive correlativity between population growing and environmental harm
“ Overpopulation [ is ] our figure one environmental job ” ( Rodnguez-Tnias 1994:1379 ) .

Since 1650 the rate of population growing has increased. This has resulted in a rapid addition of the universe population which “ rose from 3.3 billion in 1965 to over 6 billion by the twelvemonth 2000 ” . Thus universe population about doubled in merely 35 old ages and the rate of growing itself was besides lifting. Furthermore a billion people were added to the universe population from 1987 to 1999, an addition equivalent to the entire universe population in 1804 ( Panayotou 2000 ) . This comparatively recent addition in universe population has led to a climb concern for how population growing affects the natural environment and natural resources ( Meadows et al 2005:28 ) . There are many grounds as to why population growing is seen as a menace to the environment. For illustration, human populations use up natural resources, omit nursery gases lending to climate alteration, destroy home grounds ensuing in loss of biodiversity, and increase air and H2O pollution degrees. Hence, about all environmental issues are either straight or indirectly related to population. Furthermore, it is frequently reported in the media that a turning population is an environmental menace, farther increasing the concern. For illustration Andrew Woodcock studies in The Independent that a “ flourishing population is a menace to climate alteration ” ( 2006 online ) . There has been a coincident tendency of a growing in population and a steep lessening in environmental quality and an addition in resource depletion ( Panayotou 2000 ) .Consequently, population growing is frequently considered the greatest and cardinal menace to the environment.
The argument on the correlativity between population and the environment began over 150 old ages ago when classical political economic experts such as Malthus ( 1798 ) identified a relationship between population and nutrient supply. He argued that population grew exponentially, whereas nutrient supply would merely turn arithmetically, ensuing in major nutrient deficits. He claimed that the force per unit area on agricultural land would ensue in a diminution in environmental quality, coercing cultivation of poorer quality land. He criticised the thought that agricultural betterments could be made and spread out with bounds and claimed that the power of population growing was greater than the Earth ‘s ability to back up adult male. Malthus concluded that population growing must limited to stay within environmental limitations, as the Earth ‘s resources are finite. Malthus ‘ theory that the size of population is dependent on nutrient supply and agricultural methods,
This thought was resurrected in the twentieth century, by cardinal publications, most notably The Limits to Growth by Meadows et Al ( 1972 ) and The Population Bomb by Ehrlich ( 1968 ) . This new organic structure of work by modern-day writers is referred to as neo-Malthusianism. The argument nevertheless has shifted from agricultural land to concerns about the function of population growing in the depletion of other natural and renewable resources, and the consequence of population growing on clime alteration and on biodiversity loss. Meadows et Al ( 1972 ) argued that population growing can make jobs because of environmental bounds. They argued that population growing can non go on indefinitely and used by informations to foretell future tendencies in universe population, resource depletion, pollution and nutrient production. They claimed that the bounds of the planet will be reached within the following century and that population could therefore non transport on turning. In their 30 twelvemonth update in 2005 they argued their decisions were even more of import today. They claimed that there is now land scarceness and the bounds have been approached, which is particularly serious as population keeps lifting and resources are being depleted. Growth in the Earth ‘s population could take to the possibility for a possible ruinous wave-off ( Meadows et al 2005 ) . Livi-Bacci ( 2001 ) points out that in Bangladesh the bounds have already been reached, hence population can non transport on turning. This is similar to Ehrlich ( 1968 ) who argued that there should be action to cut down population growing otherwise there would be aggregate famishment. The growing of universe population increases the demands on natural resources, doing it hard to protect these resources, therefore worsening environmental quality ( Sitarz 1993 ) . Hence there are grounds to worry about the consequence population growing will hold on the environment in the long term ( Sen 1994 ) . Consequently the consensus is that there is a “ population job ” ( Neumann 2004:817 ) .
Population growing causes jobs in the local environment. There is no individual usher to analyzing the province of the environment ; therefore the relationship between population and environment is normally evaluated in footings of single resources or measurings of environmental quality ( Panayotou 2000 ) . Environmental quality can be measured by the stock of woods or by the absence of air and H2O pollution. The affect population growing has on deforestation has received considerable attending as woods play a cardinal function in wildlife home grounds, the C rhythm, and a beginning of natural stuff. At the planetary graduated table deforestation contributes to planetary heating, and at a local graduated table leads to dirty debasement ( Fairhead and Leach 1995, Nyerges and Green 2000 ) .
There is grounds which supports Malthusian statements that an increasing population has a negative consequence on environmental stocks. The function of population growing is peculiarly clear in delicate environments such as woods ( Livi-Bacci 2001 ) . The cause of deforestation is often seen as a consequence of population force per unit areas as population growing increases the demand for cultivable land, ensuing in a transition of forest land to other utilizations ( Cropper and Griffith 1994 ) . Malthus argued population growing would ensue in a higher demand for agricultural land and this consequences in a diminution of forest land peculiarly in Africa and Latin America ( Livi-Bacci 2001 ) . 60 % of the universe ‘s deforestation is a consequence of the demand for more agricultural land ( Pimentel and Pimentel 1999 ) . Each twelvemonth, “ 70 million people are added to universe population, largely in developing states and 15 million square kilometers of woods disappear ” ( Panayotou 2000:25 ) . This research led to many people speculating that more people must ensue in fewer woods, as the higher the population growing, the faster this procedure will take topographic point ( Ehrlich and Ehrlich 1990, Rudel 1991 ) . This will do a steep lessening in forest size from twelvemonth to twelvemonth. Forests often owe their beginnings to depopulation, hence ensuing in the decision that population growing causes deforestation, particularly in hapless and developing states ( Fairhead and Leach 1994 ) . This affect is more ascertained at the local degree, for illustration Cropper and Griffith ( 1994 ) used panel informations for Asia, Africa and Latin America between 1961 and 1988 and found a positive relationship between deforestation and population growing. Additionally, Fairhead and Leach ( 1995 ) identified that there was an ascertained diminution in woods in The Ziama Forest Reserve in Guinea as a consequence of turning populations, which have moved off from “ traditional ” methods. IUCN study on Ziama states that “ forest screen in this portion of Guinea is now merely 20 % of what it was ‘at beginning ‘ ” and the study emphasizes that the wood is regressing quickly ( cited in Fairhead and Leach 1995:1029 ) . Therefore the diminution of woods reflects the populations who cleared it ( Fairhead and Leach 1994 ) . Furthermore Sambrook et Al ( 2004 ) did a survey of 450 traditional hillslope farms in the Dominican Republic, and found there was positive relationship between population force per unit area and deforestation. They found that for the full 1987 farm sample, “ 52 % of the fluctuation in deforestation is explained by population force per unit areas ” ( p36 ) . This consequence can besides been seen at the state degree, for illustration in Thailand deforestation was caused by demographic force per unit area from migration ( Livi-Bacci 2001 ) . Consequently, “ population growing causes a disproportional negative impact on the environment ” ( Ehrlich and Holdren 1971:1212 ) .
There is a conventional wisdom that population growing is responsible for deforestation. This supports the neo-Malthusian position that population growing is the root cause of environmental debasement, and turning demands for finite resources. Therefore the solution is direct population control ( Panayotou 1996 ) . If population growing is a major menace to the environment so steps must be taken to cut down the rates of growing. Livi-Bacci ( 2001 ) argues that a diminution population addition will spread the issue of the environment. Therefore “ there is an immediate demand to develop schemes aimed at commanding universe population growing ” ( Sitarz 1993:44 ) . This means that there needs to be support for household planning throughout the universe particularly in developing states which have the highest rates of population growing, and less entree to household planning ( Barlett 1994 ) . Therefore, decelerating the addition in population, particularly in the face of lifting demand for natural resources, can assist protect the environment. As population size ranges even higher degrees the environment is at hazard and the result is impossible to foretell, therefore policies to cut down population are needed ( Upadhyay and Robey 1999 ) . However, the following subdivision will counter this and argue population growing is non a menace and hence there is no demand for population controls.
Population growing is non the cardinal issue for menaces to the environment
There is agnosticism about whether population growing is the cardinal menace to the environment, as Monbiot ( 2008 online ) writes “ is population truly our figure one environmental job? ” Even though there is grounds of a correlativity between population growing and a lessening in environmental quality, a about perfect correlativity does non needfully connote causing. Otherwise, it would be expected that states with the highest population such as China and India would hold the highest usage of natural resources ( Panayotou 2000 ) . The world-wide mean per capita usage of forest resources is 0.75 hour angle, whereas in China, a state which about 20 % of the universe population uses less that mean forest resources with merely 0.11ha/capita ( Pimentel and Pimental1999 ) .
Some jobs have been raised over the Malthusian position of population growing endangering the environment. The universe has coped with fast additions in population, even though Malthus predicted awful catastrophes. At the clip he wrote there were fewer than a billion people in universe but he felt the Earth ‘s bounds had past. The universe population has grown six times larger since 1798, but contrary to what Malthus predicted, nutrient production grew even higher ( Sen 1994 ) . Clearly, Malthus ( 1798, 1803 ) did non anticipate the technological progresss of the last two centuries as a consequence of the industrial and agricultural revolutions. Like other classical authors he assumed that land productiveness was fixed ( Panayotou 2000 ) . Boserup opposes Malthus ‘ theory reasoning that agricultural methods depend on population size ( Darity 1989 ) . Boserup ( 1965 ) theorised that population determined agricultural methods, hence the power of enterprise and new inventions would get the better of the power of demand. This means population growing would non go on to degrade the environment as communities would exchange to new and more intensive methods of the land. Thus population growing does non ensue in a debasement of the environment because populations will alter to another system with a higher carrying capacity. Therefore, “ the issue is non the Numberss of people, but how those Numberss relate to available resources ” ( Barlett 1994:9 ) . Technological alterations and better direction of resources would guarantee that a population can spread out the Earth ‘s capacity. It can be argued that population growing is in fact the drive force for efficiency and technological invention guaranting growing without damaging the environment ( Panayotou 1996 ) . For illustration an addition in agricultural outputs can countervail the consequence of population growing on deforestation as a 10 % addition in agricultural outputs from technological alteration would ensue in a 1.1 % decrease in deforestation ( Panayotou 2000 ) . Therefore the effects of population growing can be reduced by modern engineering and increased efficiency ( Cropper and Griffiths 1994 ) . Consequently, an environmental crisis can be avoided if stairss are taken to conserve and pull off resources and demand sustainably ( Upadhyay and Robey 1999 ) . Therefore the natural environment and resources has ne’er been fixed but has expanded due to invention. The bounds to growing are non defined as they are connected to the effects of technological growing and cultural picks ( Livi-Bacci 2001 ) . This rejects Malthus ‘s statement as he assumed land productiveness was fixed, whereas Boserup ( 1965, 1976 ) argues that dearth is non possible as technological alterations would let nutrient production to maintain up with population growing. In add-on, more efficient and environmentally sound agricultural engineerings must be developed and put into pattern to back up the continued productiveness of agribusiness ( Pimentel and Pimentel, 1996 ) .
Meadows et Al ( 1972 ) and Ehrlich were incorrect to propose population growing would take to environmental debasement as it may ensue in preservation or an betterment of the natural environment. This position does non curtail the degrees of population but suggests it can actively better the environment. Tiffen and Mortimore ( 1994 ) argued against Malthusian positions and pointed out that population growing does non needfully endanger the environment as better direction and investing would guarantee the natural environment is protected. Agricultural labour demands increased non because of a larger sum of cropped land but because of larger labor demands, as Boserup suggests. They pointed out that an increasing population would increase entree to beginnings of cognition and utilizing engineerings. This enables outputs to lift faster than population growing. Like Tiffen and Mortimore, Murton ( 1999 ) besides argued against Malthusian statements. He used illustration in the Machakos territory in Kenya which showed that environmental preservation occurred during periods of population addition. Therefore, population growing is an of import agencies of bettering environmental quality. Therefore, if resources are direction sustainably so population growing can protect the environment. He found population growing has a positive influence on woods as husbandmans became more dependent on non-agricultural beginnings of income. Therefore, Malthus is incorrect to propose there would be a calamity as population addition can hold a positive influence on woods. This is supported by Fox ( 1993 ) who did research on forest resources in a Nepali small town Bhogteni in 1980 and 1990 and found “ despite an one-year population growing rate of 2.5 % , woods were found to be in much better status in 1990 than they were in 1980 ” ( p89 ) . Thus population growing had a positive influence on forest resources. He found that Nepali husbandmans began to develop their ain methods for conserving the woods through community direction. This consequence in an addition of forest resources as in 1980 private woodlots had 179 trees/ha compared to 489 trees/ha in 1990. Therefore population growing does non needfully take to downward spiral of land debasement. Fairhead and Leach ( 1994 ) besides identified a counter-narrative for their grounds, as local occupants argued they had created the spots of forest around their small towns, non destroyed it. Oral history suggests that the small towns encouraged and managed the growing of forest islands around their small towns. Therefore, it is non needfully the instance that the country was originally forest prior to increase of the population. It is imaginable that direction of the local resources was partly responsible for the spread of forest countries, from earlier savanna-like conditions. They point out that more small towns really resulted in more forest islands. The Ziama part was originally au naturel stone non forest land. Therefore there is a broader narrative ( Fairhead and Leach 1995 ) . Therefore the incorrect readings were made based on stereotypes ( Fairhead and Leach 1994 ) . Conversely, unwritten history is non fact, or based on empirical grounds and ca n’t use these local/village findings everyplace. Hence the cogency of these statements is questionable. While this rejects Malthusian statements, as population growing did non take to farther environmental debasement, it does non corroborate Boserup ‘s hypothesis that population growing would take to new inventions.
Furthermore, population growing creates the inducement to protect the environment, as costs of bing resources addition and benefits from replacements are realised ( Panayotou 2000 ) . Therefore the rapid population growing in Bhogteni may hold resulted in an increased willingness of the small towns to seek better direction for forest lands. Thus woods would non hold been perceived as threatened if there was non a high population growing rate. Fox ( 1993 ) besides argues that other variables contributed to the direction of the forest in Bhogteni, such as an debut of a new route and alterations in forest term of office. Nevertheless, while population growing can trip land usage alterations it is non the root cause of environmental harm. The root cause consequences from market failures, particularly in developing states where belongings rights are neither defined nor implemented. Thus the private cost of deforestation is zero. Therefore, because they have no right of ownership to the land they have no inducement to protect it and do efficient land-use determinations ( Panayotou 2000 ) . We should acknowledge, nevertheless, that the immediate menace to these lands is non population growing but bad forest direction policies. Before population can be cited as the cause of forest debasement, forest policies must be implemented that provide inducements for local people to pull off forest resources ( Fox 1993 ) . It is frequently the decision that population thrusts deforestation, nevertheless, the context must be kept in head, such as unfastened entree forest resources, low degrees of instruction, insecurely held agricultural land. These all combined prevent response to population growing. Therefore a more complete analysis should look at all these factors. Furthermore, other issues besides affect the rate of deforestation. Holdren ( 1991 ) used a mathematical expression I = P x A x T to demo how population, richness and engineering have an impact on the environment. He claimed that environmental policies should concentrate on ingestion instead than population growing. Population growing is a factor among other issues. While the Brundtland Report ( 1987 ) states that population growing is non the cardinal job. Furthermore, if a state has a higher income so the rate of deforestation is likely to be slower. As income rises, people use other energy beginnings and modern agricultural techniques which reduces the demand for agricultural land. Therefore cut downing the rates is population growing is non needfully the best method for diminishing the rate of deforestation ( Cropper and Griffiths 1994 ) . Therefore all of these factors are responsible for a impairment of the environment and all demand to be tackled. Therefore population is merely one factor among many, and the interactions of these factors are important for driving the deforestation procedure. Policies are needed to undertake poorness in developing states and high ingestion degrees in developed states foremost ( Saxena and Nautiyal 1997 ) .
However, it depends what degree is being surveies as micro surveies may happen important negative effects on resources from population force per unit areas on the local environment, while macro surveies identify no resource restraints at the national or planetary degree. This differentiation between ‘macro ‘ or aggregate, analysis and micro, or more disaggregated analysis is one that you could develop farther. One of the points that this leads to is inquiries of control of resources and the utilizations to which they are put. Macro-level and micro-level analysis may take to different penetrations and decisions in this respect. Micro studies-even though better analyse the consequence of population growing besides mask the wider socio-economic factors which may ensue in environmental debasement ( Murton 1997 ) . Therefore there are complications for following the consequence of universe population on the planetary environment ( Panayotou 2000 )
The engagement crises in population, resources, and environment ( Ehrlich and Holdren 1971 ) .
“ The Malthusian theory of population growing and resource debasement is clearly a myth that needs to be slain.p97 ” ( Fox1993 ) .
From analyzing the grounds above it is clear that there is small understanding on the relationship between population and environment, there is a enormous fluctuation in findings and their reading. The selective usage of grounds gives rise to results that range from the most pessimistic to the most optimistic.
The aim of this essay was to reexamine analytically and critically the statements on the population-environment interface. This essay has outlined Malthusian statements of population growing doing environmental debasement. This essay has besides explored counter-evidence to this, reasoning that invention and a better direction of resources can countervail the effects of population growing. This essay has besides argued that other factors affect are the cause of impairment in environmental quality. A more complete analysis should integrate these factors and their interaction with population growing. It is by and large agreed that population growing is an indirect menace to the environment. Therefore direct menaces need to be addressed. Issues such as poorness demand to be solved to better environmental quality, non cut downing population Numberss.
However, whether grounds is used from macro or micro graduated tables can skew the consequences.
To reason that much more empirical research, with more sophisticated theoretical accounts, is necessary before we can to the full understand the function of population kineticss ( denseness, growing, distribution and composing ) on deforestation.
Java ‘s population quadrupled in the last 100years. However, environmental harm was due to economic grounds non population growing. Failure to better agricultural productiveness and to make non-agriculutral employment has intensified population force per unit areas. Panayotou ( 1996 ) .

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