Overpopulation: Human Impact on the Environment

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Over the years, the environment has been changing drastically. One of the biggest contributors to these environmental changes/problems is the growth in human population. Population growth can be defined as the increase in the number of individuals in a species. Human population continues to grow year by year which is due to a high birth rate and decreasing death rate. With the population continually growing, the health of the environment is doing the opposite. The increase in human population has led to global warming, deforestation, deprivation of natural resources and other environmental concerns.

The primary reason why the population continues to escalate is due to the high birth rate and declining death rate in the world. The high birth rate is mainly due to less developed countries wanting to provide more hands available to work in order to produce more money for the country and the families of these workers (Uniyal, 2017). Child labor is mostly allowed in Africa and Asia which is where ninety percent of all child labor exists (Siddiqi, 2).

Furthermore, in countries where religion is held high abortion is highly discouraged. All types of birth control are shunned upon and there are consequences that are enforced if one does use them. Larger families are wanted to spread the religion. This causes an increase in the birth rate in the world as well.

The decline in death rate is mainly due to the improved technology of today’s world. Technology is getting better by the minute. This technological advancement has allowed for humans to live longer lives. Technology provides ways for humans to operate differently than they have in the past. It makes everything easier and more productive in life. Medical treatment is continually improving as well. Deadly diseases and illnesses that have killed millions of people are now treatable and pose as no threat to human life. Improved medicine and hospitals keep people living longer than ever before.

Another contributing factor to a low world death rate is a relatively higher standard of living among people. More people in more developed countries, such as the United States and Canada, are receiving high incomes than in past years. People with high incomes tend to live healthier lifestyles than people of low income. High income people are able to purchase gym memberships to stay fit and eat healthier meals. They can also afford health care enabling them to be checked up by doctors and dentists year-round. People in less developed countries can’t afford or are not always offered health care and such things due to the lack of resources in those type countries. Activities such as smoking and drinking are not common among high income people either which also helps to keep them healthy. The decline in death rate is positive but it is starting to contribute to the threat of over population as well.

With the population steadily increasing by the year these effects will only worsen as time passes by. The effects of overpopulation are endless and will only lead to the destruction of the world. Effects such as the exhaustion of food and natural resources, climate change, deforestation, and increased pollution are the most direct effects that overpopulation has on the environment.

With the population rising, the demand for food and natural resources is rising right along with it. There is only a limited number of food and water resources on the Earth. Humans are known for the overuse of these resources (Pimentel, 2012). Hunting and fishing are activities that humans have abused in the past. Greed for certain species of animals has led to them becoming endangered or extinct. This has a significant impact on the food chain and ecosystem where these animals live as well as surrounding environments.

Water used for buildings, waterparks, and other human services have affected the ecosystems where freshwater is needed. The decreased amount of groundwater in freshwater ecosystems negatively impacts the organisms that live there. These problems will continue to happen as more people continue to fill the Earth. It is already starting to become hard to provide for many people on the planet now but as humans continue to abuse the natural resources that the Earth provides, over time there will not be any resources to take from (Pimentel, 2012).

Deforestation is another effect of overpopulation that is not good for the planet. With the population increasing the need for places to live becomes more demanding. Urbanization is the result of this demand. Cities look to expand and cut down trees in order to make more space for homes, shopping centers, work buildings, roads and more (Overpopulation and the Environment, 2016). Deforestation is also used for agricultural needs. This often leads to a loss of habitat for animals that live in forests. The animals that are left with no shelter are forced to move or eventually die because of the cut down of trees. Forests are also cut down for the use of fire wood, paper, furniture and other products that can be sold for profit. This severe loss of trees and forests is detrimental to the environment. The negative impacts include more carbon dioxide is left in the air, less oxygen for humans to breathe, climate change and a degradation in the soil which leads to erosion. These effects are slowly taking a toll on the health of the Earth.

Pollution is a well-known major threat to the health of our planet. An increase in population will only intensify this pollution problem. Harmful gases from the use of cars, factories, and homes damage the quality of air in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gas emissions are at an all-time high because this. The burning of fossil fuels, oil, and coal are the main sources contributing to the pollution of the air we breathe. The continued burnings of these resources have been known to lead to respiratory infections, heart disease, and lung cancer in many people around the world. In addition to this, pollution has also affected the world’s water. According to Americas Troubled Waters, approximately eighty percent of streams contain insecticides, drugs, or other chemicals (Effects of Overpopulation, 2013). Chemical waste from factories and agriculture contribute to this runoff of chemicals into surrounding lakes and streams. Oceans are also full of nasty garbage and waste that threaten the lives of plants and animals in underwater ecosystems. Huge piles of waste, such as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch found in the Pacific Ocean, have been found through the oceans and seas of the world. This increase in pollution is only bound to grow with the increase of people in the world (Trevors, 2010).

The most significant effect of overpopulation is climate change. This is ultimately caused by the increased pollution and deforestation around the world. The increased emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is also a reason the climate around all regions of the world is changing. People’s continued use and dependence on industrial activities such as driving cars, burning fossil fuels, etc., has been harming the environment (Trevors, 2010). The melting of polar ice caps and glaciers is now happening as well as a rise in sea level due to global warming. This can then develop into more powerful natural disasters in the future. Tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanoes are bound to become more powerful in the near future if dependence on these industrial activities do not stop.

Overpopulation is starting to become a critical issue in the world today. People need to be made aware that the planet may be in danger if certain necessary actions are not taken to preserve it. An effort needs to be made to protect the planet before it is too late to save it. Overpopulation directly effects everyone so it is important that one spreads awareness about the impact that this can have on the future of the human population. 

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Overpopulation: Human Impact On The Environment. (2021, Mar 29). Retrieved June 23, 2024 , from

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