There are now about five and a half billion people in the world. There will probably be six billion by the end of the 20th century and at least ten billion by the year 2050. This extraordinary growth means that just under 100 million extra people- equal to two Englands, five Australias or half the United States - are being added to the world every year . The effects will be startling.
As a result of the increasing population, all living things on this planet are threatened. As more space is needed for people there is less room for wildlife; as more land is needed for farms there is less room for wilderness. Soon, the increase in the world's human population means that we will be in danger of living in a world which is much less rich than in the past.
Just some of the problems of over-population are:
Children in the poorer, developing world countries are about five times as likely to die of illness at birth than those in the industrial world.
About 500 million people are starving or ill-fed.
Three quarters of all housing have poor sanitation or other serious problems that can affect people's health.
Over a third of those old enough to work have no job, or only work part-time because there is no full-time work available.
Less than half of all women can read and write, and only two thirds of men can read and write. A good education is vital if people are to earn a good wage and give their families a higher standard of living.
Growing more crops and rearing more animals to satisfy the great demand for food is placing a great strain on the world's soils.
More forests are being chopped down to make way for housing and as a result wildlife are threatened and many species have declined in numbers. Some of these are facing extinction.
A growing population means that more waste will be produced, including sewrage and these wastes will contribute to air pollution (CFC's, fumes produced by cars, etc), land and water pollution.
A growing population means that more resources are being exploited to satisfy demands for food, clothes, housing, industrial use, etc.
A growing population also means that there will be more outbreaks of disease. As there are too many people in poorer countries such as parts of Africa, a poor standard of living and not enough doctors and medical supplies, how will we stop diseases from spreading??
Indeed, the future of our planet looks bleak if we don't take action against the growing population now. How will we preserve our planet for future generations if we keep on multiplying and threatening the well-being of everything around us? Will the Earth of the future look like a gigantic waste dump, with no trees or animals? It's a terrible thought. Action needs to be taken now!!!. Many of the problems above are already apparent in our world today! How do we prevent these problems from becoming worse?
Turn vegetarian. It is a fact that it takes less land to grow vegetables than it does to raise cattle. If everyone was vegetarian, there would be more food to go around, and less land destruction as a result of land being cleared for cattle.
If you are young and don't have any children, consider not having children at all! If you feel compelled to have children, only have one or two at the maximum and no more. Or consider adopting a child. There are plenty of children that need good, loving homes. This is the best, long-term solution to the over-population problem.
Write to the government and suggest that your country introduces a 'one child' policy, like China. People in China are only allowed to have one child and this has cut the population growth of their country.
Be sure to recycle your items that are recyclable, buy recycled items (eg recycled paper) and be 'water wise'. (use as little water as possible) This is only a small way to help, but if everyone did it, then it would be a great help and there may be more resources to go around.
Donate to charities and funds that try and help people who have a low standard of living and/or live in third-world, over-populated countries.
Educate your family and friends on the problems of over-population and what they can do to prevent population growth!!
World Overpopulation Awareness
Here are some graphics that you can use to help spread the awareness
of World Overpopulation:
All graphics are copyright Wings of Love and Light and may not be used
without written permission. You may contact the webmistress at Angel of the Forest
Main image courtesy of Corey Wolfe