Issue of overpopulation
Issue of Overpopulation
Issue of Overpopulation
Every ecological niche has a carrying capacity meant to hold a certain size of a population. When a populace of a certain species exceeds what a niche can hold, then overpopulation occurs. This concept is determined based on the important resources that an individual requires to survive, compared to their number. Such an effect may be caused by an exhaustion of resources, increase in immigration, and increase and decrease of births and mortality rates respectively. Human beings and animals (both wild and domestic) can be found overpopulated in an area over a certain period. The current estimated capacity that the earth can hold, with all conditions factored in, is 4-16 billion, with an expectation of it rising to 8-10.5 billion over the years 2040-2050. Such an increase rate in the human population is a cause to raise concerns because it would mean that the planet may be unable to sustain all of its inhabitants. Some countries, though, have come up with strategies for birth control and other measures that will help address the overpopulation menace in the future. This paper shall focus on theories and opinions on the overpopulation issue, as well as my thoughts and critics on the issue.
Theories and opinion on the overpopulation issue
According to Wallace, overpopulation is not an issue. He argues that population is decreasing despite the fact that the reproductive power of the modern society is strong. According to him, marriage is no longer a priority for most people. They prefer to invest in luxurious lifestyles instead of bearing the costs that come with marriage commitments. Logically, the population doubles according to his numbers, but he argues that the government, through its bad forms, has resulted in a decrease in population. However, he abandons the idea of having the population increase under perfect conditions because that would result in starvation. He imagines what would happen in case people filled the whole land and cultivated everywhere. He feels that would mean a collapse of the utopia as a result of lack of food. This theory of utopia, therefore, is related to his points of view (Wallace at al. n.d.)
Godwin, on the other hand, feels that the World still has a lot of unused lands. According to him, it is inappropriate to criticize utopia based on overpopulation. According to him, overpopulate might or might not happen. He does not regard overpopulation as a serious problem since it is an issue that can be managed by proper human reasoning. In his concern for population increase, Malthus argues that even if social equality is established, it will soon collapse to the rapid increase in population (Harvey,1979). According to him, Wallace’s suggestion about overpopulation will not happen any time soon. However, Wallace thinks differently and compares his theology to criticize utopia. The two scholars have based their arguments on former researchers, and their opinions are similar in that the most significant idea is the method used to criticize utopia.
Although he highly estimates Malthus’s population, Ricardo criticism does not accept the argument of population increase in geometric progression. While Godwin argues that, as the population increases, people should make use of the uncultivated land, Ricardo points out that the unused land cannot be cultivated since it is infertile. According to him, trying to cultivate an infertile land means extra costs. He, therefore, criticizes the idea of cultivating such lands. Unlike Malthus, he does not think population increase is important especially if a proportion is to be achieved by the increase of capital. Although their enthusiasm seems to be similar, the ideas of the four critics are totally different (Turner,1912).
My thoughts and critics on the overpopulation issue
I think overpopulation has major negative effects on humanity and, therefore, it is not an issue that should be overlooked. Although one would assume that rapid birth rate is the main catalyst for overpopulation, people are no longer giving birth as much as they used to. The use and knowledge of family planning programs helps avoid unwanted pregnancies. Moreover, the cost of living continues to shoot every day and families can no longer support many kids. Therefore, the two major causes of overpopulation are immigration increase and depletion of resources. The former is at times as a result of the latter. Due to wars and other predicaments, people migrate to neighboring regions in search of security and support. These places end up being overpopulated and as a result, the people use up the available resources to depletion. The effects of overpopulation may be direct or indirect. For example, overpopulated areas have an inadequate supply of food and water. As a result, people either kill or steal to survive and in the process, innocent lives are lost. Others die of starvation.
The governments, as well as citizens, have roles to play to mitigate the issue of overpopulation in future. The governments, for example, can formulate laws that will limit immigration and instead, enhance security and ensure adequate job opportunities for their respective citizens so as to reduce migration rates. The citizens can support the government by being responsible while utilizing resources to avoid depletion for example avoid contaminating rivers. The governments also need to put up educative programs to create awareness against misuse of resources as well as educate people about the effects of overpopulation.
There are a number of theories that explain the issue over population. While some theorists argue that over population is not an issue, others strongly advocate its reduction to avoid the social unrest that is caused by too many people in a certain region. Research needs to be done especially in countries where people migrate frequently to gain a complete understanding of the issue of overpopulation. Other areas of interests are regions where the mortality rate is high due to starvation. Could be resources in such areas have been depleted. Whether or not there are signs of overpopulation in future, the issue should not be overlooked. Different regions will be overpopulated due to different causes and, therefore, governments should discover possible causes of overpopulation in their regions to take up the appropriate measures in advance. Consequently, the effects can cause major problems if ignored.
Harvey, D. (1979). Population, resources, and the ideology of science (pp. 155-185). Springer Netherlands.
Turner, J. R. (1912). Henry C. Carey’s Attitude Toward the Ricardian Theory of Rent. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 644-672.
Wallace, R., Godwin, W., Malthus, T. R., Ricardo, D., & Nakano, T. The Origin and Development of the Concepts of the Population Theory.