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Worst Environmental Problem? Overpopulation Essay example

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There are many kinds of environment: the physical environment often thought of as nature, psychological environments built out of human interactions, and political environments rife with manipulation and posturing. While there are some obvious effects that large human populations would have on the natural environment, there are also less evident psychological and political ramifications. Thus, overpopulation is today's most pressing environmental issue.
Acclaimed hermit Henry David Thoreau once wrote that humans have plenty of space. “Our horizon is never quite at our elbows” (Thoreau, 49). But is this really true? The U.S. Census Bureau's international population clock estimates the global population at slightly over 8.6 billion people. According to the UN, the world population increased by 46.2 percent between 1960 and 1980. This means that the estimate of the population is growing at .7% annually, with a doubling time of 100 years was incorrect, in actuality the rate was 2.08 % with a doubling time of only 35 years (Choucri, 5-6). If it's difficult to imagine how many people that really is, try this visualization: If every person in the world got together and stacked one on top of the others' shoulders, it would create a ladder to the moon. As large as our numbers are, global population is growing at an exponential rate, and we are seeing more and more environmental problems because of this. One phenomena of recent population growth is that many people are moving from rural to urban areas. More people in these urban areas means more traffic, more industrial development.
Natural environment is a topic that gets thrown around in many different debates. More controversial is the debate as to whether or not human population—i...


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...Online: Google Scholar. December 1, 2009. http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/2005/113-9/ehp0113-a00598.pdf

Jiang, Lewin and Malea Young and Karen Hardee. "Population, Urbanization, and the Environment."
World Watch. Vol. 21. Issue 5. Sep/Oct, 2008. pp. 34-39. Online: EbscoHost. Santa Ana College Library. Http://libnet1.sac.edu:2142/ehost/detail?vid=2&hid=106&sid=58732985-5ae0-401b-ad63-df034d6cd725@sessionmgr110&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=34251994

Thoreau, Henry David. “Solitude.” Rpt. In Literature and the Environment: A Reader on Nature and Culture. Eds. Anderson, Lorraine, Scott Slovic, and John P. O'Grady. New York. Longman. 1999. pp. 47-53.

Wolfe, Tom. "O Rotten Gotham." Rpt. In Literature and the Environment: A Reader on Nature and Culture. Eds. Anderson, Lorraine, Scott Slovic, and John P. O'Grady. New York. Longman. 1999. pp. 54-61.


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