Of the several threats that are looming large on our planet, human overpopulation is a major one. In terms of sociology, population refers to a collection of humans. In simpler terms, population is the number of people in a city, town, region, country or world. Human overpopulation is a state in which there are too many people, consuming too much, for the environment to sustain. If we delve a little deeper, we see that there are several other grave problems which are triggered by this population explosion. Actually, human overpopulation is among the most pressing environmental issues, silently aggravating the forces behind global warming, environmental pollution, habitat loss, intensive farming practices and the rapid depletion of finite natural resources, such as fresh water, arable land and fossil fuels. Over population can result from an increase in birth rate, a decline in mortality rate, an increase in immigration, social and religious factors, depletion of natural resources, etc.
ILL EFFECTS OF HUMAN OVERPOPULATION :
In the past fifty years or so, the growth of the population has turned into over population. This means that the birth and death rates are not balancing each other, leading to a population growth rate which is not sustainable. The effects of overpopulation, however, are quite serious.
• Depletion of natural resources – One of the most worrying effects is the depletion of natural resources. The earth can produce only a limited amount of food, water and fossil fuels, which are falling short of the current needs. Thus the rate of the depletion of these finite resources is too fast.
• Degradation of environment – The overuse of coal, oil, natural gas and other resources has started producing some serious negative impacts on our environment. The rise in the amount of carbon-di-oxide emission leads to global warming which in turn leads to melting of polar ice caps, changing climate patterns and rise in sea level.
• Rise in unemployment – When a country becomes overpopulated, there arises a large number of unemployment as jobs fall short to support the increaseing number of candidates. The rise in unemployment gives rise to criminal activities as people resort to unfair means to feed their families and provide them with basic amenities of life.
• Malnutrition and starvation leading to Epidemics and Pandemics – When the availability of resources becomes scarce, there occurs starvation and malnutrition leading to ill health and diseases. Moreover, rise in poverty leads to overcrowded and unhygienic living conditions as well as inadequate healthcare facilities. All these increase the chance of the emergence of new Pandemics and Epidemics.
These apart, population explosion also triggers conflicts and wars, high cost of living, water shortage, lower life expectancy, increased intensive farming, extinction of wildlife species and so on.
SOLUTIONS TO OVERPOPULATION :
• Better education – One of the basic measures is to educate the masses as illiteracy is the cause of many evils. Education not only helps them to understand the need to have one or two children, but also opens up avenues of earning livlihood. It is also very essential to educate the girl child to prevent child marriage.
• Making people aware of family planning – In order to prevent the rapid growth of population, it’s absolutely essential to make people aware of family planning. It is necessary to educate them about various contraceptive methods available to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
• Tax benefits or concessions – Government of a country can make a declaration to waive a certain part of income tax or to lower the rate of tax for those married couples who have single/two children. This might be quite effective.
• Knowledge of sex education – Imparting sex education to young kids at the elementary school level is very essential. Lack of information can make them seek the same from friends or internet and most of the time they get incomplete information which is very harmful.