A simple and straightforward correlation- Higher the population, more the establishment of large-scale factories, more the number of vehicles and higher the release of toxic gases like carbon monoxide and methane. As a result of this the air quality takes a toll on the general well being of mankind as well as animals. Some of the most lethal effects of air pollution caused by higher demands of a booming population are:
• Harder to breathe
Asthma and respiratory disorders are the leading consequences of poor air quality. A report published by Lancet Journal in 2014 established through its analysis that exposure to pollution “can contribute to new-onset asthma in both children and adults” and “increase the risk of exacerbation of asthma symptoms.”
• Cancer Is Coming-
Cigarette smoking might be the most popularized cause of cancer however the repercussions of degraded air quality tops the list. In fact the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently listed poor air quality as a high risk factor leading upto lung and bladder cancer.
• The growing hole on our planet’s protective blanket-
The toxic mixology of gases released by emissions from high vehicular density and factories is eating up the Ozone layer in the stratosphere. Thinning of this layer means higher infiltration of UV rays, exposure to which is bound to cause fatal stages of Skin Cancer.
Repercussions of Over Crowding
Population is defined as “All organisms of the same group/species living together in the demarcation of the same geographical area”. This is how nature presumed it to be, what happens when the confines of the same geographical boundaries is overcrowded with a population of say ten when it had the resources to sustain just 5? The effects of human overcrowding are quiet devastating:
• Communicable disease spreading like wild fire:
Overcrowding and space constraints are leading causes for epidemic disease. A viral infection spreads like a chain reaction in closer confinement. With an upward trend of population resurgence, we are compromising on living spaces, standards of hygiene and precautionary measures. The focal point is seeing a paradigm shift towards quantity rather than quality. The World Health Organization has rightly stated that “inadequate shelter and overcrowding are major factors in the transmission of diseases with epidemic potential’’. These include several unwelcoming diseases like cholera, small pox, influenza etc. The aftermath is then overstrained on hospitals with insufficient medical aid to cater to large crowds. WHO points that “public structures such as health facilities not only represent a concentrated area of patients but also a concentrated area of germs.” A vicious cycle in which timely treatment is not catered to those who need it most and meanwhile the otherwise healthy individuals get sick while the sick gets sicker.
• Higher infiltration of the deadly HIV virus:
Speaking of epidemic disease the one that’s most morbid is HIV Aids of course. The human immunodeficiency virus spreads by sexual contact and the stages that lead up to its fatality cause complete shutdown of the immune system. How does overcrowding become the rooting cause for Aids? The Population Action International, a public policy organization states that “There is frequently overlap among countries with youthful populations, high rates of HIV prevalence, and low access to family planning.” The standing example of this scenario is witnessed by the people of Swaziland wherein 69,000 children have been born out of AIDS and hence been abandoned. The country has been severely devasted by the Aids virus particularly among the working-class individuals. Scientists have predicted that the modern-day trauma of growing population and slowly diminishing medical aid will foresee an Aids epidemic on the horizon.
• Say goodbye to good morning:
There is rising influx of people from the rural to urban areas for obvious reasons like better infrastructure and job prospects. This means that there are higher number of citizens having ownership of their personal mode of transport to work/school. Having your personal mode of transport however doesn’t help to alleviate the strain on Public transport. You have a greater number of working-class people relying on the Metro/Buses for commute. The rapidly multiplying number puts higher strain on the government to keep tabs with facilitating to needs of it’s citizens. This again in leads to poor urban planning and degraded standards, the rippling effects on population resurgence are really stupefying!
• Unnatural increase in Natural calamities:
The snowballing effects of overpopulation go far and beyond just the outburst of epidemic diseases. Nature’s precarious balance takes a severe toll due to overcrowding. The increased emission of greenhouse gases like carbon monoxide and methane intensify global warming.
Another drastic side effect of overpopulation observed particularly in coastal areas is increased exposure to coastal flooding, tsunami and hurricanes. The operation of leisure and other activities around coastal belts of India was one of the determinants to the fatalities caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.
• Deforestation leading to gradual death of Flora and Fauna
The hardest blow of overcrowding will be the one borne by our wildlife and plants. As cities would no longer be able to accommodate the overflowing population more of the outskirts and forests will be stripped off trees that house diverse species of animals and birds. The National Wildlife federation has observed that this expansion will result in extinction of one third of the world’s plant and animal species.
Increasing Demand and Decreasing Resources
• One square meal could become too much to ask for!
With the skyrocketing numbers of people that exist we’d see not only a high surge in food prices but a devastating dearth in food all together. Projections exhibited by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FOA) portrays that to meet the increasing demand for food its production must increase by a whooping 70% by 2050- however the current day scenario is bad enough for humanity to promise nutrient 30 years ahead. We can gauge the severity of this problem by taking example of children in the Sub Saharan region of Africa where in a shocking 28 million children suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition. About 26% of the population from this region suffered from severe food insecurity in 2015. The food crunch is particularly stark in overpopulated pockets of the world where the demand surpasses the supply- and it is bound to ger worse as the population escalates.
• Overgrazing & Over fishing
Sustenance of the population will be the biggest challenge to encounter. Much of the human needs for nutrition are favored by animals and plants which hence forms the naturally occurring food chain. Fishes and livestock are a largely tapped avenue in the food industry which are already showing signs of mishandle and unreasonable extraction. Overgrazing of livestock would lead to degraded soil quality and other environmental hazards. Fish- a protein rich food would slowly become nearly nonexistent. Dermot O’Gorman, the CEO of World Wildlife Fund Australia, states that, “within 15 years, an additional 115,000 tons of fish will be needed across the Pacific to provide communities with the livelihoods and protein they require.”
• Water, water everywhere…Not a drop to drink!
Large scale factories and industries that are established along water bodies mercilessly discard toxic and solid water into water bodies. This not only diminishes availability of water as a crucial need to mankind but it also poses a threat to marine ecosystem. Besides this though 70% of our planet is constitutionally made of water it’s only 2.5% of it that is freshwater befitting to human consumption. According to the World Wildlife Fund, approximately 1.1 billion people currently lack access to water, and 2.7 billion people have a limited amount of water available to them for at least one month of the year.
• You’re fired! Might just become a new greeting of the routine
The higher rate of population growth would decrease job opportunities as it would mean creation of jobs that don’t exist. This leads to what one paper published in the Asian Forum Newsletter refers to as “an imbalance between the supply of labor and the demand for it,” one that can “[give] rise to unemployment and underemployment.”
• Decreased Economic Growth
With more people out of work, the economy will inevitably take a turn for the worse. The same paper published in the Asian Forum Newsletter noted that higher unemployment rates have been found to lead to “low savings and investments… low economic growth and a low standard of living.”
• Irreplaceable loss Nonrenewable resources
Natural gas, oil and coal are gifts of nature that come in very limited stock and have no way to be replenished once consumed . Overpopulation leading to over consumption, water generation, deforestation, mining of minerals and oils, erosion, technological and industrial development has caused irrevocable damage and depletion to our nonrenewable resources.