Earth has amazingly surpassed a population of eight billion people. This new performance, while impressive, raises many questions about overpopulation and climate change.
A common misconception is that climate change is linked to overpopulation; however, overconsumption is the real culprit.
The problems of overconsumption and fossil fuels don’t really lie “with six billion, seven billion or eight billion people,” said Ramon Cruz, president of the Sierra Club, a non-profit environmental organization.
A simulation by Climate Interactive found that population growth from eight billion people to 10.4 billion people only made a difference of about 0.2 degrees Celsius, further enforcing the revelations made by the Sierra Club.
Overconsumption and mismanagement of today’s finite resources have contributed greatly to climate change. It is important to focus on where people live, work and move and how they interact with their environment in those spaces.
According to the United Nations Population Fund, India’s population is predicted to surpass that of China in 2023. Migration can be credited as a major factor in uneven population changes. These changes must be stabilized to maintain a sustainable population.
A country that faces many inflows or outflows of migrants must find a way to stabilize its population. Stability equals longevity in population control. Population inequalities will do more harm than good to the overall well-being of a country.
The rapid growth of the Earth’s population makes it more difficult to “eradicate poverty, fight hunger and malnutrition, and increase the coverage of health and education systems,” said Liu Zhenmin, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
There are many people on this planet and enough resources to support them. However, it is very difficult to effectively allocate and distribute all these resources equally to the entire world.
The ever-increasing population of the Earth is creating greater differences between humanity. There are “a handful of billionaires [that] controls as much wealth as the poorest half of the world,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
As the population grows, so does economic inequality. Countries with higher fertility rates tend to be countries with the lowest per capita income.
In the 2080s, the global population is expected to peak at over 10 billion people. More than half of this projected growth will be concentrated in eight countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and the United Republic of Tanzania.
World fertility has declined despite the recent population milestone. According to the United Nations, “two-thirds of the global population lives in a country or area where lifetime fertility is below 2.1 births per woman.” This rate equates to roughly zero in long-term growing populations that have low mortality rates.
Population growth rates are the lowest since 1950. Low fertility levels are expected to persist for many years to come.
A great milestone for humanity has been reached, with the global population reaching eight billion. This achievement brings several humanitarian issues that deserve much attention. More people might even equal more problems.