Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

ECOVIEWS: What Is World's Biggest Environmental Problem?

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

ECOVIEWS: What Is World's Biggest Environmental Problem?

Article excerpt

The following inquiry came from an eighth-grader in Pennsylvania.

In science class, we learned that one day there will be too many people to produce enough food and shelter for all of them. I asked my science teacher two questions that he wasn't sure how to answer. What will happen when the world becomes overpopulated? Will there be limits in the future on how many children people are allowed to have? I would appreciate a response to share with my classmates and teacher.

Your questions are ones that people everywhere should be asking. Because of space constraints, my answers will be short, but you can find in-depth coverage of overpopulation issues in publications at a library or bookstore. Use the Internet to find names of relevant publications as well as to conduct research on the topic.

A good starting place for

gathering information is www.

populationconnection.org/

site/PageServer. Founded in 1968

(as Zero Population Growth or ZPG), Population Connection's mission statement begins with this sentence: "Overpopulation threatens the quality of life for people everywhere." The mission statement goes on to say that Population Connection is a "national grassroots population organization that ... advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth's resources."

Earth already has too many human inhabitants, and the world's population continues to increase. Many people do not want to acknowledge the problem, but a head-in-the-sand attitude will not change the inevitable consequences of overpopulation. No animal species can exist without adequate food, water, shelter and other essential resources. Humans are not exempt from this rule. So what happens when the human population exceeds the resources needed to sustain it? The same thing that happens to any overpopulated species: nature will reduce the population through famine, disease, intraspecies fighting or a combination thereof. That reality is already playing out for people in some Third World countries. And don't think it can't happen here. It can -- and will -- unless we address the issue of overpopulation. …

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