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Difference between revisions of "Population growth"

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{{merge to|Population management}}
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[[File:Fertility rate world map 2.png|thumb|right|250px|Global fertility rates]]
 
[[File:Fertility rate world map 2.png|thumb|right|250px|Global fertility rates]]
 
The '''population growth''' is the speed in which a population increases.
 
The '''population growth''' is the speed in which a population increases.
  
 
==Effect of population growth==
 
==Effect of population growth==
==In regards to climate change===
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===In regards to climate change===
There is a popular myth that population growth, especially in poor countries, is a cause of our environmental problems. In fact, the impact of the wealthy, though very few in number, is far greater than the impact of the poor, even in areas where population is large and/or rapidly growing.
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{{Main|Developing countries}}
 
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There is a popular myth that population growth alone determines our impact on the environment. In reality though, it is the combination of both the population size, as the (degree of) [[Consumerism|participation of each member on the economy]], as the way in which each member chooses to use this wealth<ref>Ie someone with millions of $ on his bank account can decide to park it there untill he dies</ref><ref>Ie someone with a limited budget can still have a major negative impact on the environment, ie by starting a forest fire, and/or can also have other negative impacts (ie by disposing all his organically non-decomposable waste in the environment (littering), ...</ref> that determines this.  
For some, it has always been assumed that climate change and population growth are inextricably linked. They have always had good enough reason to believe this. Think about it logically; if we are going to talk about resources, it makes sense to bring up the impact the exponential growth of our species is having. But, since the topic is dogged down by its taboo nature, we haven’t been able to discuss it much – especially in our mainstream media.
 
 
 
A study by Dr David Satterthwaite<ref>[http://www.iied.org/human-settlements/media/study-shatters-myth-population-growth-major-driver-climate-change Study shatters myth that population growth is a major driver of climate change], September, 2009, summary on the website of the International Institute for Environment and Development, and download link for report.</ref> of the International Institute for Environment and Development analyzed changes in population and in greenhouse gas emissions for the entire world. His research, which assessed data between 1980 and 2005 reveals that population growth’s contribution to the rise in greenhouse gases are almost negligible.
 
 
 
Sub-Saharan Africa, which had 18.5% of the world’s population growth had only 2.4% of the total carbon dioxide emissions, whilst the United States, with 3.4% population growth had 12.6% growth in carbon dioxide emissions.
 
 
 
The study illustrates that low-income countries have a higher rate of population growth, as opposed to higher income countries who maintained a low population rate, but also that they contribute less to global warming than all of us would believe. The study further asserts that the real problem is the growth in consumers and consumerism– not just “people.”
 
 
 
“A child borne into a very poor African household who during their life never escapes from poverty contributes very little to climate change, especially if they die young, as many do,” says Satterthwaite. “A child born into a wealthy household in North America or Europe and enjoys a full life and a high-consumption lifestyle contributes far more – thousands or even tens of thousands of times more.”
 
 
 
Lets take a look at China, a country that has strict limits on the growth of their population. In fact, their rates of population growth have decreased enormously. Yet, the rate of their greenhouse gas emissions have increased. Is it their increasing industrial smog? Their open-armed embrace of the MacLifestyle?
 
 
 
It seems incredibly unfair for all the “developed” countries to put the blame on the little brown “developing” countries.
 
 
 
This leads activists to ask questions such as: Is this what development really is? Is this the benchmark that our countries aim to achieve? If the rampant rise of consumerism is the real cause of global warming, then shouldn’t that be targeted? Shouldn’t the free-market be held accountable? Shouldn’t Europe or the United States be held responsible?
 
 
 
Why do the developing countries get all the flak? They don’t have enough resources as it is, then they get blamed for destroying the planet because they don’t want to use the pill.
 
 
 
=== Population growth in wealthy countries ===
 
 
 
It is far more logical to target population growth in countries where each individual has a large impact on the environment, such as the [[USA]] and [[Australia]]. ([[Europe]]an countries tend to have a not-quite-as-large impact compared to the USA, and very low birthrates.)
 
 
 
Considering almost half of pregnancies in the USA are unplanned{{fact}} there is a strong environmental argument for information on family planning to be made widely available.
 
 
 
However, the effects of birthrates are cumulative and act over the long-term. Reducing birthrates may be positive, but does not address the need to greatly reduce our impact on climate in the short term.
 
  
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
 
* [[Population size]]
 
* [[Population size]]
 
==Literature==
 
Iin his book ''Development as Freedom'', Amartya Sen compares population control measures in Kerala (based on education and free choice) with China (often forced) and finds that Kerala's were actually slightly more effective.
 
 
{{attrib|url=http://www.urbansprout.co.za/population_growth_has_no_relation_to_global_warming|author=Ahmed|license=CC-BY-SA}}
 
  
 
==Notes and references==
 
==Notes and references==
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== External links  ==
 
== External links  ==
*[http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/sep/28/population-growth-super-rich Stop blaming the poor. It's the wally yachters who are burning the planet], George Monbiot, guardian.co.uk, 28 September 2009.
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* [http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14744915&source=hptextfeature Falling fertility], ''The Economist'', Oct 29th 2009. Argues that there is little more to be achieved in developed countries through population policy, as growth is already falling about as fast as can be expected. Thus emissions reductions in these countries must come through technology and governance.
* [http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14744915&source=hptextfeature Falling fertility], ''The Economist'', Oct 29th 2009. Argues that there is little more to be achieved through population policy, as growth is already falling about as fast as can be expected. Thus reductions in impact must come through technology and governance.
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{{attrib|url=http://www.urbansprout.co.za/population_growth_has_no_relation_to_global_warming|author=Ahmed|license=CC-BY-SA}}
  
 
[[Category:Ecological footprint]]  
 
[[Category:Ecological footprint]]  

Latest revision as of 20:08, 18 August 2015

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It has been suggested that this page or section be merged into Population management. (Discuss).


Global fertility rates

The population growth is the speed in which a population increases.

Effect of population growth[edit]

In regards to climate change[edit]

There is a popular myth that population growth alone determines our impact on the environment. In reality though, it is the combination of both the population size, as the (degree of) participation of each member on the economy, as the way in which each member chooses to use this wealth[1][2] that determines this.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. Ie someone with millions of $ on his bank account can decide to park it there untill he dies
  2. Ie someone with a limited budget can still have a major negative impact on the environment, ie by starting a forest fire, and/or can also have other negative impacts (ie by disposing all his organically non-decomposable waste in the environment (littering), ...

External links[edit]

  • Falling fertility, The Economist, Oct 29th 2009. Argues that there is little more to be achieved in developed countries through population policy, as growth is already falling about as fast as can be expected. Thus emissions reductions in these countries must come through technology and governance.


Attribution: This page includes content by Ahmed, licensed as CC-BY-SA (which allows reuse under Appropedia's CC-by-sa license).