Archive for the 'EnvProblems' Category

Jan 29 2010

Posted by under EnvProblems,Uncategorized

Overpopulation and the Collapse of Civilizations

If we don’t halt population growth with justice and compassion, it will be done for us by nature, brutally and without pity – and will leave a ravaged world.”

-Dr. Henry W. Kendall

Overpopulation is our world’s most dangerous environmental problem; followed closely however, by global climate change and unsustainable energy consumption. In my opinion however, overpopulation is at the root of almost every serious environmental problem, and should be addressed before all others. Due to overpopulation, we are putting an unsustainable amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and using non-renewable resources at an unsustainable rate. According to Dr. Thomas Amidon, overpopulation is “a driver in climate change and loss of biodiversity and is fundamental problem underlying our need to strive for sustainability”.

Societies have been struggling with the potential for collapse since civilizations originated thousands of years ago. Furthermore, there are several similarities involved in their eventual collapse — most involving disastrous environmental problems. For example, many of the societies that we studied including, Easter Island, the Mayans, the Anasazi, and the Polynesian Islands all eventually failed. Overpopulation arguably, was the main cause for all of their failures. In an environment with an abundance of resources comes a flourishing society, which leads to economic and social success and thereby allows for population to grow exponentially. If a population is unaware of the impact they can potentially have on the environment sustaining them, then it will continue to grow and consume resources without regard for the environment, until it can no longer sustain the population. Once the population surpasses its carrying capacity through these unsustainable environmental practices, it can then lead to extreme conditions and in most cases, significant drops in population numbers.

In order to combat overpopulation, we need to fix several other problems including (1) over and unsustainble consumption, (2) the need for more sustainable practices worldwide, (3) more practical energy conservation tactics, (4) global awareness and education so that people are aware of the effects they have on the environment, (5) an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and (6) the need to develop consumer products from non-renewable resources in an energy sustainable way.

An intesting scientific theory ties together both population growth and homosexuality. According to some scientists, homosexuality is an uncontrolable, enviromental induced population control method. I’ve heard many arguments for and against homosexuality, but I think this is by far the most interesting and compelling argument I have heard. I do not necessariliy understand the science behind this theory, but on a basic level, it could really make sense. This would be a really intersting topic to investigate more — especially if considering whether an excess of homosexuality behavior occurs in populations that do have high environmental stress, and to look at the history and levels of homosexuality over the years.


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