Human overpopulation (or population overshoot) occurs when the ecological footprint of a human population in a specific geographical location exceeds the carrying capacity of the place occupied by that group. Overpopulation can further be viewed, in a long term perspective, as existing if a population cannot be maintained given the rapid depletion of non-renewable resources or given the degradation of the capacity of the environment to give support to the population. Changes in lifestyle could reverse overpopulated status without a large population reduction.
The term human overpopulation refers to the relationship between the entire human population and its environment: the Earth, or to smaller geographical areas such as countries. Overpopulation can result from an increase in births, a decline in mortality rates, an increase in immigration, or an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources. It is possible for very sparsely populated areas to be overpopulated if the area has a meagre or non-existent capability to sustain life (e.g. a desert). Advocates of population moderation cite issues like quality of life, carrying capacity, and risk of starvation as a basis to argue for population decline. Scientists suggest that the human impact on the environment as a result of overpopulation, profligate consumption and proliferation of technology has pushed the planet into a new geological epoch known as the Anthropocene.
Human population has been rising continuously since the end of the Black Death, around the year 1350, although the most significant increase has been since the 1950s, mainly due to medical advancements and increases in agricultural productivity. The rate of population growth has been declining since the 1980s, while the absolute total numbers are increasing. Recent rate increases in several countries previously enjoying steady declines are also apparently contributing to continued growth in total numbers. The United Nations has expressed concerns on continued population growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent research has demonstrated that those concerns are well grounded.[unreliable source?] As of July 17, 2018 the world's human population is estimated to be 7.637 billion.  Or, 7,622,106,064 on May 14, 2018 and the United States Census Bureau calculates 7,472,985,269 for that same date. and over 7 billion by the United Nations. Most contemporary estimates for the carrying capacity of the Earth under existing conditions are between 4 billion and 16 billion. Depending on which estimate is used, human overpopulation may or may not have already occurred. Nevertheless, the rapid recent increase in human population is causing some concern. The population is expected to reach between 8 and 10.5 billion between the years 2040 and 2050. In 2017, the United Nations increased the medium variant projections to 9.8 billion for 2050 and 11.2 billion for 2100.
The recent rapid increase in human population over the past three centuries has raised concerns that the planet may not be able to sustain present or future numbers of inhabitants. The InterAcademy Panel Statement on Population Growth, circa 1994, stated that many environmental problems, such as rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, global warming, and pollution, are aggravated by the population expansion. Other problems associated with overpopulation include the increased demand for resources such as fresh water and food, starvation and malnutrition, consumption of natural resources (such as fossil fuels) faster than the rate of regeneration, and a deterioration in living conditions. Wealthy but highly populated territories like Britain rely on food imports from overseas. This was severely felt during the World Wars when, despite food efficiency initiatives like "dig for victory" and food rationing, Britain needed to fight to secure import routes. However, many believe that waste and over-consumption, especially by wealthy nations, is putting more strain on the environment than overpopulation.
Most countries have no direct policy of limiting their birth rates, but the rates have still fallen due to education about family planning and increasing access to birth control and contraception.
History of concernEdit
Concern about overpopulation is an ancient topic. Tertullian was a resident of the city of Carthage in the second century CE, when the population of the world was about 190 million (only 3–4% of what it is today). He notably said: "What most frequently meets our view (and occasions complaint) is our teeming population. Our numbers are burdensome to the world, which can hardly support us.... In very deed, pestilence, and famine, and wars, and earthquakes have to be regarded as a remedy for nations, as the means of pruning the luxuriance of the human race." Before that, Plato, Aristotle and others broached the topic as well.
Throughout recorded history, population growth has usually been slow despite high birth rates, due to war, plagues and other diseases, and high infant mortality. During the 750 years before the Industrial Revolution, the world's population increased very slowly, remaining under 250 million.
By the beginning of the 19th century, the world population had grown to a billion individuals, and intellectuals such as Thomas Malthus predicted that humankind would outgrow its available resources, because a finite amount of land would be incapable of supporting a population with a limitless potential for increase. Mercantillists argued that a large population was a form of wealth, which made it possible to create bigger markets and armies.
During the 19th century, Malthus's work was often interpreted in a way that blamed the poor alone for their condition and helping them was said to worsen conditions in the long run. This resulted, for example, in the English poor laws of 1834 and in a hesitating response to the Irish Great Famine of 1845–52.
The UN publication 'World population prospects' (2017) projects that the world population will reach 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100. Human population is predicted to stabilise soon thereafter.
A 2014 study published in Science challenges this projection, asserting that population growth will continue into the next century. Adrian Raftery, a University of Washington professor of statistics and sociology and one of the contributors to the study, says: "The consensus over the past 20 years or so was that world population, which is currently around 7 billion, would go up to 9 billion and level off or probably decline. We found there's a 70 percent probability the world population will not stabilize this century. Population, which had sort of fallen off the world's agenda, remains a very important issue." A more recent UN projection suggests the population could grow to as many as 15 billion by 2100.
In 2017, more than a third of 50 Nobel prize-winning scientists surveyed by the Times Higher Education at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings said that human overpopulation and environmental degradation are the two greatest threats facing humankind. In November that same year, a statement by 15,364 scientists from 184 countries indicated that rapid human population growth is the "primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats."
History of population growthEdit
The human population has gone through a number of periods of growth since the dawn of civilization in the Holocene period, around 10,000 BCE. The beginning of civilization roughly coincides with the receding of glacial ice following the end of the last glacial period. It is estimated that between 1–5 million people, subsisting on hunting and foraging, inhabited the Earth in the period before the Neolithic Revolution, when human activity shifted away from hunter-gathering and towards very primitive farming.
Around 8000 BCE, at the dawn of agriculture, the population of the world was approximately 5 million. The next several millennia saw a steady increase in the population, with very rapid growth beginning in 1000 BCE, and a peak of between 200 and 300 million people in 1 BCE.
The Plague of Justinian caused Europe's population to drop by around 50% between 541 and the 8th century. Steady growth resumed in 800 CE. However, growth was again disrupted by frequent plagues; most notably, the Black Death during the 14th century. The effects of the Black Death are thought to have reduced the world's population, then at an estimated 450 million, to between 350 and 375 million by 1400. The population of Europe stood at over 70 million in 1340; these levels did not return until 200 years later. England's population reached an estimated 5.6 million in 1650, up from an estimated 2.6 million in 1500. New crops from the Americas via the Spanish colonizers in the 16th century contributed to the population growth.
In other parts of the globe, China's population at the founding of the Ming dynasty in 1368 stood close to 60 million, approaching 150 million by the end of the dynasty in 1644. The population of the Americas in 1500 may have been between 50 and 100 million.
Encounters between European explorers and populations in the rest of the world often introduced local epidemics of extraordinary virulence. Archaeological evidence indicates that the death of around 90% of the Native American population of the New World was caused by Old World diseases such as smallpox, measles, and influenza. Europeans introduced diseases alien to the indigenous people, therefore they did not have immunity to these foreign diseases.
After the start of the Industrial Revolution, during the 18th century, the rate of population growth began to increase. By the end of the century, the world's population was estimated at just under 1 billion. At the turn of the 20th century, the world's population was roughly 1.6 billion. By 1940, this figure had increased to 2.3 billion. Each subsequent addition of a billion humans took less and less time: 33 years to reach three billion in 1960, 14 years for four billion in 1974, 13 years for five billion in 1987, and 12 years for six billion in 1999.
Dramatic growth beginning in 1950 (above 1.8% per year) coincided with greatly increased food production as a result of the industrialization of agriculture brought about by the Green Revolution. The rate of human population growth peaked in 1964, at about 2.1% per year. For example, Indonesia's population grew from 97 million in 1961 to 237.6 million in 2010, a 145% increase in 49 years. In India, the population grew from 361.1 million people in 1951 to just over 1.2 billion by 2011, a 235% increase in 60 years.
|Latin America and Caribbean||74 million|
|North America||82 million|
There is concern over the sharp population increase in many countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, that has occurred over the last several decades, and that it is creating problems with land management, natural resources and access to water supplies.
The population of Chad has, for example, grown from 6,279,921 in 1993 to 10,329,208 in 2009. Niger, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia and the DRC are witnessing a similar growth in population. The situation is most acute in western, central and eastern Africa. Refugees from places like Sudan have further strained the resources of neighboring states like Chad and Egypt. Chad is also host to roughly 255,000 refugees from Sudan's Darfur region, and about 77,000 refugees from the Central African Republic, while approximately 188,000 Chadians have been displaced by their own civil war and famines, have either fled to either the Sudan, the Niger or, more recently, Libya.
Projections of population growthEdit
|Continent||Projected 2050 population|
|Latin America and Caribbean||809 million|
|North America||392 million|
According to projections, the world population will continue to grow until at least 2050, with the population reaching 9 billion in 2040, and some predictions putting the population as high as 11 billion in 2050. The median estimate for future growth sees the world population reaching 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100 assuming a continuing decrease in average fertility rate from 2.5 births per woman in 2010–2015 to 2.2 in 2045–2050 and to 2.0 in 2095–2100, according to the medium-variant projection.. Walter Greiling projected in the 1950s that world population would reach a peak of about nine billion, in the 21st century, and then stop growing, after a readjustment of the Third World and a sanitation of the tropics.
In 2000, the United Nations estimated that the world's population was growing at the rate of 1.14% (or about 75 million people) per year and according to data from the CIA's World Factbook, the world human population currently increases by 145 every minute.
According to the United Nations' World Population Prospects report:
- The world population is currently growing by approximately 74 million people per year. Current United Nations predictions estimate that the world population will reach 9.0 billion around 2050, assuming a decrease in average fertility rate from 2.5 down to 2.0.
- Almost all growth will take place in the less developed regions, where today's 5.3 billion population of underdeveloped countries is expected to increase to 7.8 billion in 2050. By contrast, the population of the more developed regions will remain mostly unchanged, at 1.2 billion. An exception is the United States population, which is expected to increase by 44% from 2008 to 2050.
- In 2000–2005, the average world fertility was 2.65 children per woman, about half the level in 1950–1955 (5 children per woman). In the medium variant, global fertility is projected to decline further to 2.05 children per woman.
- During 2005–2050, nine countries are expected to account for half of the world's projected population increase: India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, United States, Ethiopia, and China, listed according to the size of their contribution to population growth. China would be higher still in this list were it not for its one-child policy.
- Global life expectancy at birth is expected to continue rising from 65 years in 2000–2005 to 75 years in 2045–2050. In the more developed regions, the projection is to 82 years by 2050. Among the least developed countries, where life expectancy today is just under 50 years, it is expected to increase to 66 years by 2045–2050.
- The population of 51 countries or areas is expected to be lower in 2050 than in 2005.
- During 2005–2050, the net number of international migrants to more developed regions is projected to be 98 million. Because deaths are projected to exceed births in the more developed regions by 73 million during 2005–2050, population growth in those regions will largely be due to international migration.
- In 2000–2005, net migration in 28 countries either prevented population decline or doubled at least the contribution of natural increase (births minus deaths) to population growth.
- Birth rates are now falling in a small percentage of developing countries, while the actual populations in many developed countries would fall without immigration.
In 1800 only 3% of the world's population lived in cities. By the 20th century's close, 47% did so. In 1950 there were 83 cities with populations exceeding one million; but by 2007 this had risen to 468 agglomerations of more than one million. If the trend continues, the world's urban population will double every 38 years, according to researchers. The UN forecasts that today's urban population of 3.2 billion will rise to nearly 5 billion by 2030, when three out of five people will live in cities.
The increase will be most dramatic in the poorest and least-urbanised continents, Asia and Africa. Projections indicate that most urban growth over the next 25 years will be in developing countries. One billion people, one-seventh of the world's population, or one-third of urban population, now live in shanty towns, which are seen as "breeding grounds" for social problems such as unemployment, poverty, crime, drug addiction, alcoholism, and other social ills. In many poor countries, slums exhibit high rates of disease due to unsanitary conditions, malnutrition, and lack of basic health care.
In 2000, there were 18 megacities – conurbations such as Tokyo, Beijing, Guangzhou, Seoul, Karachi, Mexico City, Mumbai, São Paulo, London and New York City – that have populations in excess of 10 million inhabitants. Greater Tokyo already has 35 million, more than the entire population of Canada (at 34.1 million).
According to the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asia alone will have at least 10 'hypercities' by 2025, that is, cities inhabited by more than 19 million people, including Jakarta (24.9 million people), Dhaka (25 million), Karachi (26.5 million), Shanghai (27 million) and Mumbai (33 million). Lagos has grown from 300,000 in 1950 to an estimated 15 million today, and the Nigerian government estimates that city will have expanded to 25 million residents by 2015. Chinese experts forecast that Chinese cities will contain 800 million people by 2020.
From a historical perspective, technological revolutions have coincided with population expansion. There have been three major technological revolutions – the tool-making revolution, the agricultural revolution, and the industrial revolution – all of which allowed humans more access to food, resulting in subsequent population explosions. For example, the use of tools, such as bow and arrow, allowed primitive hunters greater access to high energy foods (e.g. animal meat). Similarly, the transition to farming about 10,000 years ago greatly increased the overall food supply, which was used to support more people. Food production further increased with the industrial revolution as machinery, fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides were used to increase land under cultivation as well as crop yields. Today, starvation is caused by economic and political forces rather than a lack of the means to produce food.
Significant increases in human population occur whenever the birth rate exceeds the death rate for extended periods of time. Traditionally, the fertility rate is strongly influenced by cultural and social norms that are rather stable and therefore slow to adapt to changes in the social, technological, or environmental conditions. For example, when death rates fell during the 19th and 20th century – as a result of improved sanitation, child immunizations, and other advances in medicine – allowing more newborns to survive, the fertility rate did not adjust downward, resulting in significant population growth. Until the 1700s, seven out of ten children died before reaching reproductive age. Today, more than nine out of ten children born in industrialized nations reach adulthood.
There is a strong correlation between overpopulation and poverty. In contrast, the invention of the birth control pill and other modern methods of contraception resulted in a dramatic decline in the number of children per household in all but the very poorest countries.
Agriculture has sustained human population growth. This dates back to prehistoric times, when agricultural methods were first developed, and continues to the present day, with fertilizers, agrochemicals, large-scale mechanization, genetic manipulation, and other technologies.
Humans have historically exploited the environment using the easiest, most accessible resources first. The richest farmland was plowed and the richest mineral ore mined first. Ceballos, Ehrlich A and Ehrlich P said that overpopulation is demanding the use of ever more creative, expensive and/or environmentally destructive means in order to exploit ever more difficult to access and/or poorer quality natural resources to satisfy consumers.
The theory of demographic transition held that, after the standard of living and life expectancy increase, family sizes and birth rates decline. However, as new data has become available, it has been observed that after a certain level of development (HDI equal to 0.86 or higher) the fertility increases again and is often represented as a "J" shape. This means that both the worry that the theory generated about aging populations and the complacency it bred regarding the future environmental impact of population growth could need reevaluation.
Factors cited in the old theory included such social factors as later ages of marriage, the growing desire of many women in such settings to seek careers outside child rearing and domestic work, and the decreased need for children in industrialized settings. The latter factor stems from the fact that children perform a great deal of work in small-scale agricultural societies, and work less in industrial ones; it has been cited to explain the decline in birth rates in industrializing regions.
Many countries have high population growth rates but lower total fertility rates because high population growth in the past skewed the age demographic toward a young age, so the population still rises as the more numerous younger generation approaches maturity. "Demographic entrapment" is a concept developed by Maurice King, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, who posits that this phenomenon occurs when a country has a population larger than its carrying capacity, no possibility of migration, and exports too little to be able to import food. This will cause starvation. He claims that for example many sub-Saharan nations are or will become stuck in demographic entrapment, instead of having a demographic transition.
For the world as a whole, the number of children born per woman decreased from 5.02 to 2.65 between 1950 and 2005. A breakdown by region is as follows:
- Europe – 2.66 to 1.41
- North America – 3.47 to 1.99
- Oceania – 3.87 to 2.30
- Central America – 6.38 to 2.66
- South America – 5.75 to 2.49
- Asia (excluding Middle East) – 5.85 to 2.43
- Middle East & North Africa – 6.99 to 3.37
- Sub-Saharan Africa – 6.7 to 5.53
Excluding the theoretical reversal in fertility decrease for high development, the projected world number of children born per woman for 2050 would be around 2.05. Only the Middle East & North Africa (2.09) and Sub-Saharan Africa (2.61) would then have numbers greater than 2.05.
This article appears to contradict the article Carrying capacity. (August 2017)
Some groups (for example, the World Wide Fund for Nature and Global Footprint Network) have stated that the carrying capacity for the human population has been exceeded as measured using the Ecological Footprint. In 2006, WWF's "Living Planet Report" stated that in order for all humans to live with the current consumption patterns of Europeans, we would be spending three times more than what the planet can renew. Humanity as a whole was using, by 2006, 40 percent more than what Earth can regenerate. However, Roger Martin of Population Matters states the view: "the poor want to get rich, and I want them to get rich," with a later addition, "of course we have to change consumption habits,... but we've also got to stabilise our numbers". Another study by the World Wildlife Fund in 2014 found that it would take the equivalent of 1.5 Earths of biocapacity to meet humanity's current levels of consumption.
But critics question the simplifications and statistical methods used in calculating Ecological Footprints. Therefore, Global Footprint Network and its partner organizations have engaged with national governments and international agencies to test the results – reviews have been produced by France, Germany, the European Commission, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. Some point out that a more refined method of assessing Ecological Footprint is to designate sustainable versus non-sustainable categories of consumption. However, if yield estimates were adjusted for sustainable levels of production, the yield figures would be lower, and hence the overshoot estimated by the Ecological Footprint method even higher.
In a 1994 study titled Food, Land, Population and the U.S. Economy, David Pimentel and Mario Giampietro estimated the maximum U.S. population for a sustainable economy at 200 million. And in order to achieve a sustainable economy and avert disaster, the United States would have to reduce its population by at least one-third, and world population would have to be reduced by two-thirds.
Many quantitative studies have estimated the world's carrying capacity for humans, that is, a limit to the world population. A meta-analysis of 69 such studies suggests a point estimate of the limit to be 7.7 billion people, while lower and upper meta-bounds for current technology are estimated as 0.65 and 98 billion people, respectively. They conclude: "recent predictions of stabilized world population levels for 2050 exceed several of our meta-estimates of a world population limit".
Effects of human overpopulationEdit
Some more problems associated with or exacerbated by human overpopulation and over-consumption are:
- Inadequate fresh water for drinking as well as sewage treatment and effluent discharge. Some countries, like Saudi Arabia, use energy-expensive desalination to solve the problem of water shortages.
- Depletion of natural resources, especially fossil fuels.
- Increased levels of air pollution, water pollution, soil contamination and noise pollution.
- Changes in atmospheric composition and consequent global warming.
- Loss of arable land and increase in desertification. Deforestation and desertification can be reversed by adopting property rights, and this policy is successful even while the human population continues to grow.
- Mass species extinctions and contracting biodiversity from reduced habitat in tropical forests due to slash-and-burn techniques that sometimes are practiced by shifting cultivators, especially in countries with rapidly expanding rural populations; present extinction rates may be as high as 140,000 species lost per year. As of February 2011, the IUCN Red List lists a total of 801 animal species having gone extinct during recorded human history, although the vast majority of extinctions are thought to be undocumented. Biodiversity would continue to grow at an exponential rate if not for human influence. Sir David King, former chief scientific adviser to the UK government, told a parliamentary inquiry: "It is self-evident that the massive growth in the human population through the 20th century has had more impact on biodiversity than any other single factor." Paul and Anne Ehrlich said population growth is one of the main drivers of the Earth's extinction crisis.
- High infant and child mortality. High rates of infant mortality are associated with poverty. Rich countries with high population densities have low rates of infant mortality.
- Intensive factory farming to support large populations. It results in human threats including the evolution and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria diseases, excessive air and water pollution, and new viruses that infect humans.
- Increased chance of the emergence of new epidemics and pandemics. For many environmental and social reasons, including overcrowded living conditions, malnutrition and inadequate, inaccessible, or non-existent health care, the poor are more likely to be exposed to infectious diseases.
- Starvation, malnutrition or poor diet with ill health and diet-deficiency diseases (e.g. rickets). However, rich countries with high population densities do not have famine.
- Poverty coupled with inflation in some regions and a resulting low level of capital formation. Poverty and inflation are aggravated by bad government and bad economic policies. Many countries with high population densities have eliminated absolute poverty and keep their inflation rates very low.
- Low life expectancy in countries with fastest growing populations.
- Unhygienic living conditions for many based upon water resource depletion, discharge of raw sewage and solid waste disposal. However, this problem can be reduced with the adoption of sewers. For example, after Karachi, Pakistan installed sewers, its infant mortality rate fell substantially.
- Elevated crime rate due to drug cartels and increased theft by people stealing resources to survive.
- Conflict over scarce resources and crowding, leading to increased levels of warfare.
- Less personal freedom and more restrictive laws. Laws regulate and shape politics, economics, history and society and serve as a mediator of relations and interactions between people. The higher the population density, the more frequent such interactions become, and thus there develops a need for more laws and/or more restrictive laws to regulate these interactions and relations. It was even speculated by Aldous Huxley in 1958 that democracy is threatened due to overpopulation, and could give rise to totalitarian style governments.
Many of these problems are explored in the dystopic science fiction film Soylent Green, where an overpopulated Earth suffers from food shortages, depleted resources and poverty and in the documentary "Aftermath: Population Overload".
David Attenborough described the level of human population on the planet as a multiplier of all other environmental problems. In 2013, he described humanity as "a plague on the Earth" that needs to be controlled by limiting population growth.
Most biologists and sociologists see overpopulation as a serious threat to the quality of human life. Some deep ecologists, such as the radical thinker and polemicist Pentti Linkola, see human overpopulation as a threat to the entire biosphere.
Rich western countries are now siphoning up the planet’s resources and destroying its ecosystems at an unprecedented rate. We want to build highways across the Serengeti to get more rare earth minerals for our cellphones. We grab all the fish from the sea, wreck the coral reefs and put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We have triggered a major extinction event ... A world population of around a billion would have an overall pro-life effect. This could be supported for many millennia and sustain many more human lives in the long term compared with our current uncontrolled growth and prospect of sudden collapse ... If everyone consumed resources at the US level – which is what the world aspires to – you will need another four or five Earths. We are wrecking our planet’s life support systems.
Overpopulation does not depend only on the size or density of the population, but on the ratio of population to available sustainable resources. It also depends on how resources are managed and distributed throughout the population.
The resources to be considered when evaluating whether an ecological niche is overpopulated include clean water, clean air, food, shelter, warmth, and other resources necessary to sustain life. If the quality of human life is addressed, there may be additional resources considered, such as medical care, education, proper sewage treatment, waste disposal and energy supplies. Overpopulation places competitive stress on the basic life sustaining resources, leading to a diminished quality of life.
Directly related to maintaining the health of the human population is water supply, and it is one of the resources that experience the biggest strain. With the global population at about 7.5 billion, and each human theoretically needing 2 liters of drinking water, there is a demand for 15 billion liters of water each day to meet the minimum requirement for healthy living (United). Weather patterns, elevation, and climate all contribute to uneven distribution of fresh drinking water. Without clean water, good health is not a viable option. Besides drinking, water is used to create sanitary living conditions and is the basis of creating a healthy environment fit to hold human life. In addition to drinking water, water is also used for bathing, washing clothes and dishes, flushing toilets, a variety of cleaning methods, recreation, watering lawns, and farm irrigation. Irrigation poses one of the largest problems, because without sufficient water to irrigate crops, the crops die and then there is the problem of food rations and starvation. In addition to water needed for crops and food, there is limited land area dedicated to food production, and not much more that is suitable to be added. Arable land, needed to sustain the growing population, is also a factor because land being under or over cultivated easily upsets the delicate balance of nutrition supply. There are also problems with location of arable land with regard to proximity to countries and relative population (Bashford 240). Access to nutrition is an important limiting factor in population sustainability and growth. No increase in arable land added to the still increasing human population will eventually pose a serious conflict. Only 38% of the land area of the globe is dedicated to agriculture, and there is not room for much more. Although plants produce 54 billion metric tons of carbohydrates per year, when the population is expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050, the plants may not be able to keep up (Biello). Food supply is a primary example of how a resource reacts when its carrying capacity is exceeded. By trying to grow more and more crops off of the same amount of land, the soil becomes exhausted. Because the soil is exhausted, it is then unable to produce the same amount of food as before, and is overall less productive. Therefore, by using resources beyond a sustainable level, the resource become nullified and ineffective, which further increases the disparity between the demand for a resource and the availability of a resource. There must be a shift to provide adequate recovery time to each one of the supplies in demand to support contemporary human lifestyles. 
David Pimentel has stated that "With the imbalance growing between population numbers and vital life sustaining resources, humans must actively conserve cropland, freshwater, energy, and biological resources. There is a need to develop renewable energy resources. Humans everywhere must understand that rapid population growth damages the Earth's resources and diminishes human well-being."
These reflect the comments also of the United States Geological Survey in their paper The Future of Planet Earth: Scientific Challenges in the Coming Century. "As the global population continues to grow...people will place greater and greater demands on the resources of our planet, including mineral and energy resources, open space, water, and plant and animal resources." "Earth's natural wealth: an audit" by New Scientist magazine states that many of the minerals that we use for a variety of products are in danger of running out in the near future. A handful of geologists around the world have calculated the costs of new technologies in terms of the materials they use and the implications of their spreading to the developing world. All agree that the planet's booming population and rising standards of living are set to put unprecedented demands on the materials that only Earth itself can provide. Limitations on how much of these materials is available could even mean that some technologies are not worth pursuing long term.... "Virgin stocks of several metals appear inadequate to sustain the modern 'developed world' quality of life for all of Earth's people under contemporary technology".
On the other hand, some cornucopian researchers, such as Julian L. Simon and Bjørn Lomborg believe that resources exist for further population growth. In a 2010 study, they concluded that "there are not (and will never be) too many people for the planet to feed" according to The Independent. Some critics warn, this will be at a high cost to the Earth: "the technological optimists are probably correct in claiming that overall world food production can be increased substantially over the next few decades...[however] the environmental cost of what Paul R. and Anne H. Ehrlich describe as 'turning the Earth into a giant human feedlot' could be severe. A large expansion of agriculture to provide growing populations with improved diets is likely to lead to further deforestation, loss of species, soil erosion, and pollution from pesticides and fertilizer runoff as farming intensifies and new land is brought into production." Since we are intimately dependent upon the living systems of the Earth, some scientists have questioned the wisdom of further expansion.
According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a four-year research effort by 1,360 of the world's prominent scientists commissioned to measure the actual value of natural resources to humans and the world, "The structure of the world's ecosystems changed more rapidly in the second half of the twentieth century than at any time in recorded human history, and virtually all of Earth's ecosystems have now been significantly transformed through human actions." "Ecosystem services, particularly food production, timber and fisheries, are important for employment and economic activity. Intensive use of ecosystems often produces the greatest short-term advantage, but excessive and unsustainable use can lead to losses in the long term. A country could cut its forests and deplete its fisheries, and this would show only as a positive gain to GDP, despite the loss of capital assets. If the full economic value of ecosystems were taken into account in decision-making, their degradation could be significantly slowed down or even reversed."
Although all resources, whether mineral or other, are limited on the planet, there is a degree of self-correction whenever a scarcity or high-demand for a particular kind is experienced. For example, in 1990 known reserves of many natural resources were higher, and their prices lower, than in 1970, despite higher demand and higher consumption. Whenever a price spike would occur, the market tended to correct itself whether by substituting an equivalent resource or switching to a new technology.
Potential problems with dependence on desalination are reviewed below, however, the majority of the world's freshwater supply is contained in the polar icecaps, and underground river systems accessible through springs and wells.
Fresh water can be obtained from salt water by desalination. For example, Malta derives two thirds of its freshwater by desalination. A number of nuclear powered desalination plants exist; however, the high costs of desalination, especially for poor countries, make impractical the transport of large amounts of desalinated seawater to interiors of large countries. The cost of desalination varies; Israel is now desalinating water for a cost of 53 cents per cubic meter, Singapore at 49 cents per cubic meter. In the United States, the cost is 81 cents per cubic meter ($3.06 for 1,000 gallons).
According to a 2004 study by Zhou and Tol, "one needs to lift the water by 2000 m, or transport it over more than 1600 km to get transport costs equal to the desalination costs. Desalinated water is expensive in places that are both somewhat far from the sea and somewhat high, such as Riyadh and Harare. In other places, the dominant cost is desalination, not transport. This leads to somewhat lower costs in places like Beijing, Bangkok, Zaragoza, Phoenix, and, of course, coastal cities like Tripoli." Thus while the study is generally positive about the technology for affluent areas that are proximate to oceans, it concludes that "Desalinated water may be a solution for some water-stress regions, but not for places that are poor, deep in the interior of a continent, or at high elevation. Unfortunately, that includes some of the places with biggest water problems." "Another potential problem with desalination is the byproduction of saline brine, which can be a major cause of marine pollution when dumped back into the oceans at high temperatures."
The world's largest desalination plant is the Jebel Ali Desalination Plant (Phase 2) in the United Arab Emirates, which can produce 300 million cubic metres of water per year, or about 2500 gallons per second. The largest desalination plant in the US is the one at Tampa Bay, Florida, which began desalinating 25 million gallons (95000 m³) of water per day in December 2007. A 17 January 2008, article in the Wall Street Journal states, "Worldwide, 13,080 desalination plants produce more than 12 billion gallons of water a day, according to the International Desalination Association." After being desalinated at Jubail, Saudi Arabia, water is pumped 200 miles (320 km) inland though a pipeline to the capital city of Riyadh.
However, new data originating from the GRACE experiments and isotopic testing done by the IAEA show that the Nubian aquifer—which is under the largest, driest part of the earth's surface, has enough water in it to provide for "at least several centuries". In addition to this, new and highly detailed maps of the earth's underground reservoirs will be soon created from these technologies that will further allow proper budgeting of cheap water.
Many countries rely heavily on imports. Egypt and Iran rely on imports for 40% of their grain supply. Yemen and Israel import more than 90%. And just 6 countries – Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Thailand and the USA – supply 90% of grain exports. In recent decades the US alone supplied almost half of world grain exports.
A 2001 United Nations report says population growth is "the main force driving increases in agricultural demand" but "most recent expert assessments are cautiously optimistic about the ability of global food production to keep up with demand for the foreseeable future (that is to say, until approximately 2030 or 2050)", assuming declining population growth rates.
However, the observed figures for 2007 show an actual increase in absolute numbers of undernourished people in the world, 923 million in 2007 versus 832 million in 1995.; the more recent FAO estimates point to an even more dramatic increase, to 1.02 billion in 2009.
The amounts of natural resources in this context are not necessarily fixed, and their distribution is not necessarily a zero-sum game. For example, due to the Green Revolution and the fact that more and more land is appropriated each year from wild lands for agricultural purposes, the worldwide production of food had steadily increased up until 1995. World food production per person was considerably higher in 2005 than 1961.
As world population doubled from 3 billion to 6 billion, daily calorie consumption in poor countries increased from 1,932 to 2,650, and the percentage of people in those countries who were malnourished fell from 45% to 18%. This suggests that Third World poverty and famine are caused by underdevelopment, not overpopulation. However, others question these statistics. From 1950 to 1984, as the Green Revolution transformed agriculture around the world, grain production increased by over 250%. The world population has grown by about four billion since the beginning of the Green Revolution and most believe that, without the Revolution, there would be greater famine and malnutrition than the UN presently documents.
The number of people who are overweight has surpassed the number who are undernourished. In a 2006 news story, MSNBC reported, "There are an estimated 800 million undernourished people and more than a billion considered overweight worldwide." The U.S. has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world. However, studies show that wealthy and educated people are far likelier to eat healthy food, indicating obesity is a disease related to poverty and lack of education and excessive advertising of unhealthy eatables at cheaper cost, high in calories, with little nutritive value are consumed.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states in its report The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006, that while the number of undernourished people in the developing countries has declined by about three million, a smaller proportion of the populations of developing countries is undernourished today than in 1990–92: 17% against 20%. Furthermore, FAO's projections suggest that the proportion of hungry people in developing countries could be halved from 1990–92 levels to 10% by 2015. The FAO also states "We have emphasized first and foremost that reducing hunger is no longer a question of means in the hands of the global community. The world is richer today than it was ten years ago. There is more food available and still more could be produced without excessive upward pressure on prices. The knowledge and resources to reduce hunger are there. What is lacking is sufficient political will to mobilize those resources to the benefit of the hungry."
As of 2008, the price of grain has increased due to more farming used in biofuels, world oil prices at over $100 a barrel, global population growth, climate change, loss of agricultural land to residential and industrial development, and growing consumer demand in China and India Food riots have recently taken place in many countries across the world. An epidemic of stem rust on wheat caused by race Ug99 is currently spreading across Africa and into Asia and is causing major concern. A virulent wheat disease could destroy most of the world's main wheat crops, leaving millions to starve. The fungus has spread from Africa to Iran, and may already be in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Food security will become more difficult to achieve as resources run out. Resources in danger of becoming depleted include oil, phosphorus, grain, fish, and water. The British scientist John Beddington predicted in 2009 that supplies of energy, food, and water will need to be increased by 50% to reach demand levels of 2030. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), food supplies will need to be increased by 70% by 2050 to meet projected demands.
The Population Reference Bureau in the US reported that the population of Sub-Saharan Africa – the poorest region in the continent – is rising faster than most of the rest of the world, and that "Rapid population growth makes it difficult for economies to create enough jobs to lift large numbers of people out of poverty." Seven of the 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with the highest fertility rates also appear among the bottom 10 listed on the United Nations' Human Development Index.
Hunger and malnutrition kill nearly 6 million children a year, and more people are malnourished in sub-Saharan Africa this decade than in the 1990s, according to a report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization. In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of malnourished people grew to 203.5 million people in 2000–02 from 170.4 million 10 years earlier says The State of Food Insecurity in the World report. In 2001, 46.4% of people in sub-Saharan Africa were living in extreme poverty.
According to a 2004 article from the BBC, China, the world's most populous country, suffers from an "obesity surge". The article stated that, "Altogether, around 200 million people are thought to be overweight, 22.8% of the population, and 60 million (7.1%) obese". More recent data indicate China's grain production peaked in the mid-1990s, due to increased extraction of groundwater in the North China plain.
Japan may face a food crisis that could reduce daily diets to the austere meals of the 1950s, believes a senior government adviser.
Population as a function of food availabilityEdit
Thinkers from a wide range of academic fields and political backgrounds—including agricultural scientist David Pimentel, behavioral scientist Russell Hopfenberg, right-wing anthropologist Virginia Abernethy, ecologist Garrett Hardin, ecologist and anthropologist Peter Farb, journalist Richard Manning, environmental biologist Alan D. Thornhill, cultural critic and writer Daniel Quinn, and anarcho-primitivist John Zerzan,—propose that, like all other animal populations, human populations predictably grow and shrink according to their available food supply, growing during an abundance of food and shrinking in times of scarcity.
Proponents of this theory argue that every time food production is increased, the population grows. Most human populations throughout history validate this theory, as does the overall current global population. Populations of hunter-gatherers fluctuate in accordance with the amount of available food. The world human population began increasing after the Neolithic Revolution and its increased food supply. This was, subsequent to the Green Revolution, followed by even more severely accelerated population growth, which continues today. Often, wealthier countries send their surplus food resources to the aid of starving communities; however, proponents of this theory argue that this seemingly beneficial notion only results in further harm to those communities in the long run. Peter Farb, for example, has commented on the paradox that "intensification of production to feed an increased population leads to a still greater increase in population." Daniel Quinn has also focused on this phenomenon, which he calls the "Food Race" (comparable, in terms of both escalation and potential catastrophe, to the nuclear arms race).
Critics of this theory point out that, in the modern era, birth rates are lowest in the developed nations, which also have the highest access to food. In fact, some developed countries have both a diminishing population and an abundant food supply. The United Nations projects that the population of 51 countries or areas, including Germany, Italy, Japan, and most of the states of the former Soviet Union, is expected to be lower in 2050 than in 2005. This shows that, limited to the scope of the population living within a single given political boundary, particular human populations do not always grow to match the available food supply. However, the global population as a whole still grows in accordance with the total food supply and many of these wealthier countries are major exporters of food to poorer populations, so that, "it is through exports from food-rich to food-poor areas (Allaby, 1984; Pimentel et al., 1999) that the population growth in these food-poor areas is further fueled."
Regardless of criticisms against the theory that population is a function of food availability, the human population is, on the global scale, undeniably increasing, as is the net quantity of human food produced — a pattern that has been true for roughly 10,000 years, since the human development of agriculture. The fact that some affluent countries demonstrate negative population growth fails to discredit the theory as whole, since the world has become a globalized system with food moving across national borders from areas of abundance to areas of scarcity. Hopfenberg and Pimentel's findings support both this and Quinn's direct accusation that "First World farmers are fueling the Third World population explosion." Additionally, the hypothesis is not so simplistic as to be rejected by any single case study, as in Germany's recent population trends; clearly other factors are at work to limit the population in wealthier areas: contraceptive access, educational programs, cultural norms and, most influentially, differing economic realities from nation to nation.
As a result of water deficitsEdit
Water deficits, which are already spurring heavy grain imports in numerous smaller countries, may soon do the same in larger countries, such as China or India, if technology is not used. The water tables are falling in scores of countries (including Northern China, the US, and India) owing to widespread overdrafting beyond sustainable yields. Other countries affected include Pakistan, Iran, and Mexico. This overdrafting is already leading to water scarcity and cutbacks in grain harvest. Even with the overpumping of its aquifers, China has developed a grain deficit. This effect has contributed in driving grain prices upward. Most of the 3 billion people projected to be added worldwide by mid-century will be born in countries already experiencing water shortages. Desalination is also considered a viable and effective solution to the problem of water shortages.
The World Resources Institute states that "Agricultural conversion to croplands and managed pastures has affected some 3.3 billion [hectares] – roughly 26 percent of the land area. All totaled, agriculture has displaced one-third of temperate and tropical forests and one-quarter of natural grasslands." Forty percent of the land area is under conversion and fragmented; less than one quarter, primarily in the Arctic and the deserts, remains intact. Usable land may become less useful through salinization, deforestation, desertification, erosion, and urban sprawl. Global warming may cause flooding of many of the most productive agricultural areas. The development of energy sources may also require large areas, for example, the building of hydroelectric dams. Thus, available useful land may become a limiting factor. By most estimates, at least half of cultivable land is already being farmed, and there are concerns that the remaining reserves are greatly overestimated.
High crop yield vegetables like potatoes and lettuce use less space on inedible plant parts, like stalks, husks, vines, and inedible leaves. New varieties of selectively bred and hybrid plants have larger edible parts (fruit, vegetable, grain) and smaller inedible parts; however, many of these gain of agricultural technology are now historic, and new advances are more difficult to achieve. With new technologies, it is possible to grow crops on some marginal land under certain conditions. Aquaculture could theoretically increase available area. Hydroponics and food from bacteria and fungi, like quorn, may allow the growing of food without having to consider land quality, climate, or even available sunlight, although such a process may be very energy-intensive. Some argue that not all arable land will remain productive if used for agriculture because some marginal land can only be made to produce food by unsustainable practices like slash-and-burn agriculture. Even with the modern techniques of agriculture, the sustainability of production is in question.
Some countries, such as the United Arab Emirates and particularly the Emirate of Dubai have constructed large artificial islands, or have created large dam and dike systems, like the Netherlands, which reclaim land from the sea to increase their total land area. Some scientists have said that in the future, densely populated cities will use vertical farming to grow food inside skyscrapers. The notion that space is limited has been decried by skeptics, who point out that the Earth's population of roughly 6.8 billion people could comfortably be housed an area comparable in size to the state of Texas, in the United States (about 269,000 square miles or 696,706.80 square kilometres). However, the impact of humanity extends over a far greater area than that required simply for housing.
Population optimists have been criticized for failing to take into account the depletion of fossil fuels required for the production of fertilizers, tillage, transportation, etc. In his 1992 book Earth in the Balance, Al Gore wrote, "... it ought to be possible to establish a coordinated global program to accomplish the strategic goal of completely eliminating the internal combustion engine over, say, a twenty-five-year period..." Approximately half of the oil produced in the United States is refined into gasoline for use in internal combustion engines.
The report Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, and Risk Management, commonly referred to as the Hirsch report, was created by request for the US Department of Energy and published in February 2005. Some information was updated in 2007. It examined the time frame for the occurrence of peak oil, the necessary mitigating actions, and the likely impacts based on the timeliness of those actions. It concludes that world oil peaking is going to happen, and will likely be abrupt. Initiating a mitigation crash program 20 years before peaking appears to offer the possibility of avoiding a world liquid fuels shortfall for the forecast period.
Optimists counter that fossil fuels will be sufficient until the development and implementation of suitable replacement technologies—such as nuclear power or various sources of renewable energy—occurs. Methods of manufacturing fertilizers from garbage, sewage, and agricultural waste by using thermal depolymerization have been discovered.
With increasing awareness about global warming, the question of peak oil has become less relevant. According to many studies, about 80% of the remaining fossil fuels must be left untouched because the bottleneck has shifted from resource availability to the resource of absorbing the generated greenhouse gases when burning fossil fuels.
Wealth and povertyEdit
The United Nations indicates that about 850 million people are malnourished or starving, and 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. Since 1980, the global economy has grown by 380 percent, but the number of people living on less than 5 US dollars a day increased by more than 1.1 billion.
The UN Human Development Report of 1997 states: "During the last 15–20 years, more than 100 developing countries, and several Eastern European countries, have suffered from disastrous growth failures. The reductions in standard of living have been deeper and more long-lasting than what was seen in the industrialised countries during the depression in the 1930s. As a result, the income for more than one billion people has fallen below the level that was reached 10, 20 or 30 years ago". Similarly, although the proportion of "starving" people in sub-Saharan Africa has decreased, the absolute number of starving people has increased due to population growth. The percentage dropped from 38% in 1970 to 33% in 1996 and was expected to be 30% by 2010. But the region's population roughly doubled between 1970 and 1996. To keep the numbers of starving constant, the percentage would have dropped by more than half.
As of 2004, there were 108 countries in the world with more than five million people. All of these in which women have, on the average, more than 4 children in their lifetime, have a per capita GDP of less than $5000. Only in two countries with per capita GDP above ~$15,000 do women have, on the average, more than 2 children in their lifetime: these are Israel and Saudi Arabia, with average lifetime births per woman between 2 and 4.
|“||You know, when we first set up WWF, our objective was to save endangered species from extinction. But we have failed completely; we haven’t managed to save a single one. If only we had put all that money into condoms, we might have done some good. Sir Peter Scott, Founder of the World Wide Fund for Nature.||”|
Overpopulation has substantially adversely impacted the environment of Earth starting at least as early as the 20th century. According to the Global Footprint Network, "today humanity uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste". There are also economic consequences of this environmental degradation in the form of ecosystem services attrition. Beyond the scientifically verifiable harm to the environment, some assert the moral right of other species to simply exist rather than become extinct. Environmental author Jeremy Rifkin has said that "our burgeoning population and urban way of life have been purchased at the expense of vast ecosystems and habitats. ... It's no accident that as we celebrate the urbanization of the world, we are quickly approaching another historic watershed: the disappearance of the wild."
Says Peter Raven, former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in their seminal work AAAS Atlas of Population & Environment, "Where do we stand in our efforts to achieve a sustainable world? Clearly, the past half century has been a traumatic one, as the collective impact of human numbers, affluence (consumption per individual) and our choices of technology continue to exploit rapidly an increasing proportion of the world's resources at an unsustainable rate. ... During a remarkably short period of time, we have lost a quarter of the world's topsoil and a fifth of its agricultural land, altered the composition of the atmosphere profoundly, and destroyed a major proportion of our forests and other natural habitats without replacing them. Worst of all, we have driven the rate of biological extinction, the permanent loss of species, up several hundred times beyond its historical levels, and are threatened with the loss of a majority of all species by the end of the 21st century."
Further, even in countries which have both large population growth and major ecological problems, it is not necessarily true that curbing the population growth will make a major contribution towards resolving all environmental problems. However, as developing countries with high populations become more industrialized, pollution and consumption will invariably increase.
The world's ecological capacity is simply insufficient to satisfy the ambitions of China, India, Japan, Europe and the United States as well as the aspirations of the rest of the world in a sustainable way.
According to Worldwatch Institute, if China and India were to consume as much resources per capita as the United States, in 2030 they would each require a full planet Earth to meet their needs. In the long term these effects can lead to increased conflict over dwindling resources and in the worst case a Malthusian catastrophe.
Warfare and conflictEdit
It has been suggested that overpopulation leads to increased levels of tensions both between and within countries. Modern usage of the term "lebensraum" supports the idea that overpopulation may promote warfare through fear of resource scarcity and increasing numbers of youth lacking the opportunity to engage in peaceful employment (the youth bulge theory).
Criticism of this hypothesisEdit
The hypothesis that population pressure causes increased warfare has been recently criticized on the empirical grounds. Both studies focusing on specific historical societies and analyses of cross-cultural data have failed to find positive correlation between population density and incidence of warfare. Andrey Korotayev, in collaboration with Peter Turchin, has shown that such negative results do not falsify the population-warfare hypothesis.
Population and warfare are dynamical variables, and if their interaction causes sustained oscillations, then we do not in general expect to find strong correlation between the two variables measured at the same time (that is, unlagged). Korotayev and Turchin have explored mathematically what the dynamical patterns of interaction between population and warfare (focusing on internal warfare) might be in both stateless and state societies. Next, they have tested the model predictions in several empirical case studies: early modern England, Han and Tang China, and the Roman Empire. Their empirical results have supported the population-warfare theory: that there is a tendency for population numbers and internal warfare intensity to oscillate with the same period but shifted in phase (with warfare peaks following population peaks).
Furthermore, they have demonstrated that in the agrarian societies the rates of change of the two variables behave precisely as predicted by the theory: population rate of change is negatively affected by warfare intensity, while warfare rate of change is positively affected by population density.
Proposed solutions and mitigation measuresEdit
|“||Given the current levels of violence by this culture against both humans and the natural world, however, it's not possible to speak of reductions in population and consumption that do not involve violence and privation, not because the reductions themselves would necessarily involve violence, but because violence and privation have become the default of our culture. Derrick Jensen. Endgame, 2006||”|
Several solutions and mitigation measures have the potential to reduce overpopulation. Some solutions are to be applied on a global planetary level (e.g., via UN resolutions), while some on a country or state government organization level, and some on a family or an individual level. Some of the proposed mitigations aim to help implement new social, cultural, behavioral and political norms to replace or significantly modify current norms.
For example, in societies like China, the government has put policies in place that regulate the number of children allowed to a couple. Other societies have implemented social marketing strategies in order to educate the public on overpopulation effects. "The intervention can be widespread and done at a low cost. A variety of print materials (flyers, brochures, fact sheets, stickers) needs to be produced and distributed throughout the communities such as at local places of worship, sporting events, local food markets, schools and at car parks (taxis / bus stands)."
Such prompts work to introduce the problem so that new or modified social norms are easier to implement. Certain government policies are making it easier and more socially acceptable to use contraception and abortion methods. An example of a country whose laws and norms are hindering the global effort to slow population growth is Afghanistan. "The approval by Afghan President Hamid Karzai of the Shia Personal Status Law in March 2009 effectively destroyed Shia women's rights and freedoms in Afghanistan. Under this law, women have no right to deny their husbands sex unless they are ill, and can be denied food if they do."
Scientists and technologists including e.g. Huesemann, Huesemann, Ehrlich and Ehrlich caution that science and technology, as currently practiced, cannot solve the serious problems global human society faces, and that a cultural-social-political shift is needed to reorient science and technology in a more socially responsible and environmentally sustainable direction.
Education and empowermentEdit
One option is to focus on education about overpopulation, family planning, and birth control methods, and to make birth-control devices like male and female condoms, contraceptive pills and intrauterine devices easily available. Worldwide, nearly 40% of pregnancies are unintended (some 80 million unintended pregnancies each year). An estimated 350 million women in the poorest countries of the world either did not want their last child, do not want another child or want to space their pregnancies, but they lack access to information, affordable means and services to determine the size and spacing of their families. In the United States, in 2001, almost half of pregnancies were unintended. In the developing world, some 514,000 women die annually of complications from pregnancy and abortion, with 86% of these deaths occurring in the sub-Saharan Africa region and South Asia. Additionally, 8 million infants die, many because of malnutrition or preventable diseases, especially from lack of access to clean drinking water.
"The only ray of hope I can see – and it's not much – is that wherever women are put in control of their lives, both politically and socially, where medical facilities allow them to deal with birth control and where their husbands allow them to make those decisions, birth rate falls. Women don't want to have 12 kids of whom nine will die." — David Attenborough
Egypt announced a program to reduce its overpopulation by family planning education and putting women in the workforce. It was announced in June 2008 by the Minister of Health and Population, and the government has set aside 480 million Egyptian pounds (about $90 million US) for the program.
Several scientists (including e.g. Paul and Anne Ehrlich and Gretchen Daily) proposed that humanity should work at stabilizing its absolute numbers, as a starting point towards beginning the process of reducing the total numbers. They suggested the following solutions and policies: following a small-family-size socio-cultural-behavioral norm worldwide (especially one-child-per-family ethos), and providing contraception to all along with proper education on its use and benefits (while providing access to safe, legal abortion as a backup to contraception), combined with a significantly more equitable distribution of resources globally.
Business magnate Ted Turner proposed a "voluntary, non-imposed" one-child-per-family cultural norm. A "pledge two or fewer" campaign is run by Population Matters (a UK population concern organisation), in which people are encouraged to limit themselves to small family size.
Population planning that is intended to reduce population size or growth rate may promote or enforce one or more of the following practices, although there are other methods as well:
- Greater and better access to contraception
- Reducing infant mortality so that parents do not need to have many children to ensure at least some survive to adulthood.
- Improving the status of women in order to facilitate a departure from traditional sexual division of labour.
- One-Child and Two-Child policies, and other policies restricting or discouraging births directly.
- Family planning
- Creating small family "role models"
- Tighter immigration restrictions
The method(s) chosen can be strongly influenced by the cultural and religious beliefs of community members.
Overpopulation can be mitigated by birth control; some nations, like the People's Republic of China, use strict measures to reduce birth rates. Religious and ideological opposition to birth control has been cited as a factor contributing to overpopulation and poverty.
Sanjay Gandhi, son of late Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, implemented a forced sterilization programme between 1975 and 1977. Officially, men with two children or more had to submit to sterilization, but there was a greater focus on sterilizing women than sterilizing men. Some unmarried young men and political opponents may also have been sterilized. This program is still remembered and criticized in India, and is blamed for creating a public aversion to family planning, which hampered government programs for decades.
Urban designer Michael E. Arth has proposed a "choice-based, marketable birth license plan" he calls "birth credits". Birth credits would allow any woman to have as many children as she wants, as long as she buys a license for any children beyond an average allotment that would result in zero population growth. If that allotment was determined to be one child, for example, then the first child would be free, and the market would determine what the license fee for each additional child would cost. Extra credits would expire after a certain time, so these credits could not be hoarded by speculators. The actual cost of the credits would only be a fraction of the actual cost of having and raising a child, so the credits would serve more as a wake-up call to women who might otherwise produce children without seriously considering the long term consequences to themselves or society.
Another choice-based approach, similar to Arth's birth credits, is financial compensation or other benefits (free goods and/or services) by the state (or state-owned companies) offered to people who voluntarily undergo sterilization. Such compensation has been offered in the past by the government of India.
In 2014 the United Nations estimated there is an 80% likelihood that the world's population will be between 9.6 billion and 12.3 billion by 2100. Most of the world's expected population increase will be in Africa and southern Asia. Africa's population is expected to rise from the current one billion to four billion by 2100, and Asia could add another billion in the same period. Because the median age of Africans is relatively low (e.g. in Uganda it is 15 years old) birth credits would have to limit fertility to one child per two women to reach the levels of developed countries immediately. For countries with a wide base in their population pyramid it will take a generation for the people who are of child bearing age to have their families. An example of demographic momentum is China, which added perhaps 400,000 more people after its one-child policy was enacted. Arth has suggested that the focus should be on the developed countries and that some combination of birth credits and additional compensation supplied by the developed countries could rapidly lead to zero population growth while also quickly raising the standard of living in developing countries.
Various scientists and science fiction authors have contemplated that overpopulation on Earth may be remedied in the future by the use of extraterrestrial settlements. In the 1970s, Gerard K. O'Neill suggested building space habitats that could support 30,000 times the carrying capacity of Earth using just the asteroid belt, and that the Solar System as a whole could sustain current population growth rates for a thousand years. Marshall Savage (1992, 1994) has projected a human population of five quintillion (5 x 1018) throughout the Solar System by 3000, with the majority in the asteroid belt. Freeman Dyson (1999) favours the Kuiper belt as the future home of humanity, suggesting this could happen within a few centuries. In Mining the Sky, John S. Lewis suggests that the resources of the solar system could support 10 quadrillion (1016) people. In an interview, Stephen Hawking claimed that overpopulation is a threat to human existence and "our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain inward looking on planet Earth but to spread out into space."
K. Eric Drexler, famous inventor of the futuristic concept of molecular nanotechnology, has suggested in Engines of Creation that colonizing space will mean breaking the Malthusian limits to growth for the human species.
It may be possible for other parts of the Solar System to be inhabited by humanity at some point in the future. Geoffrey Landis of NASA's Glenn Research Center in particular has pointed out that "[at] cloud-top level, Venus is the paradise planet", as one could construct aerostat habitats and floating cities there easily, based on the concept that breathable air is a lifting gas in the dense Venusian atmosphere. Venus would, like also Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, in the upper layers of their atmospheres, even afford a gravitation almost exactly as strong as that on Earth (see colonization of Venus).
Many science fiction authors, including Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov, have argued that shipping any excess population into space is not a viable solution to human overpopulation. According to Clarke, "the population battle must be fought or won here on Earth". The problem for these authors is not the lack of resources in space (as shown in books such as Mining the Sky), but the physical impracticality of shipping vast numbers of people into space to "solve" overpopulation on Earth. However, Gerard K. O'Neill's calculations show that Earth could offload all new population growth with a launch services industry about the same size as the current airline industry.
The StarTram concept, by James R. Powell (the co-inventor of maglev transport) and others, envisions a capability to send up to 4 million people a decade to space per facility. A hypothetical extraterrestrial colony could potentially grow by reproduction only (i.e., without any immigration), with all of the inhabitants being the direct descendants of the original colonists.
Despite the increase in population density within cities (and the emergence of megacities), UN Habitat states in its reports that urbanization may be the best compromise in the face of global population growth. Cities concentrate human activity within limited areas, limiting the breadth of environmental damage. But this mitigating influence can only be achieved if urban planning is significantly improved and city services are properly maintained.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Human overpopulation|
- Accelerating change (population growth is a factor)
- Behavioral sink, a rat over-population experiment
- Demographic trap
- Earth system science
- Ethnic bioweapon
- Fertility and intelligence
- Gaia hypothesis
- Global catastrophic risk
- Human migration
- Human population planning
- List of countries and dependencies by population
- List of organisations campaigning for population stabilisation
- List of people that have expressed views relating to overpopulation as a problem
- List of population concern organizations
- Malthusian trap
- Overshoot (population)
- People smuggling
- Planetary boundaries
- Population ageing
- Reserve army of labour
- Societal collapse
- Tragedy of the commons
- Voluntary Human Extinction Movement
- In documentary and art films
- In fiction
- Ehrlich, Paul R. Ehrlich & Anne H. (1990). The population explosion. London: Hutchinson. pp. 39–40. ISBN 0091745519. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
When is an area overpopulated? When its population cannot be maintained without rapidly depleting nonrenewable resources  (or converting renewable resources into nonrenewable ones) and without decreasing the capacity of the environment to support the population. In short, if the long-term carrying capacity of an area is clearly being degraded by its current human occupants, that area is overpopulated.
- Ehrlich, Paul R; Ehrlich, Anne H (2004), One with Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future, Island Press/Shearwater Books, pp. 76–180, 256
- Ehrlich, Paul R; Ehrlich, Anne H (1991), Healing the Planet: Strategies for Resolving the Environmental Crisis, Addison-Wesley Books, pp. 6–8, 12, 75, 96, 241
- "Global food crisis looms as climate change and population growth strip fertile land Archived 29 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine.". Guardian.co.uk (2007-08-31).
- "Coping with the Anthropocene". Phys.org. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- Vaughan, Adam (7 January 2016). "Human impact has pushed Earth into the Anthropocene, scientists say". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- Dimick, Dennis (21 September 2014). "As World's Population Booms, Will Its Resources Be Enough for Us?". National Geographic. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
- "BBC News – Population seven billion: UN sets out challenges". BBC. 2013-05-22. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Zinkina J., Korotayev A. Explosive Population Growth in Tropical Africa: Crucial Omission in Development Forecasts (Emerging Risks and Way Out). World Futures 70/2 (2014): 120–139 Archived 23 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine..
- "U.S. and World Population Clock". Retrieved 2016-03-05.
- "Population seven billion: UN sets out challenges". BBC. 2011-10-26. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
- Coleman, Jasmine (2011-10-31). "World's 'seven billionth baby' is born". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
- "7 billion people is a 'serious challenge'".
- "World Population Clock – Worldometers". Worldometers.info. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- "International Data Base (IDB) – World Population". Census.gov. 2010-06-28. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- "World Population Prospects:The 2008 Revision" (PDF). Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. June 2009.
- "World population projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100". Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. June 2017.
- "joint statement by fifty-eight of the world's scientific academies". Archived from the original on 10 February 2010.
- WRIGHT, OLIVER. "Britain's food self-sufficiency at risk from reliance on overseas imports of fruit and vegetables that could be produced at home". https://www.independent.co.uk. Retrieved 11 July 2014. External link in
- Fred Pearce (2009-04-13). "Consumption Dwarfs Population as Main Environmental Threat". Yale University. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- Roberts, R.E. (1924). The Theology of Tertullian, Chapter 5 (pp. 79–119) Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. Tertullian.org (2001-07-14). Retrieved on 2012-08-29.
- George Moffet, Critical Masses: The Global Population Challenge (1994): "[the world's population remained] capped by birth rates and death rates locked in a seemingly permanent equilibrium."
- "VII, paragraph 10, lines 8–10". An Essay on the Principle of Population. London: J. Johnson,. 1798.
The power of population is so superior to the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race
- Gregory Claeys: The "Survival of the Fittest" and the Origins of Social Darwinism, in: Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 61, No. 2, 2002, p. 223–240
- Cormac Ó Gráda: Famine. A Short History, Princeton University Press 2009, ISBN 978-0-691-12237-3 (pp. 20, 203–206)
- Carrington, Damien (18 September 2014). "World population to hit 11bn in 2100 – with 70% chance of continuous rise". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Gerland, P.; Raftery, A. E.; Ev Ikova, H.; Li, N.; Gu, D.; Spoorenberg, T.; Alkema, L.; Fosdick, B. K.; Chunn, J.; Lalic, N.; Bay, G.; Buettner, T.; Heilig, G. K.; Wilmoth, J. (18 September 2014). "World population stabilization unlikely this century". Science. AAAS. 346 (6206): 234–7. Bibcode:2014Sci...346..234G. doi:10.1126/science.1257469. ISSN 1095-9203. PMC . PMID 25301627.
- World population to keep growing this century, hit 11 billion by 2100 Archived 4 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. UWToday. 18 September 2014
- Harris, Paul (22 October 2011). "Population of world 'could grow to 15bn by 2100'". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- Moody, Oliver (31 August 2017). "Overpopulation is the biggest threat to mankind, Nobel laureates say". The Times. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
- Ripple WJ, Wolf C, Newsome TM, Galetti M, Alamgir M, Crist E, Mahmoud MI, Laurance WF (13 November 2017). "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice" (PDF). BioScience. doi:10.1093/biosci/bix125.
- "Current World Population". Worldometers. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- "A Brief Introduction to the History of Climate". Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- "The Neolithic Agricultural Revolution" (PDF). Council For Economic Education. p. 46. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- "What was the population of the world in the past?", World-o-meters
- "Plague, Plague Information, Black Death Facts, News, Photos". National Geographic. Retrieved 3 November 2008.
- "Epidemics and pandemics: their impacts on human history". J. N. Hays (2005). p.46. ISBN 1-85109-658-2
- "Historical Estimates of World Population". Census.gov. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2008.
- "History of Europe – Demographic and agricultural growth". Encyclopædia Britannica.
- "Europe's Black Death is a history lesson in human tragedy – and economic renewal". TIME Europe. 17 July 2000, VOL. 156 NO. 3
- "History of Europe – Demographics". Encyclopædia Britannica.
- "China's Population: Readings and Maps". Columbia University, East Asian Curriculum Project.
- "Ming Dynasty: Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2009". Archived from the original on 26 January 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2010.
- "Qing China's Internal Crisis: Land Shortage, Famine, Rural Poverty". Asia for Educators, Columbia University.
- J. N. Hays (1998). "The burdens of disease: epidemics and human response in western history.". p 72. ISBN 0-8135-2528-4
- "The Story Of... Smallpox – and other Deadly Eurasian Germs". Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
- "Stacy Goodling, "Effects of European Diseases on the Inhabitants of the New World" Archived 10 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine."
- "International Programs". https://www.census.gov. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. External link in
- "modelling exponential growth" (PDF). http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/. External link in
- Benatar, David (2008). Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence. Oxford University Press. p. 167. ISBN 978-0199549269.
- "The limits of a Green Revolution?". BBC News. 29 March 2007.
- "United Nations, United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2011): World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision". Archived from the original on 12 May 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- Widjojo Nitisastro (2006). "Population Trends in Indonesia". Equinox Publishing. p. 268. ISBN 979-3780-43-6. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
- "Central Bureau of Statistics: Census 2010" (PDF) (in Indonesian). Badan Pusat Statistik. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
- "Census Population" (PDF). Census of India. Ministry of Finance India. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
- "Provisional Population Totals – Census 2011". Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner. Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
- "Transitions in World Population" (PDF). Population Reference Bureau (PRB).
- Akin L. Mabogunje (4 May 1995). "The Environmental Challenges In Sub Saharan Africa". African Technology Forum. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- "Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)". CIA. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
- "Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation – Chad". World Food Program. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- "UN report – 2004 data" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 January 2016.
- "World Population Clock – Worldometers". Worldometers.info. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "International Data Base (IDB) – World Population". Census.gov. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- "World Population Prospects - Population Division - United Nations". esa.un.org. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
- Walter Greiling: Wie werden wir leben? ("How are we going to live?") Econ publishers, Munich 1954
- "People and Society:WORLD:Population growth rate". The World Factbook. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- "World Population Prospects". United Nations. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "United Nations Population Division". Retrieved 6 March 2018.[specify]
- WORLD POPULATION TO 2300 (PDF). United Nations. 2004. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "US Census Bureau estimates and news release.of AUG. 14, 2008". Census.gov. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Pamela Constable, ‘A disaster in the making’: Pakistan’s population surges to 207.7 million (September 2017), The Washington Post
- "Principal Agglomerations of the World". Citypopulation.de. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Lewis, Mark (2007-06-11). "Megacities Of The Future". Forbes. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Nigeria: Lagos, the mega-city of slums". https://web.archive.org/web/20110218170316/http://www.energypublisher.com/. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. External link in
- Whitehouse, David (2005-05-19). "Half of humanity set to go urban". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Planet of Slums – The Third World's Megacities". Blackcommentator.com. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "The world goes to town". The Economist. 3 May 2007. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Planet of Slums by Mike Davis". Atimes.com. 20 May 2006. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Lagos, Nigeria facts". National Geographic. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- email@example.com (16 September 2004). "China's urban population to reach 800 to 900 million by 2020: expert". People's Daily. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Huesemann, M.H., and J.A. Huesemann (2011). Technofix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment, "Unintended Consequences of Industrial Agriculture", New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, Canada, pp. 23–25.
- Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won't Save Us Or the Environment By Michael Huesemann, Joyce Huesemann. New Society Publishers. p. 73.
despite the fact that hunger and starvation may not be due to food shortages but rather the result of various economic and political factors
- McKeown, T. (1988). The Origins of Human Disease, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, UK, pp.60.
- "Poverty Causes Population Growth Causes Poverty - The Donella Meadows Project". donellameadows.org. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- "Agriculture and Human Population Growth". CK-12.
- Ceballos, G.; Ehrlich, A. H.; Ehrlich, P. R. (2015). The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 146 ISBN 1421417189
- Myrskylä, M.; Kohler, H. P.; Billari, F. C. (2009). "Advances in development reverse fertility declines". Nature. 460 (7256): 741–743. Bibcode:2009Natur.460..741M. doi:10.1038/nature08230. PMID 19661915.
- King, M.; Elliott, C. (1996). "Averting a world food shortage: Tighten your belts for CAIRO II". BMJ. 313 (7063): 995–997. doi:10.1136/bmj.313.7063.995. PMC . PMID 8892423.
- "World Resources Institute". Earthtrends.wri.org. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Morales, Alex (2006-10-24). "Canada". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "WWF – Living Planet Report 2006". Panda.org. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "WWF LIving planet report". Panda.org. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Ecological Footprint Atlas 2009, Global Footprint Network, www.footprintnetwork.org/atlas
- Martin, Roger (2010). "Stopping at two children is better for the planet". BBC HARDtalk. Interviewed by Carrie Gracie
- Carrington, Damian (30 September 2014). "Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Publications - Global Footprint Network". Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh and Harmen Verbruggen (1999). "Spatial sustainability, trade and indicators: an evaluation of the 'ecological footprint'" (PDF). Ecological Economics. 29 (1): 61–72. doi:10.1016/S0921-8009(99)00032-4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 October 2007.
- "Planning and Markets: Peter Gordon and Harry W. Richardson". Pam.usc.edu. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Ryerson, W. F. (2010). "Population, The Multiplier of Everything Else". In McKibben, D. The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century Sustainability Crisis. Watershed Media. ISBN 978-0-9709500-6-2
- Brown, L. R. (2012). World on the Edge. Earth Policy Institute. Norton. ISBN 9781136540752.
- David Pimentel; Mario Giampietro (21 November 1994). FOOD, LAND, POPULATION and the U.S. ECONOMY (Report). Washington, D.C.: Carrying Capacity Network. Retrieved 2014-09-07.
- "Eating Fossil Fuels | EnergyBulletin.net". Dieoff.org. 21 November 1994. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Cohen, J.E. (1995). How many people can the earth support? W.W. Norton & Company, New York, NY, USA.
- Van Den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M.; Rietveld, Piet (2004). "Reconsidering the Limits to World Population: Meta-analysis and Meta-prediction". BioScience. 54 (3): 195. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2004)054[0195:RTLTWP]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0006-3568.
- Shiklomanov, I. A. (2000). "Appraisal and Assessment of World Water Resources". Water International. 25: 11–32. doi:10.1080/02508060008686794.
- "French-run water plant launched in Israel". Archived from the original on 13 December 2009.
- "Black & Veatch-Designed Desalination Plant Wins Global Water Distinction". Archived from the original on 24 March 2010.
- Hubbert, M.K. Techniques of Prediction as Applied to Production of Oil and Gas, US Department of Commerce, NBS Special Publication 631, May 1982
- International Energy Outlook 2000, Energy Information Administration, Office of Integrated Analysis and Forecasting, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C. (2000)
- "The world in 2050:Impact of global growth on carbon emissions". Pwc.com. 2006-10-30. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Wynes, Seth; Nicholas, Kimberly A. (28 November 2017). "The climate mitigation gap: education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions". Environmental Research Letters. 12 (7): 074024. Bibcode:2017ERL....12g4024W. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541 – via Institute of Physics.
- UNEP, Global Environmental Outlook 2000, Earthscan Publications, London, UK (1999)
- Polgreen, Lydia (11 February 2007). "Trees and crops reclaim desert in Niger". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Leakey, Richard and Roger Lewin, 1996, The Sixth Extinction : Patterns of Life and the Future of Humankind, Anchor, ISBN 0-385-46809-1
- Humans Are Causing the Sixth Mass Extinction in the Earth's History, Says Study. Vice. 23 June 2015. See also: Ceballos, Gerardo; Ehrlich, Paul R.; Barnosky, Anthony D.; García, Andrés; Pringle, Robert M.; Palmer, Todd M. (2015). "Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction". Science Advances. 1 (5): e1400253. Bibcode:2015SciA....1E0253C. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1400253.
- "Human Population Growth and Extinction". Center for Biological Diversity.
- Pimm, S. L.; Jenkins, C. N.; Abell, R.; Brooks, T. M.; Gittleman, J. L.; Joppa, L. N.; Raven, P. H.; Roberts, C. M.; Sexton, J. O. (30 May 2014). "The biodiversity of species and their rates of extinction, distribution, and protection" (PDF). Science. 344 (6187): 1246752. doi:10.1126/science.1246752. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
The overarching driver of species extinction is human population growth and increasing per capita consumption.
- Ceballos, Gerardo; Ehrlich, Paul R; Dirzo, Rodolfo (23 May 2017). "Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines". PNAS. 114 (30): E6089–E6096. doi:10.1073/pnas.1704949114. PMC . PMID 28696295.
Much less frequently mentioned are, however, the ultimate drivers of those immediate causes of biotic destruction, namely, human overpopulation and continued population growth, and overconsumption, especially by the rich. These drivers, all of which trace to the fiction that perpetual growth can occur on a finite planet, are themselves increasing rapidly.
- Pimm, Stuart L.; Russell, Gareth J.; Gittleman, John L.; Brooks, Thomas M. (1995). "The Future of Biodiversity". Science. 269 (5222): 347–350. Bibcode:1995Sci...269..347P. doi:10.1126/science.269.5222.347.
- "IUCN Red List" (PDF). Archived from the original on 6 March 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
- Sahney, S., Benton, M.J. and Ferry, P.A. (2010). "Links between global taxonomic diversity, ecological diversity and the expansion of vertebrates on land" (PDF). Biology Letters. 6 (4): 544–547. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.1024. PMC . PMID 20106856.
- "Citizens arrest Archived 27 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine.". The Guardian. 11 July 2007.
- "Population Bomb Author's Fix For Next Extinction: Educate Women Archived 10 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine.". Scientific American. 12 August 2008.
- Sutter, John D. (12 December 2016). "How to stop the sixth mass extinction". CNN. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction. Chris Hedges for Truthdig. March 8, 2009
- U.S. National Research Council, Commission on the Science of Climate Change, Washington, D.C. (2001)
- Image:Infant mortality vs.jpg
- ""Emerging Infectious Diseases" by Mark E.J. Woolhouse and Sonya Gowtage-Sequeria". Cdc.gov. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "WHO Infectious Diseases Report". Who.int. Archived from the original on 20 November 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2001). Food Insecurity: When People Live With Hunger and Fear Starvation. The State of Food insecurity in the World 2001 Archived 1 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. FAO, ISBN 92-5-104628-X
- Williams, Walter (1999-02-24). Population control nonsense Archived 15 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. jewishworldreview.com
- Sherk, James. "Index of Economic Freedom". Heritage.org. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- McGranahan, G.; Lewin, S.; Fransen, T.; Hunt, C.; Kjellén, M.; Pretty, J.; Stephens, C.; Virgin, I. (2000). "News and notes: Environmental change and human health in countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific". Global Change and Human Health. 1: 9. doi:10.1023/A:1011567429284.
- "Wastewater Pollution in China". Dbc.uci.edu. Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Clean water could save millions of lives". Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- American Council for the United Nations University (2002)
- Heidelberger Institut fur International Konfliktforschung, Konfliktbarometer 2003: 12. Jarlickhe Konfliktanalyse University of Heidelberg, Germany (2004)
- Huxley, Aldous. "BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED: overpopulation". Retrieved 9 July 2014. (A non-fiction book, with the entire book focused on the effects of human overpopulation on human affairs including both societal and individual concerns.)
- "People and Planet speech". Royal Society of Arts.
- David Attenborough – Humans are plague on Earth Archived 20 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. The Telegraph. 22 January 2013.
- Wilson, E.O. (2002). The Future of Life, Vintage ISBN 0-679-76811-4
- Ron Nielsen, The Little Green Handbook: Seven Trends Shaping the Future of Our Planet, Picador, New York (2006) ISBN 978-0-312-42581-4
- Pentti Linkola, "Can Life Prevail?", Arktos Media, 2nd Revised ed. 2011. pp. 120–121. ISBN 1907166637.
- McKie, Robin. Biologists say half of all species could be extinct by end of century (February 2017), The Guardian
- Sowell, Thomas (1998-02-12). Julian Simon, combatant in a 200-year war. jewishworldreview.com
- "Census intensifies concern in Cairo over soaring population".
- "Another Inconvenient Truth: The World's Growing Population Poses a Malthusian Dilemma Archived 25 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.". Scientific American (2009-10-02).
- Bashford, Alison. "Population, Geopolitics, and International Organizations in the Mid Twentieth Century." Journal of World History 19.3 (2008): 327–347. Humanities Source Database. Web. 9 Nov 2013.
- David Biello (2012-09-26). "Will Humanity Face a Carbohydrate Shortage?". Scientific American. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
- "U.S. and World Population Clock". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
- David Pimentel, et al. "Will Limits of the Earth's Resources Control Human Numbers?" Archived 10 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine., Dieoff.org
- Lester R. Brown, Gary Gardner, Brian Halweil (September 1998). Worldwatch Paper #143: Beyond Malthus: Sixteen Dimensions of the Population Problem Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine., Worldwatch Institute, ISBN 1-878071-45-9
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
- "Earth's natural wealth: an audit". Environment.newscientist.com. 23 May 2007. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Dominic Lawson: The population timebomb is a myth The doom-sayers are becoming more fashionable just as experts are coming to the view it has all been one giant false alarm". The Independent. UK. 18 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Post a Comment. "Misleading Math about the Earth: Scientific American". Sciam.com. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "NASA Earth Science Data and Services: Checking Earth's Vital Signs". Nasadaacs.eos.nasa.gov. Archived from the original on 4 November 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "Ecosystem Change: Scientific Facts on Ecosystem Change". Greenfacts.org. 2011-10-17. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "USGS OFR 02-349: Human Impact on the Planet: An Earth Science Perspective and Ethical Considerations". Pubs.usgs.gov. 2002-10-07. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "1. How have ecosystems changed?". Greenfacts.org. 2011-10-17. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Ecosystem Change: Scientific Facts on Ecosystem Change". Greenfacts.org. 2011-10-17. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "3. How have ecosystem changes affected human well-being and poverty alleviation?". Greenfacts.org. 2011-10-17. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "UN World Population Report 2001" (PDF). p. 34. Retrieved 16 December 2008.
- Brown, Lester R. and Halweil, Brian (1999-09-23). Population Outrunning Water Supply as World Hits 6 Billion. Worldwatch Institute.
- Fred Pearce (2007). When the Rivers Run Dry: Water—The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century. Beacon Press. ISBN 978-0-8070-8573-8.
- Worldwatch, The (2012-04-27). Outgrowing the Earth: The Food Security Challenge in an Age of Falling Water Tables and Rising Temperatures: Books: Lester R. Brown. Amazon.com. ISBN 0393060705.
- "Nuclear Desalination". https://web.archive.org/. Archived from the original on 8 February 2007. External link in
- Cohen, Bernard L. (1983). "Breeder reactors: A renewable energy source" (PDF). American Journal of Physics. 51 (1): 75–76. Bibcode:1983AmJPh..51...75C. doi:10.1119/1.13440. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 January 2013.
- "Who Owns Water?". Thenation.com. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "EJP | News | France | French-run water plant launched in Israel". Ejpress.org. 28 December 2005. Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "Black & Veatch-Designed Desalination Plant Wins Global Water Distinction". Edie.net. 4 May 2006. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Desalination gets a serious look". http://www.lasvegassun.com. External link in
- Zhou, Yuan; Tol, Richard S. J. (2005). "Evaluating the costs of desalination and water transport". Water Resources Research. 41 (3): W03003. Bibcode:2005WRR....4103003Z. doi:10.1029/2004WR003749.
- "100 Largest Desalination Plants Planned, in Construction, or in Operation—1 January 2005" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 December 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "Water, Water, Everywhere". http://online.wsj.com. External link in
- "Desalination is the Solution to Water Shortages". http://www.redorbit.com/. External link in
- Wald, Chelsea (2012-02-15). Uncharted waters: Probing aquifers to head off war Archived 23 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine.. New Scientist
- Haynes, Michael; Husan, Rumy (2000). "National inequality and the catch-up period: Some "growth alone" scenarios"". Journal of Economic Issues. 34 (3): 693–705. JSTOR 4227593.
In a world that now produces more food than is necessary to feed all its population [UN 1994], there is no excuse for hunger and starvation.
- Gilland, B. (2002). "World population and food supply". Food Policy. 27: 47–63. doi:10.1016/S0306-9192(02)00002-7.
- "Human Appropriation of the World's Food Supply". Globalchange.umich.edu. 2000-12-15. Archived from the original on 4 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Pushing Beyond the Earth's Limits The Japan Syndrome". Earth-policy.org. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "UN World Population Report 2001" (PDF). p. 38. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
- Food and Agriculture Organization Economic and Social Development Department. "The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2008 : High food prices and food security – threats and opportunities" Archived 26 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2008, p. 2.
- "1.02 billion people hungry". http://www.fao.org/. External link in
- "The truth about the environment". The Economist. 2001-08-02.
- Pimm, Stuart; Harvey, Jeff (2001). "No need to worry about the future" (PDF). Nature. 414 (6860): 149. Bibcode:2001Natur.414..149P. doi:10.1038/35102629. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2007.
- Kindall, Henery W; Pimentel, David (May 1994). "Constraints on the Expansion of the Global Food Supply". Ambio. 23 (3).
- "Feed the world? We are fighting a losing battle, UN admits Archived 25 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine.". The Guardian (2008-02-26).
- "Nearly 1 in 5 Chinese overweight or obese – Diet and nutrition". MSNBC. 2006-08-18. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- https://archive.is/20130126072352/http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-09-13/diet/33424074_1_higher-levels-poor-countries-richer-countries. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2016. Missing or empty
- "Relationship Between Poverty and Overweight or Obesity « Food Research & Action Center". Frac.org. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Data sobering on Ohio kids' poverty, obesity | The Columbus Dispatch". Dispatch.com. 2012-06-13. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2006[permanent dead link]. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2006) ISBN 92-5-105580-7 ftp.fao.org
- "2008: The year of global food crisis". Sundayherald.com. 8 March 2008. Archived from the original on 22 August 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- "The global grain bubble". Csmonitor.com. 18 January 2008. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- James Randerson, science correspondent (7 March 2008). "Food crisis will take hold before climate change, warns chief scientist". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- John Vidal, environment editor (3 November 2007). "Global food crisis looms as climate change and fuel shortages bite". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Walsoft (2008-02-22). "Experts: Global Food Shortages Could 'Continue for Decades'". Marketoracle.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Moya K. Mason. "Has Urbanization Caused a Loss to Agricultural Land?". Moyak.com. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Walt, Vivienne (2008-02-27). "The World's Growing Food-Price Crisis". Time. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "The cost of food: Facts and figures". BBC News. 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Jonathan Watts in Beijing (2007-12-04). "Riots and hunger feared as demand for grain sends food costs soaring". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Roland Watson and Sam Fleming 30 November 2011 12:01 am (2009-06-25). "Already we have riots, hoarding, panic: the sign of things to come?". The Times. UK. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Julian Borger, diplomatic editor (2008-02-26). "Feed the world? We are fighting a losing battle, UN admits". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Robin McKie; Xan Rice (2007-04-22). "Millions face famine as crop disease rages". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Billions at risk from wheat super-blight". New Scientist (2598): 6–7. 2007-04-03. Retrieved 19 April 2007.
- "IRAN: Killer fungus threatens wheat production in western areas". Alertnet.org. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "'Peak Oil' and the German Government: Military Study Warns of a Potentially Drastic Oil Crisis". http://www.spiegel.de. External link in
- "Global threat to food supply as water wells dry up, warns top environment expert Archived 8 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine.". The Guardian. 6 July 2013.
- "World faces 'perfect storm' of problems by 2030, chief scientist to warn Archived 14 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine.". The Guardian. 18 March 2009.
- "Global crisis 'to strike by 2030' Archived 15 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine.". BBC News. 19 March 2009.
- "Global food production will have to increase 70% for additional 2.3 billion people by 2050 Archived 10 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.". Finfacts.com. 24 September 2009.
- "Africa's population to double to 2.4 billion by 2050". The Telegrapth. 2013-09-12. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
- "Birth rates 'must be curbed to win war on global poverty' Archived 27 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine.". The Independent. 31 January 2007.
- "Chinese concern at obesity surge". BBC News. 2004-10-12. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- Brown, Lester R. (2002-09-08). Global Water Shortages May Lead to Food Shortages—Aquifer Depletion. Greatlakesdirectory.org. Retrieved on 2012-08-29.
- "Japan warned of food shortage". Archived from the original on 11 June 2006. Retrieved 1 June 2016., The Australian
- Hopfenberg, Russell and Pimentel, David, "Human Population Numbers as a Function of Food Supply", Environment, Development and Sustainability, vol. 3, no. 1, March 2001, pp. 1–15
- Hopfenberg, R. (2003). "Human Carrying Capacity is Determined by Food Availability". Population and Environment. 25 (2): 109–117. doi:10.1023/B:POEN.0000015560.69479.c1.
- Abernathy, Virginia, Population Politics ISBN 0-7658-0603-7
- Hardin, Garrett (1974). "Lifeboat Ethics: the Case Against Helping the Poor". Psychology Today. 8: 38–43.
- Manning, Richard (7 Sep 2011). "Richard Manning on the Green Revolution and the End of Cheap Oil". YouTube (Interview). Interviewed by Sally Erickson and Timothy Scott Bennett. Retrieved 15 Oct 2013.
- Food Production & Population Growth, video with Daniel Quinn and Alan Thornhill
- Quinn, Daniel, Ishmael Bantam/Turner, 1995, ISBN 0613080939
- Zerzan, John (2 April 2008). On Modernity and the Technosphere (Speech). Binghamton University.
- Farb, Peter: 1978, Humankind. Boston, Houghton Mifflin.
- Daniel Quinn (1996). The Story of B, pp. 304–305, Random House Publishing Group, ISBN 0553379011.
- Quinn, Daniel: "The Question (ID Number 122)", Retrieved October 2014 from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2014-10-18..
- "Asia Times Online :: South Asia news – India grows a grain crisis". Atimes.com. 21 July 2006. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Domesticating the World: Conversion of Natural Ecosystems". World Resources Institute. September 2000. Archived from the original on 19 February 2007.
- "Grasslands in Pieces: Modification and Conversion Take a Toll". World Resources Institute. December 2000. Archived from the original on 19 February 2007.
- "GLOBIO, an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (Archive)". Web.archive.org. 30 June 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-06-30. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- John Houghton, Global Warming: The Complete Briefing, Cambridge University Press, 2009 ISBN 978-0-521-70916-3
- Young, A. (1999). "Is there Really Spare Land? A Critique of Estimates of Available Cultivable Land in Developing Countries". Environment, Development and Sustainability. 1: 3–18. doi:10.1023/A:1010055012699.
- Tagliabue, John (7 November 2008). "The Dutch seek to claim more land from the sea". New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- Shepard, Wade (25 August 2015). ""The gift from the sea": through land reclamation, China keeps growing and growing". CityMetric. New Statesman. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
- Cooke, Jeremy (19 June 2007). "Vertical farming in the big Apple". BBC News. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- "Overpopulation: The Making of a Myth". Retrieved 13 February 2010.
- "World oil supplies are set to run out faster than expected, warn scientists Archived 8 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine.". The Independent. 14 June 2007.
- "Al Gore's Vision of Global Salvation". Crossroad.to. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Gasoline – Energy Explained, Your Guide To Understanding Energy". Tonto.eia.doe.gov. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Hirsch, Robert L.; Bezdek, Roger; Wendling, Robert (February 2005). "Peaking Of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management" (PDF). Science Applications International Corporation/U.S.Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
- Hirsch, Robert L. (February 2007). "Peaking of World Oil Production: Recent Forecasts" (PDF). Science Applications International Corporation/U.S.Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- "We Will Never Run Out of Oil". Economics.about.com. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Lemley, Brad (1 May 2003). "Anything Into Oil | Alternative Energy". DISCOVER Magazine. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Lemley, Brad (2 April 2006). "Anything Into Oil | Alternative Energy". DISCOVER Magazine. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Damian Carrington 2015. Leave fossil fuels buried to prevent climate change, study urges. Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/07/much-worlds-fossil-fuel-reserve-must-stay-buried-prevent-climate-change-study-says
- Forget 'developing' poor countries, it's time to 'de-develop' rich countries Archived 1 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. The Guardian. 23 September 2015.
- "3. How have ecosystem changes affected human well-being and poverty alleviation?". Greenfacts.org. 2011-10-17. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "Field Listing: Population size". The World Factbook. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
- "Field Listing: Total Fertility Rate". The World Factbook. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
- "Field Listing: GDP - per capita (PPP)". The World Factbook. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
- "A plague of people". Cosmos. 13 May 2010. Archived from the original on 6 November 2016.
- Human overpopulation. Animal Welfare Institute. Retrieved 2014/10/25 from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 October 2016. Retrieved 2014-12-01.
- Daily, Gretchen C. and Ellison, Katherine (2003) The New Economy of Nature: The Quest to Make Conservation Profitable, Island Press ISBN 1559631546
- Rifkin, Jeremy (24 December 2006). "The risks of too much city in a crowded world". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 22 May 2012.
- "UN World Population Report 2001" (PDF). p. 31. Retrieved 16 December 2008.
- "Booming nations 'threaten Earth'". BBC News (2006-01-12).
- "State of the World 2006: China and India Hold World in Balance Archived 15 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine.". Worldwatch Institute. 11 January 2006.
- "Effects of Over-Consumption and Increasing Populations Archived 8 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.". 26 September 2001. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
- John T. Houghton (2004)."Global warming: the complete briefing Archived 3 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine.". Cambridge University Press. p.326. ISBN 0-521-52874-7
- "Once taboo, population enters climate debate". The Independent. London. 2009-12-05. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Champion, Tony (2005). "Chapter 4: Demographic transformations". In Daniels, Peter; Bradshaw, Michael; Shaw, Denis; Sidaway, James. An Introduction to Human Geography Issues for the 21st Century Second edition. Pearson Education. pp. 88–111. ISBN 0-131-21766-6.
- Turchin P., Korotayev A. Population Dynamics and Internal Warfare: A Reconsideration Archived 3 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. Social Evolution & History 5/2 (2006): 112–147.
- Korotayev A., Malkov A., Khaltourina D. Introduction to Social Macrodynamics. Secular Cycles and Millennial Trends Archived 2 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. Moscow: URSS, 2006
- Korotayev A.V., Khaltourina D.A. Introduction to Social Macrodynamics: Secular Cycles and Millennial Trends in Africa. Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Moscow: URSS, 2006. ISBN 5-484-00560-4;
- Jensen, Derrick (2006). Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization. Seven Stories Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-1583227305.
- "Utilizing social marketing and social norms to address problems in gambia". 2009-08-13. Retrieved 12 December 2010.[permanent dead link]
- "Put women's rights back on the afghan". Daily News Egypt. 2010-08-27. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
- Huesemann, M.H. and Huesemann, J.A. (2011). Techno-fix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, Canada
- Ehrlich, Paul R; Ehrlich, Anne H (2004), One with Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future, Island Press/Shearwater Books, pp. 138–180 (chapter 5)
- "Population growth driving climate change, poverty: experts Archived 23 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine.". Agence France-Presse (2009-09-21).
- Finer, Lawrence B.; Henshaw, Stanley K. (2006). "Disparities in Rates of Unintended Pregnancy In the United States, 1994 and 2001". Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 38 (2): 90–96. doi:10.1363/3809006. PMID 16772190.
- "Netherlands Again Number One Donor to United Nations Population Fund". United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
- "Maternal mortality ratio falling too slowly to meet goal Archived 31 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.". WHO (2007-10-12).
- Fornos, Werner (2001-12-10). "Q: should the United Nations support more family-planning services for poor countries?". Insight on the News.
- "Population Matters search on "reproductive rights"". populationmatters.org. Population Matters.[permanent dead link]
- "Sir David Attenborough on the roots of Climatic problems". www.independent.co.uk. The Independent, UK broadsheet newspaper.
- Independent Newspapers Online (11 June 2008). "Population woes weigh down Egypt". IOL. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Ehrlich, Paul R; Ehrlich, Anne H (2004), One with Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future, Island Press/Shearwater Books, pp. 181–205 (chapter 6)
- Ehrlich, Paul R.; Ehrlich, Anne H.; Daily, Gretchen C. (1995), The Stork and the Plow: The Equity Answer to the Human Dilemma, Grosset/Putnam Books
- Lifeblood: How to Change the World One Dead Mosquito at a Time, Alex Perry p9
- Ryerson, William N. (2010). The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century's Sustainability Crises, "Ch.12: Population: The Multiplier of Everything Else". Healdsburg, Calif.: Watershed Media. pp. 153–174. ISBN 978-0970950062.
- "Birth rates 'must be curbed to win war on global poverty'". The Independent. London. 31 January 2007. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- Vinay Lal. Indira Gandhi Archived 29 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine., UCLA College of Letters and Science
- "Interview: City Architect and Reconstructor Michael E. Arth by Alex Birch". Corrupt.org. 22 May 2008. Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- Arth, Michael E., Democracy and the Common Wealth: Breaking the Stranglehold of the Special Interests, Golden Apples Media, 2010, Chapter 35: "Overpopulation" pp. 352–362
- Goods for sterilization Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
- Kunzig, Robert, "A world with 11 billion people? New population projections shatter earlier estimates." National Geographic, 18 September 2014, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 December 2016. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
- The High Frontier (1976, 2000) Gerard O'Neill, Apogee Books ISBN 1-896522-67-X
- Marshall Savage, (1992, 1994) The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps. Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-77163-5
- Freeman Dyson, The Sun, The Genome, and The Internet (1999) Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513922-4
- The Telegraph. Stephen Hawking: mankind must move to outer space within a century. (August 2010) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-25.
- Nancy Atkinson (16 July 2008). "Colonizing Venus With Floating Cities". Universe Today. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds! (1999) Arthur C. Clarke, Voyager ISBN 0-00-224698-8
- The Good Earth Is Dying (1971) Isaac Asimov (published in Der Spiegel)
- Mining the Sky (1996) John S. Lewis. Addison Wesley. ISBN 0-201-47959-1
- O'Neill, Gerard K. (1981). 2081: A Hopeful View of the Human Future. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-44751-3.
- "StarTram2010: Maglev Launch: Ultra Low Cost Ultra High Volume Access to Space for Cargo and Humans". startram.com. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- "UN Habitat calling urban living 'a good thing". BBC News. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "National Geographic Magazine; Special report 2008: Changing Climate (Village Green-article by Michelle Nijhuis)". Michellenijhuis.com. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- "UN Habitat calling to rethink urban planning". Unhabitat.org. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- Michael E. Arth, Democracy and the Common Wealth: Breaking the Stranglehold of the Special Interests, (2010), Chapter 35: "Overpopulation"
- Eileen Crist and Philip Cafaro (eds). Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation. University of Georgia Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0820343853
- Ehrlich, Paul R.; Ehrlich, Anne H. (9 January 2013). "Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?". Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 280 (1754): 20122845. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.2845. PMC . Comment by Prof. Michael Kelly, disagreeing with the paper by Ehrlich and Ehrlich; and response by the authors
- Stephen Emmott, Ten Billion (2013)
- Suzanne Goldenberg (24 September 2015). Pope's climate push is 'raving nonsense' without population control, says top US scientist, The Guardian
- Fred Guter, The Fate of the Species: Why the Human Race May Cause Its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It (2012)
- Rob Hengeveld, Wasted World: How Our Consumption Challenges the Planet (2012). Focuses on the interrelationships and interactions between human overpopulation and most of the key challenges facing global society, and the pressures that overpopulation and resource consumption place on the natural environment
- J.R. McNeill, Peter Engelke, The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene since 1945 (2016)
- Motesharrei, Safa; Rivas, Jorge; Kalnay, Eugenia (2014). "Human and nature dynamics (HANDY): Modeling inequality and use of resources in the collapse or sustainability of societies". Ecological Economics. 101: 90–102. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.02.014.
- Thomas Robertson, The Malthusian Moment: Global Population Growth and the Birth of American Environmentalism (2012), Rutgers University Press
- Karen Shragg, Move Upstream: A Call to Solve Overpopulation. ISBN 978-0988493834 (published November 2015). Discussion of the book by the author, March 2017 (video, 91 minutes).
- Alan Weisman. Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? Little, Brown and Company, (2013) ISBN 0316097756
- Ozzie Zehner, The Environmental Politics of Population and Overpopulation. University of California, Berkeley.
- "Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot" (2014), a free book of photos of the social and ecological impact of human overpopulation. The Population Institute, Washington, DC
|Look up overpopulation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Introduction to Sociology/Demography|
- Overpopulation, overconsumption – in pictures (April 2015), The Guardian
- Why we should have fewer children: to save the planet (September 2016), The Guardian
- Overpopulated and Underfed: Countries Near a Breaking Point (June 2017), Bill Marsh, The New York Times
- Earth's sixth mass extinction event under way, scientists warn (July 2017), The Guardian. "But the ultimate cause of all of these factors is “human overpopulation and continued population growth, and overconsumption, especially by the rich”, say the scientists."
- The biggest threats to humankind according to 50 Nobel prizewinners, Times Higher Education, August 2017 . "... with one in three [of the Nobel laureates surveyed] citing issues such as global warming and overpopulation."
- Talking about overpopulation is still taboo. That has to change. (June 2018) Frances Kissling, Jotham Musinguzi and Peter Singer for the Washington Post.