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Problems of Population Growth

Population growth is one of the current global complications faced by humanity. The problems that come as a result of this process spark related human crises that increase the degree of distress in life. The relationship between uncontrolled population progression and economic development has attracted the attention of critical thinkers and world economic superpowers. They believe that a solution must be worked out as otherwise life on this planet will become unbearable at some point, when people deplete critical and essential resources. This paper focuses on the problems caused by population growth. It will also look at the arguments advanced by Dr. Ehrlich and Dr. Simon and propose some of the measures that can slow down the process.

Malnutrition and diseases are some of the issues that arise due to rapid population growth. Poverty, displacement and increased number of aging people make it difficult for governments to provide sufficient health care services and nutrition. Whether in developed nations or third world countries, highly populated urban centers where people live in close quarters face higher chances of disease outbreaks as well as high rate of their spreading. The deplorable living conditions increase individuals’ vulnerability to certain illnesses such as respiratory infections. Population outburst is the primary cause of land scarcity. Animal overstocking and poor farming techniques employed by people as they struggle to ensure food sustainability lead to soil erosions. They also interfere with the balance of ecosystem due to encroachment which may induce water problems.

Population pressure is the leading instigator of anomie. Individuals who experience this condition are highly likely to commit crimes against the community. As such, growing number of people increases crime rate hence creating insecurity in the society and globally. The criminal acts become difficult to investigate in highly populated areas. As a result, some offenders advance to become global terrorists. Uneven distribution of public resources by the government due to population pressure gives rise to social injustices. The affected society reveals shortfalls in the relief programs offered by the country’s administration. The crimes include corruption within different government agencies. The outcome of the events encompasses increased levels of illiteracy and exploitation that may be manifested in the form of child abuse.

Ehrlich and Simon Argument

Ehrlich postulated that the resources on Earth become scarce as a result of growing population which tends to utilize them at an increasing rate. He predicted that the prices would rise as time advances. Simon developed a counter argument to Ehrlich by asserting that population growth represented a dynamic economy which holds the power to improve the technology that lowers the production cost. As such, the prices of resources and other essential commodities would reduce. Although Simon won the bet, the circumstances in which people live today differ and so, Simon’s hypothesis may not hold anymore. The writer tends to agree with Dr. Ehrlich based on the prevailing economic conditions.

Macroeconomic factors during the early days outweighed the current population pressures hence lowered prices of items such as metals. The daily market forces that include price-determined competition, technological variations, and new suppliers all assist in the reduction of costs. Besides the market forces, humans cannot continue to produce resources and adapt to the environmental issues such as global warming. One day, humankind will reach a time when there is no more factors of resource production to match the population growth.

The claim advanced by Ehrlich reflects what is taking place in the contemporary world. As the global population grows, pressure develops on the available resources such as oil. Their prices have been increasing steadily. It is almost sure there will be times in future when such commodities are depleted. Considering supply and demand law, as supply goes down, prices tend to increase. As such, the events will confirm Ehrlich’s assertions regarding population growth, depletion of resources and price rising.

Measures to Control Population Growth

The world leaders need to champion for effective ways of controlling population increase. Governments should concentrate on improving the wellbeing of women as well as their health. They should have greater access to education so that they can plan their pregnancies and identify the intervals at which they conceive. Such strategy will also eliminate teen births and improve child survival and maternal health with an overall effect of slowing population growth.

Increased access to secure and reliable contraception is a sure way of checking population growth. As opposed to targeting only women, the contraceptive programs must include even men. Such strategy delivered results during the mid-twentieth century before governments reduced these campaigns. A significant proportion of women used modern contraceptive means while another fraction employed the traditional methods of birth control. The statistics indicated that fertility rate reduced from a global mean of 5 kids per mother to 2.5. This shows the efficacy of the method. Therefore, governments should increase the campaigns and incorporate men in the birth control programs as well.

In conclusion, population growth results in numerous problems that make life on Earth difficult. The issues caused by population outburst are not unique in the developing countries alone. Environmental degradation, an increase in diseases and malnutrition, growing crime rate and social injustices are problems that have an association with the discussed phenomenon. Its progression puts pressure on the available resources. Possible ways of slowing down the process include allowing women to access information through proper education. Educated females can plan their pregnancies which also will lower teen childbirth. The governments should increase access to secure and effective contraceptive programs and involve men in the programs as well.

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