“We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go.”
– Terri Swearingen
We cannot agree more with the quote mentioned above by the Golden Environmental Prize winner, Terri Swearingen. The drastic population growth all over the world is resulting in the over-utilization of natural resources, which is putting the great amount of pressure on the planet Earth. Nature is not able to refill those resources fast enough to fulfill our needs, which leads to the food problem, extreme deforestation, and negative impact on the environment. The research has proved that the rate with which population is increasing, we will be needing 2 more planets like Earth to accommodate all the people. And finding other 2 earths is almost impossible.
Here are a few effects of the population explosion on Earth-
Decrease in the Rate of Capital Formation
Due to the high birth rate and low life expectancy in underdeveloped countries, the percentage of dependents are large in the total population. Most of the people are dependent on others for survival who does not produce anything. The dependence of these people on the earning population reduces their capacity to save thus lowering the rate of capital formation.
Creates Food Problem
The rapid growth of population is one of the major causes of the food problem. Increase in population means more mouths to feed, which creates pressure upon the available food stock, hence occurs the food shortage. It further leads to undernourishment of the people that affect their productivity. The shortage of food in a country results in the import of food grains from abroad that place an unnecessary burden on the foreign exchange resources.
Creates the Problem of Employment
The growth in population means a large number of people in the labor market. But the shortage of capital makes it difficult to offer employment opportunities to all the people. It is a prevalent issue in the underdeveloped country like India.
Because of the rise in population, people have to spend a major part of their income on bringing up their children. It results in low savings and the low rate of capital formation. Which in turn affects the well-being of the people and they remain surrounded by the vicious circle of poverty.
Results in Lower Living Standards
The rapid increase in population leads to the increased demand for food, clothing, and shelter, etc. But the supplies cannot be increased in a short period due to the lack of capital, skilled labor, and raw materials, etc. Which further increases the cost of items and bring down the already low standard of living due to poverty.
Negative Impact on Environment
The rapid population growth means more land is required to accommodate people that leads to the cutting of forests for building houses and cultivation. It causes severe damage to the environment. Also, the increase in population becomes the major reason for migration to urban areas with industrialization, which further results in water, air, and noise pollution in cities and towns.
Declines Social Infrastructure
The rapidly growing population requires the large investment in social infrastructure. But due to the scarcity of resources, it becomes impossible to provide basic health, education, medical, transport, and housing facilities for the entire population. The country fails to meet even the basic social needs of the people.
The increasing population is a universal challenge and effective measures need to be implemented to control it. Keeping a check on the population growth will protect the environment and provide people with better food, health, and living standards and break the vicious circle of poverty.