Population Growth & Variation Among Nations
Our global human population, 6 billion at present, will cross the 7 billion mark by 2015. The needs of this huge number of human beings cannot be supported by the Earth’s natural resources, without degrading the quality of human life. In the near future, fossil fuel from oil fields will run dry. It will be impossible to meet the demands for food from existing agro systems. Pastures will be overgrazed by domestic animals and industrial growth will create ever-greater problems due to pollution of soil, water and air. Seas will not have enough fish. Larger ozone holes will develop due to the discharge of industrial chemicals into the atmosphere, which will affect human health. Global warming due to industrial gases will lead to a rise in sea levels and flood all low-lying areas, submerging coastal agriculture as well as towns and cities. Water ‘famines’ due to the depletion of fresh water, will create unrest and eventually make countries go to war. The control over regional bio-logical diversity, which is vital for producing new medicinal and industrial products, will lead to grave economic conflicts between biotechnologically advanced nations and the bio-rich countries. Degradation of ecosystems will lead to extinction of thousands of species, de-stabilizing natural ecosystems of great value.
These are only some of the environmental problems related to an increasing human population and more intensive use of resources that we are likely to face in future.