Why Population Matters
August 13, 2014
Population Matters Index
Though more than two-thirds of the planet is covered with water, only a small fraction - around 0.3% - is available for human use and reuse. And no more of this renewable fresh water is available today than existed at the dawn of human civilization.
1915: 1.8 billion | 1967: 3.5 billion | 2006: 6.5 billion | 2011: 7.0 billion (World Population) October 2006, U.S. Census Department
June 2005, U.N.
World population, currently 6.5 billion, is growing by another 76 million people per year. According to the UN the world will add another 2.6 billion people by 2050. Rapid population growth has placed incredible stress on Earth's resources. Global demand for water has tripled since the 1950s, but the supply of fresh drinking water has been declining because of over-pumping and contamination. Half a billion people live in water-stressed or water-scarce countries, and by 2025 that number will grow to three billion. In the last 50 years, cropland has been reduced by 13% and pasture by 4%.
Only in recent history has humankind discovered the means with which to increase the average human lifespan and reduce infant mortality rate:sanitation practices and modern medicines. With these discoveries, we have multiplied our numbers faster than ever before, going from 1 billion to 2 billion in only 123 years, such a brief moment in human history. As is the nature of unchecked growth, the momentum accelerated and the world went from 5 billion people to 6 billion in only 12 short years. The balance of nature has been drastically upset and the environment is already paying the price. The good news is that mankind has made another discovery, this one to check birth rates: modern contraceptives. This, coupled with the desire to have fewer children, (since now so many children are living beyond infancy) has led to a decline in birth rates, starting in the 1960s. Abstinence, delaying of marriage, education, contraceptives, empowerment of women, and the funding of family planning and reproductive health the world over will alleviate the population momentum that will result from 2 billion young people entering their child-bearing years. ... k gaia
"It's not because people started breeding like rabbits.