In the past hundred years, the globalpopulation has grown exponentially producing adverse consequences on theenvironment. As stated by David Tilman, an American ecologist, and ClarenceLehman, a professor of ecology; “Humans have greatly impacted the rates ofsupply of the major nutrients that constrain the productivity, composition, anddiversity of terrestrial ecosystems.” (David Tilman and Clarence Lehman, n.
d.) Themass consumption of fossil fuels, deforestation, and improper waste control arepreeminent issues involving the rising global population and its effects on theenvironment. These issues, and the aim to improve their current standpoint,interact with the overall goal of a decelerated global population.Mass consumption and overuse of fossilfuels has been known to cause corrosive impacts on the environment. Accordingto the United States Environmental Protection Agency, an agency of the federalgovernment created to protect human health and the environment; “When fossilfuels are burned, they release nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, whichcontribute to the formation of smog and acid rain.
” (The Sources and Solutions:Fossil Fuels, n.d.) Acid rain and smog, both generated by vehicle exhaust and coalburning, have been found harmful to forests, lakes, insects, and otherwildlife. As population growth progresses, fossil fuel usage will increase,causing detrimental side-effects to remain. Additionally, an article written bythe Environmental and Energy Study Institute, a nonprofit organization devotedto promoting environmentally sustainable societies, reads: “…the burning offossil fuels was responsible for 79 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in2010.
These gases insulate the planet, and could lead to potentiallycatastrophic changes in the Earth’s climate.” (Fossil Fuels, n.d.) Without adecrease in global population growth, fossil fuel usage will continue toincrease, and greenhouse gases will continue to affect the global climate. Heavierprecipitation and flooding, longer and more destructive wildfire seasons, andaccelerated sea level rise occur as a result of global warming. In the pastyear the surface temperature of the Earth has risen one degree; scientists fearthis escalation will continue if action isn’t taken to stop it.
In order toreduce the consequences produced through the burning of fossil fuels,alternative energy sources such as renewable resources, should be promoted andemployed. Moreover, deforestation, which is theaction of cutting down and exploiting trees, leads to habitat loss and soilerosion. As stated by National Geographic, a global nonprofit organizationdedicated to exploring and protecting the planet; “Eighty percent of Earth’sland animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive thedeforestation that destroys their homes.” (Deforestation, n.d.) Due todestruction of their habitats, caused by the removal of trees, numerous animaland plant species are displaced.
The destruction of habitats proves to be agrowing problem, seeing as carrying capacity for animals is reduced, whichleads to population decline and possible extinction. Thus, the elimination of clear-cuttingis imperative to an unscathed forest environment, which would enable plants andanimals a permanent residency. As reported by Rhett Butler, founder and CEO ofMongabay.com, an organization seeking to raise interest in and appreciation ofwild lands and wildlife; “The loss of trees, which anchor the soil with theirroots, causes widespread erosion throughout the tropics.
” (Rhett Butler, July22, 2012) Soil erosion can elicit desertification, flooding, infertile land,polluted waterways and obstructed sanitation systems. The quality of soil isdwindling as logging and population growth prevails, meaning that the moretrees cut down, the worse the soil becomes and soon only small quantities ofuseful soil will be left. To prevent further destruction to the environment,such as soil erosion, it’s critical that deforestation be eradicated. Furthermore, through continued increasein the global population, there will be a surge in pollution.
According toGreen Choices, a nonprofit organization aiming to provide consumer informationon green choices available; “Gases from incineration may cause air pollutionand contribute to acid rain, while the ash from incinerators may contain heavymetals and other toxins.” (Environmental impacts, n.d.
) The gases created throughthe process of burning waste can generate harmful byproducts, which fortifiesair pollution. For example, common repercussions include carbon monoxide,carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. All are known constituents of smog, acidrain, and greenhouse gasses. Ergo, enforcement should be made to ensure theamount of waste is reduced, ultimately leading to a smaller impact on theenvironment. To continue, Marine Insight, the world’s number one completemaritime information website, states: “Dumping involves depositing all thewaste materials from factories and industries, tankers and ships and seweragewaste materials into the oceans and seas. Some of the materials emitted by theindustrial wastes and sewage wastes contain materials like mercury, cryoliteand DDT.” (Shamseer Mambra, Sept.
4, 2017) Ocean dumping, as described above,poses as a threat to marine organisms and other aquatic life. For example, seaturtles believe plastic bags found floating in a body of water are jelly fish.Since plastic bags are not biodegradable, upon consumption of their so-calledfavorite snack, blockages are caused within their digestive system, which leadsto their inevitable death.
Thus, action should be taken to protect marine lifeand limit waste found within todays oceans and seas. On the contrary, some believe that populationgrowth and its effects on biodiversity are reflected in a positive manner. The U.S.National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest biomedical library publishedan article on how decreasing biodiversity allows humans to better observeanimals.
(Philip Hunter, Apr. 2007) Animals have “adapted” to the pressures putonto them by global population growth, allowing cities to become laboratory-likeareas optimal for monitoring natural selection. Nonetheless, the Business Resource Centre, run by Earthwatch Institute, an internationalenvironmental charity, explains that human actions such as exploitation ofnatural resources, deforestation, pollution and the introduction of invasivespecies have all led to the degradation of biodiversity (Impacts onbiodiversity, n.d.
) Biodiversity, defined as the variety and variability oflife, boosts ecosystem productivity allowing each species to have a specificniche. Through human actions, such as the destruction of habitats and thedecline in arable land, biodiversity will continue to decrease over time. Thiscan result in possible extinction of certain species, or close to it. If theglobal population is not decreased, then human actions such as hunting, and theuse of herbicides and pesticides will continue to harm various plant and animalspecies. Overall, exploitation of fossil fuels,desertification, and inadmissible waste control are all caused by human actionsand the ever-growing global population. Therefore, stronger effort should gointo converting from natural resources to renewable resources, such as solarpower, hydropower, and wind power. This will lessen greenhouse gas emissionsand other side effects, like smog and acid rain. Additionally, clear-cuttingshould be reduced, so soil erosion will not continue to progress and animalswill no longer have to deal with habitat loss.
Waste control should beimproved, while the amount of waste used up by individuals should be lowered,allowing waste removal processes to not have such a big impression on theenvironment. Having all solutions in full-effect will push forward the maingoal for a minimal environmental impact made by human action, which is crucialfor the development of a sustainable society.