Our planet is facing a lot in this modern age. Besides pollution issues and all kinds of damaging effects that people are causing, one of the biggest is overpopulation. However, the growth of humankind is solely our problem. We are the ones that are causing it and we are the ones that are going to be the most affected by it.
Overpopulation will lead to hunger and most of the people will not have a place to live anymore. Subsequently, further damage to the earth is going to be done and we will see much of our resources depleted.
This is a doomsday scenario that many demographers are predicting for the future of the human race. Yet this is also something that a lot of science fiction writers have been telling us for years.
But the question remains – Is overpopulation real and when will it really become a problem?
Scientists have been able to calculate that at year zero there were about 190 million human beings living on our planet. Some thousand years later the population went up to 250 million, still not drastic.
But it took humanity some hundreds of thousands of years to reach the 1 billion mark in 1800. This is where things start picking up. We added another billion in 1928 and then hit the 3 billion mark in 1960. After that, it took only 15 years to reach 4 billion people.
In about fifty years, the population is predicted to double finally reach the 8 billion mark really soon.
This might sound scary!
What Solutions Do we have?
Judging by the rate that the humankind is expanding, we are going to overflow our planet with people somewhere in 2100. But this is a drastic scenario that some people are imposing. The reality is that we do have more time than that. Futurists predict that the best solution is looking at the stars and expanding the human race to other colonies. In this case, we do mean planets. But that is a long-term solution which depends on the evolution of technology.
Unfortunately, people predict that short-term solutions might include some draconian measures when it comes to birth rates. Some countries, China comes to mind, have already imposed one-child-per-family laws and this solution might be used in other places if problems start occurring. However, there are better ways of handling things.
Draconian solutions don’t have to be imposed if we continue to develop our society the way we have been doing. With the development of contraception and by expanding the women’s position in the world we are naturally preventing our population from overgrowing.
Actually, the birth rate has been slowing down in recent modern times as more educated women are pursuing their careers while men are thinking things through in terms of contraception.
We should start looking towards solutions that might better our society at the same time and not make it worse.
If we think closely about it, there are a lot of places in our world that are not populated. Of course, these mainly include harsh living areas, like Greenland for instance, that has a population density of 0.2 people per square kilometer.
The biggest problem lies in island countries and smaller countries which have a lot more people per square kilometer than they should. Places like Taiwan, Singapore, Macao, Hong Kong, and Gibraltar are the most densely populated counties in the world.
But there are many places where there is more room for people. Immigration just might be the solution that we are looking for. Placing people in places where there is more room could actually work.