Editorial: Population increase a disaster to the climate

Editorial: Population increase a disaster to the climate

Impact of more people weighs heavily on the Earth

Billions and billions served.

The first thing most will probably think about when reading that statement is McDonald’s. But what should pop into our minds is how will this planet continue to serve billions and billions of more people?

Conversations and demonstrations about the climate change crisis carry little mention on the impact of the human population. But it is clearly one of the biggest threats facing our species, along with all species that inhabit this planet. And it’s a point that even those who refuse to acknowledge climate change can deny.

No one can question the rapidly expanding human population numbers. There are currently more than 7.7 billion people on Earth. It took 200,000 years of human existence to reach one billion people and only 200 years since then to hit the seven billion mark. China has 18.5 per cent of the world’s population and India has 17.9 per cent for a combined total of 36.4 per cent, however, the largest population growth rate is seen in many impoverished African nations.

More international aid is needed to provide the education and financial assistance needed to promote family planning and break the cycle of poverty. Right now, the trend only promises to get worse.

More people means more land cleared for development, resulting in the loss of more trees and habitat for wildlife stocks that are dwindling everywhere. We simply can’t process more human waste and alarming mounds of garbage from consumer products, for starters, without serious damage to the environment, as we’re discovering now.

That’s not to mention the additional vehicles on the road and the ensuing emissions, or the more land required to house the growing population, reducing the area used by the planet’s vital plant life. The list goes on and the vicious circle becomes even tighter.

Getting world leaders to agree on anything is next to impossible, but a consensus must be reached. The future of the planet hangs in the balance.