Overpopulation
By: Eric Krause

Do you feel that all humans have the right to enjoy natural beauty? The right to decent, uncrowded shelter? The right to eat healthy food and drink pure water? To breathe clean air and avoid pesticide poisoning? Most people would say every human has a right to all of these things, but in some areas of the world these rights are not being met.
Most species have a sideways "S" shaped graph reflecting growth rate, meaning the species will go up in total population but will eventually start to go down again. The human population graph resembles more of a "J", starting out low and then skyrocketing straight up. At our current growth rate the world's population of 5.8 billion would double in only about 45 years. The United States population would double in less than 100 years. Today the birth rate is about three times the death rate world wide (The Population Explosion). The closer these two rates are, the slower population growth will be. Because of all of these reasons, efforts by the government should be made to slow down the world population growth.

Overpopulation is becoming a bigger concern as the growth rate continues to skyrocket. Overpopulation is sometimes mis understood or mistaken with other issues. Overpopulation does not deal with crowding, but in fact, density is irrelevant to questions of overpopulation (Adams J.A. Crusade Against Overpopulation). What is relevant is carrying capacity. Carrying capacity refers to how much an area can hold having all things at equilibrium, including all plants and animals. An area is overpopulated when its long-term carrying capacity is being degraded by its current human occupants. David Pimentel at the Carrying Capacity Network stated, "By this standard, the entire planet and virtually every nation is already vastly overpopulated." Some people say the earth is not overpopulated since the United States can produce more food and products than are used. That is true in the U.S. Now if you look at it world-wide the products we have are often from other countries. These other countries are often not as well off. These other countries are either in severe poverty or their cities are becoming overcrowded (STOP: Everyone must be educated about the realities of overpopulation). Although the U.S. is not in trouble at this time, when you look at the whole world you may see a different picture. Eventually the rest of the world will also have an effect on us.
The impact of humans on their environment has to do with three factors. The first is the number of people. The more people there are the more resources are used. If too many resources begin to be used they will run out before they get a chance to be replaced. Leaving all plant and animal life with nothing and everything will eventually die off. The rainforests are a good example of this. The second is the amount of resources consumed by the average person. If people become wasteful and don't conserve resources now, the resources that were wasted will not be able to be used in the future. The United States is one of the most wasteful countries there is. We are more wasteful than necessary. Recycling has helped quite a bit, but the problem has not yet been fixed. The third is the environmental damage caused in the manufacturing of the goods consumed. Manufacturing grows as people demand more manufactured goods. If too much manufacturing takes place many plants and animals begin to suffer. It may not have an impact on us for a while, but after many years pass, the availability of food, water, and shelter will begin to decrease.
Another problem caused by the rapid growth rate is to the environment. Bio diversity plays an important part in the survival of all species. It is the multiplicity of plants, insects, and animals on Earth that makes the survival of all species possible. A planet without a suitable habitat for non-human creatures will soon not be suitable for humans either. Once humans expand enough and kill off a lot of plant and animal life, what are we going to eat? As human numbers grow, we demand more space and resources from the Earth, and taking more for ourselves means leaving less for others and eventually means less for ourselves. By exterminated plant