Indeed our very success going forth and multiplying, paired with our ability to extend our life expectancy, has meant that we are perpetually pushing the limits of the resource base that supports us. Today our population tops seven billion. While better health care and medicine along with advances in food production and access to freshwater and sanitation have allowed us to feed ourselves and stave off many health ills, some so-called Neo-Malthusians believe we may still be heading for some kind of population crash, perhaps triggered or exacerbated by environmental factors related to climate change.
Wilson estimates that 30, species per year or Overpopulation research institute species per hour are being driven to extinction. Compare this to the natural background rate of one extinction per million species per year, and you can see why scientists refer to it as a crisis unparalleled in human history.
The current mass extinction differs from all others in being driven by a single species rather than a planetary or galactic physical process. When the human race — Homo sapiens sapiens — migrated out of Africa to the Middle East 90, years ago, to Europe and Australia 40, years ago, to North America 12, years ago, and to the Caribbean 8, years ago, waves of extinction soon followed.
The colonization-followed-by-extinction pattern can be seen as recently as 2, years ago, when humans colonized Madagascar and quickly drove elephant birds, hippos, and large lemurs extinct . Lange's metalmark butterfly from Amy Harwood.
The first wave of extinctions targeted large vertebrates hunted by hunter-gatherers.
The second, larger wave began 10, years ago as the discovery of agriculture caused a population boom and a need to plow wildlife habitats, divert streams, and maintain large herds of domestic cattle. The third and largest wave began in with the harnessing of fossil fuels.
No population of a large vertebrate animal in the history of the planet has grown that much, that fast, or with such devastating consequences to its fellow earthlings. More atmospheric nitrogen is now fixed by humans that all other natural processes combined .
The authors of Human Domination of Earth's Ecosystems, including the current director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, concluded: The rates, scales, kinds, and combinations of changes occurring now are fundamentally different from those at any other time in history.
We live on a human-dominated planet and the momentum of human population growth, together with the imperative for further economic development in most of the world, ensures that our dominance will increase. One constant, however, is human population pressure.
A study of nations found that human population density predicted with percent accuracy the number of endangered birds and mammals as identified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature .
Current population growth trends indicate that the number of threatened species will increase by 7 percent over the next 20 years and 14 percent by When the population of a species grows beyond the capacity of its environment to sustain it, it reduces that capacity below the original level, ensuring an eventual population crash.
So where does wildlife stand today in relation to 7. Worldwide, 12 percent of mammals, 12 percent of birds, 31 percent of reptiles, 30 percent of amphibians, and 37 percent of fish are threatened with extinction . Not enough plants and invertebrates have been assessed to determine their global threat level, but it is severe.
Extinction is the most serious, utterly irreversible effect of unsustainable human population. But unfortunately, many analyses of what a sustainable human population level would look like presume that the goal is simply to keep the human race at a level where it has enough food and clean water to survive.
Our notion of sustainability and ecological footprint — indeed, our notion of world worth living in — presumes that humans will allow for, and themselves enjoy, enough room and resources for all species to live. Global Change Newsletter Are We Now Living in the Anthropocene?.
Human Domination of Earth's Ecosystems. The World According to Pimm: Earth is All Out of New Farmland. Biological Conservation 1: ScienceDaily, June 10, International Union for the Conservation of Nature.Overpopulation is the world’s top environmental issue, followed closely by climate change and the need to develop renewable energy resources to replace fossil fuels, according to a survey of the faculty at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).
A health care worker in Bangladesh gives a young pregnant woman a birthing kit for a safer delivery. It contains a sterile razor to cut the cord, a sterile plastic sheet to place under the birth area, and other simple, sanitary items - all which help save lives.
Overpopulation is Real. Now at over seven billion and counting, renowned visionary conservationist and global thinker Dave Foreman helps us understand that only by stabilizing and reducing human population can we stop wrecking our home - Earth.
Life on the Brink aspires to reignite a robust discussion of population issues among environmentalists, environmental studies scholars, policymakers, and the general public.
Some of the leading voices in the American environmental movement restate the case that population growth is a major force behind many of our most serious ecological problems, including global climate change, habitat loss.
War and the Population Explosion: Some Ethical Implications. John M. Swomley gives evidence of the planetary population problem, the dynamics of the world ’ s population wars, the responsibility of the world ’ s “ superpowers ”, the new ethical dimension of war provided by the Roman Catholic Church ’ s world wide influence, and that the solutions to overpopulation and disease lies.
Human Population Growth and extinction. We're in the midst of the Earth’s sixth mass extinction crisis. Harvard biologist E.
O. Wilson estimates that 30, species per year (or three species per hour) are being driven to extinction.