2008 — Most Philosophical 8th Grader in America:
Gracie Peck, Hawaii.
Is global warming the greatest challenge facing humankind?
There is a domino effect with major problems on Earth, and the first domino to fall is overpopulation. Overpopulation is where there are too many people and not enough resources to support them. In 1900, there were 1.6 billion people on earth, and in 2000, only 100 years later, the number reversed to 6.1 billion people, says Charles Hirschman. Population growth will continue to grow at this rapid pace, causing major problems for the planet and humankind. In the next thirteen years, there will be another billion people on the planet, according to the web site, “Impacts”. Even though global warming is a big challenge for humanity and the world, population growth has reached a crisis.
One of the results of this domino effect is pollution. With more and more people on this planet there are more people driving cars and more demand for industrial goods. Over three million people increase the population in America each year, as reported by “Population Concerns in the United States”. All of this activity increases global warming, and is the major factor in the destruction of the environment.
A second result of the domino effect is that overpopulation is using up all of earth’s natural resources. Water supplies decrease more quickly because of growing
populations great demands, and low water supplies are not enough to take care of the world’s needs. Oil suppliers are also dwindling. More people demand more cars, heating needs, and manufacturing demands. “Population Concerns in the United States” said that each American requires 400 gallons of oil annually for food production alone. Another resource that is disappearing is the earth’s forests. Half of the world’s forests are gone, due to development according to “Impacts”. There is a greater demand for paper housing and other wood products. With all the trees gone, there is less oxygen and more carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming.
“Nearly half of earth’s land has been transformed by humans,” stated by “Impacts”. Each person on earth leaves a “footprint,” which means that each human affects the earth permanently by just living on it. In America, there are 470 million acres of usable farmland, but due to civilization, on million acres are lost annually and for every person added to America, an acre of natural land converts to real estate development or highway, according to “Population Concerns in the United States”. With all these people, we will need more devotement, but the earth does not have enough room to support that.
Due to overpopulation, there is less space, fewer natural resources available, and more pollution. Future generation will face many difficulties caused by the ever-growing population. There will no longer be enough land to feed the people, oil supplies will run out and the forests will continue to shrink. If humans become aware now of the effects of overpopulation, perhaps the first domino can be
prevented from falling.
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