2008 – Sixth Grade Fifth Place:

Oriana Ren, California.

Is global warming the greatest challenge facing humankind?

Is global warming the greatest challenge facing humankind? Global
warming refers to an average increase in the Earth's temperature,
which in turn causes changes in climate. This affects the
precipitation patter and causes other environmental problems.
Scientists are currently trying to prevent the Earth from heating too
fast. This, I admit, is an enormous problem that shouldn't be taken
lightly. However, in my opinion, global warming isn't the greatest
crisis facing mankind. Overpopulation is the greatest challenge on

There are several reasons why overpopulation is the most urgent issue
facing humankind. One of them is the dwindling amount of natural
resources because of the human activity. China alone consists of
one-fifth of the world's population (1.2 billion people). As the
living standards in China enhanced, the demand for food skyrocketed.
China went from exporting 8 million tons of grain in 1992 to 16
million in two years. Furthermore, the supply of fresh water is a
problem. Fresh water from rivers, streams, and lakes are being
polluted by waste from industrialization and human activities.
Purifying water is an expensive process.

Speaking of pollution, the cars we drive emit pollutants into the
air. In addition, overpopulation causes the release of more carbon
dioxide into the air. To make matters worse, people are chopping down
forests that help abosorb carbon dioxide from the air. Industries and
factories also release huge amounts of pollutants into the air. All
these are factors contributing to global warming.

Lastly, social problems, such as religious wars, fighting for land
and supplies as well as epidemic breakouts are becoming imperative
issues due to overcrowding. In the meantime, overpopulation not only
rouses major problems, but also minor ones. Traffic, for instance, is
a problem we have to deal with every day; in California, 300,000 hours
are wasted on waiting in traffic every year.

Overpopulation, I believe, i sone major causes for global warming.
If people don't find ways to stop overpopulation, by 2050, there will
be 9 billion people on Earth . Our planet just doesn't have enough
resources to sustain such a huge population. Countries and
individuals must work together to achieve zero population growth,
which in turn will ease many of the other problems faced by today's
society, including global warming.






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