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Popul Today. 1997 Apr;25(4):4-5.

Population growth and consumption.

Abstract

PIP:

The relationship between population growth, resource consumption, and environmental degradation is complex. The rise in "greenhouse gases" that will cause climatic change is clearly due to human activity, and pollutants are often concentrated in densely populated areas. However, even an area with a negative population growth, such as Russia, can experience severe environmental degradation due to poor management. Consumption patterns have the most effect on ozone depletion, while population growth threatens biodiversity of and within species through the destruction of ecosystems. Migration joins population growth and social factors, such as land inequality, as major causes of deforestation, and global demand for water is expected to increase faster than the rate of population growth. Coastal development and over-fishing threaten to deplete the oceans, while soil quality is threatened by inappropriate land use. Estimates of the earth's carrying capacity range from less than 3 billion to more than 44 billion people, indicating how difficult it is to assess this figure. Development efforts throughout the world may lead to human gains that will ultimately be negated by environmental losses. These factors have led to growing support for environmentally sustainable development.

PMID:
12319715
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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