The Overpopulation Problem

The first TED talk I ever saw was a talk by a Swedish man named Hans Rosling, in his talk he discussed his statistical technology known as Gapminder after the London Underground’s famous “Mind the Gap” slogan. Gapminder took statistical information from across the world to compile a database consisting of millions of data points. Rosling uses Gapminder to show his ideas in an easy and presentable manor, his ideas on overpopulation stem from the growing population in 3rd world areas across the world. Hans and his team compile data from child mortality rates to CO2 emissions since 1820. The topic that interested my high school self the most was Rosling’s ideas on overpopulation.

Overpopulation is the fact that Earth can only sustain with all of it resources a certain population of living organisms. Rosling states that the population will grow to 9 billion over the next 50 years, he provides a simple answer to the problem; raise the living conditions of the lower class to create a society where population growth will stabilize. The growth of Earth’s population has gone at an exponential rate with the skyrocketing birth rates and ever falling death rates as medicine and healthcare become accessible to countries. An example of the death and birth rates is found in the Global Demographic Transition model that shows the different stages and how the population will fluctuate. The graph gives a light at the end of the tunnel scenario to overpopulation.

Over the past 50 years the world’s population has grown from 3 billion to 7.3 billion in July of 2015. With this insane increase in population humanity has run into many issues from providing clean power for all of these new humans and also providing food and water for these new humans. A couple years ago Earth’s helium stores began to run low, now there is no such thing as a helium balloon. Growing concerns about overpopulation and global warming seem to be almost an apocalyptic scenario but there are ways to fix what has already been damaged. Many organizations are looking to provide health care and family planning to 3rd world countries. Although the organizations are providing help to these nations the only true way to fix the issue is to fix the wealth gap across the world.

Written by Alex Parker, ESLLC 2015-2016

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