Effects of Overpopulation and Industrialization on the Environment

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Effects of Overpopulation and Industrialization on the Environment Throughout history, the world’s population has expanded in an extremely exponential fashion-- taking over three million years to achieve a one billion person benchmark, it then only took 130, 30, 15, 12, and 11 years to reach subsequent billions, respectively. (Southwick, 159) Such a massive and still increasing population, combined with the environmentally detrimental repercussions of industrialization (as a result of the need to sustain such a large population), namely pollution from fossil fuels, has begun to take a serious toll on our planet’s ecosystem. Moreover, “some scientists have calculated that an optimal human population on earth in terms of reasonable…show more content…
Regardless of whether or not pollution increases as population increases, (Edwin Dolin strongly refutes this principle that population increases lead to increases in pollution) the statistics nonetheless illustrate that increased population, and now what many consider overpopulation, has without a doubt led to continuingly deteriorating environmental conditions. Especially since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, new technologies have enabled cultures and communities, initially in the new territories traversed by the Europeans, to expand in populace: “we are forever realizing that the Industrial Revolution has changed forever the relationship between humanity and nature. There is a real concern that by the middle or the end of the 21st century human activities will have changed the basic conditions that have allowed life to thrive on earth.” (Internet 1) These basic conditions include the earth’s natural climate and the depletion and manipulation of its natural resources. Such expansion (since the Industrial Revolution) and creation of new establishments began, on a small scale, to effect the environment in many ways. The first element of the environment that was immediately effected was forests. Massive deforestation occurred, and still does so today, as land was cleared to make way for new towns. Moreover, many construction projects also used wood from trees, not to mention other commercial uses, such as paper, and fuel. Deforestation may
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