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Population And Consumption Essay, Research Paper

The relationship between population and consumption might not be a concern for most people. In fact, most of these people might only have a little knowledge of this relationship because they do not realize the importance of it. They might feel that population and consumption do not intervene with each other. However, their interpretation is not true, the connection between them is extremely important for the society to focus on. This is because of the rapid growing population over these decades. Since population begins with people and their key events of birth and death, so as long as they are still alive they will consume the world s energy which includes food and material. Thus, to achieve a good estimation of consumption, the IPAT identity may be used. With the current world population is more than six billion people and growing at a rate of 1.3 percent per year, means the population will require much more resources. Additional to this, it is projected by the year 2050 there will be 8.9 billion people living on this planet, therefore it is necessary for the world to slow down the growth of the population and find alternate resources on earth to satisfy humans need.

Furthermore, consumption rate have been increasing very rapidly from the 1950s to now. This rapid increase is not only due to the increase in population but because people are increasing their standard of living. This can been seen by comparing the population data and consumption data between 1950 and 1990s. From 1950 to the early 1990s world population have doubled (2.2 times), while consumption of food have almost tripled, energy more than quadrupled (4.4 times) and the economy quintupled (5.1 times). Thus, with technologies this increase in consumption will not stress the resources by a lot because the input per unit of consumption have actually decreased and of information substitutes for more material and energy inputs. But, at the same time, the demand for products and services will continue to increase and the overall consumption of energy and most materials will more than offsets these efficiency and productivity gains. Therefore it arises three questions which are When is more too much for the life-support systems of the natural world and the social infrastructure of human society? , Can we do more with less? and When is more enough? .

By examining these questions, it reveals the problems that the world might face in the future if consumption continues to rise. The analysis of these questions suggest a direction for reducing environmentally damaging and resource-depleting consumption. The first question asks when will the environment of the world cannot support and provide the needs of the human being. Since human being is increasing their consumption the world resources may be depleted in the future. With the use of coal, nuclear and other resources it had cause much pollution for the earth s environment. Therefore, these pollutions will harm the human health which might cause death in the future and global warming. Such problems must be treated quickly; with technologies it is possible for human to substitute less damaging and depleting energy for more damaging ones. The second question that the world face is can human live with less material. This question addresses the supply side of consumption. Beyond substitution, shirking the energy and material transformations required per unit of consumption, a possibility for reducing environmentally damaging consumption is by decreasing the use of these material. Even with the three Rs of consumption shrinkage : reduce, recycle, reuse it will only create a warmer climate. Therefore, it is necessary for human to consume less and be use to it. Lastly, the third question addresses the demand side of the consumption. This question asks if human can be satisfied with less goods and demands. With less demand the use of the world resource will be lessen. However, with the standard of living growing it is hard for human to change and receive the same satisfaction with fewer products. Therefore, these question addresses the problem that human will have to sacrifice in order to help the resources from depleting the damaging the environment.

With these questions all in my mind I feel that population and consumption have a great effect on the world. If the population continues to increase it might cause the rich to get richer while the poor to get poorer. With the most of the people belonging to the poor group there will be many problems. These problems will include diseases, not enough food for these people. Such problem already occur today in those countries that are not developed such as South Africa. Even with technologies these problem cannot be solve because the technologies will only be readily available for the wealthy. Therefore, I feel that human being must produces less children and the consumption rate will decrease in order to avoid the depletion of the earth s resources.

In conclusion, the relationship between population and consumption have certain relationship. As population increases and consumption by human will increase as well. Besides the population factor, the rapid increase of consumption is due to the increase in the standard of living. However, because the earth have it limitation, these growths are not favorable to the earth s environment. The problems that these growth creates include depleting the earth s resources, and the aftermath of manufacturing of goods will damage the environment causing change in climate. The questions of When is more too much for the life-support systems of the natural world and the social infrastructure of human society? , Can we do more with less? and When is more enough? reveal what is needed for human being to do in order to save the world from these problem.

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