The Ele­phant Room

In the The ef­fects of hu­man over­pop­u­la­tion – in pic­tures

Asian Geographic - - Science -

Ma­hatma Gandhi once said, “The world has enough for ev­ery­one’s need, but not enough for ev­ery­one's greed.” The size of the hu­man pop­u­la­tion – cur­rently at an es­ti­mated 7.4 bil­lion peo­ple – sets the scale of hu­man be­hav­iour and its con­comi­tant en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact. Ac­cord­ing to a United Na­tions re­port, the hu­man pop­u­la­tion could reach 9.7 bil­lion by 2050, and over 11 bil­lion by 2100, but it could be any­where be­tween 6.7 bil­lion at the low end, and over 16 bil­lion at the high end.

Put plainly, it seems un­likely that Earth could sus­tain a pop­u­la­tion of 11 bil­lion, let alone 16 bil­lion. Add to that the vast dis­par­i­ties in the con­sump­tion of re­sources among the bil­lions of peo­ple on the planet: At least 2.5 bil­lion of the 7.4 bil­lion peo­ple liv­ing on Earth to­day des­per­ately need more ma­te­rial re­sources if they are to es­cape poverty and achieve min­i­mally ac­cept­able stan­dards of nu­tri­tion, hous­ing and san­i­ta­tion.

A mi­nor­ity of our pop­u­la­tion is con­sum­ing far be­yond their ba­sic needs, while the ma­jor­ity scram­ble to sur­vive on the bare min­i­mum

A shep­herd by the Yel­low River can­not stand the smell in In­ner Mon­go­lia, China

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