How does human population change affect the environment?

Week 2

DQ 1

Please post a 150-200-word response.

How does human population change affect the environment?

Clearly one of the challenges of a growing population is that the mere presence of so many people sharing a limited number of resources strains the environment. Population growth has significant roles to play in the sustainability of the world’s vast resources. Not only the number of people, but also the lifestyle, consumption patterns, and regions people inhabit and use directly affect the environment. As populations grow, competition for fertile land and the use of limited resources increase. Many of the world’s population live in poor countries already strained by food insecurity; inadequate sanitation, water supplies and housing; and an inability to meet the basic needs of the current population.  People are also moving toward a greater standard of living, not necessarily sustainable. Meeting the increasing demand for food, water, and land is probably the most basic challenge and the most salient population and environmental crisis. World food production has kept pace with population growth. Yet ironically, millions of people do not have enough to eat.

Dondie

DQ 2Why is studying urbanization important to the study of environmental science? What challenges does urbanization present?

The importance of studying urbanization would be in protecting the “natural” aspects of urban environments, urban planning, transportation, demographics, preservation of wetlands and other wildlife habitats, improvement of water quality, and restoration of contaminated areas. The modern ages of urbanization are both a direct and indirect challenge to surrounding environments. There is a direct challenge through habitat conversion and an indirect challenge through the effects human populations typically have on their environment such as habitat destruction, resource depletion, waste creation and freshwater consumption. Other environment challenges identified with agricultural land use include chemical pollution like fertilizers, pesticides, and the disruption of natural water and nutrients. Such environmental challenges have typically resulted in a decrease in biodiversity and a reduction in the quality of natural services such as clean water, fresh air, and, recreation. I believe better understanding the impacts and issues related to urbanization are the most efficient means of tackling these critical environmental dilemmas.

Dondie

 

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