Sunday, June 21, 2009

Population Growth and Its Effects

Population Growth and Its Effects

The economy of this country, and probably the entire world, is built on population growth and the ever increasing demand for products and services. Capital is invested on the supposition that such growth will continue into the future. State governors, city mayors and chambers of commerce all clamor for “growth”, i.e. more businesses, more tourists, more construction, more sales and more jobs. So far, so good. The problem is that few are giving any thought to the negative aspects or the various costs of “growth”.

When the population grows, so do the problems of waste disposal, pollution of air and water, traffic congestion, destruction of forests and natural habitat, lack of adequate water supply, etc. With the population of the world doubling every 40 years, how much longer will it be before the planet becomes such an unhealthy place to live that the death rate increases enough to reduce the total population? It now seems that we will not face up to our prospects willingly while we still have time to head this off. We could learn to live with a zero population growth if we put our minds to it and resolved to change our expectations about our life style. Here’s hoping we do this before it is too late.

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