It is only logical that an increase in the world’s population will cause additional strains on resources. Overpopulated areas face many challenges, most of which stem from the impact of climate change or human overexploitation of natural resources. Coastal areas currently inhabited by 300 million people are set to experience annual flooding by 2050 unless measures are taken to hold back the water — a figure three times higher than previous estimates.
More people means an increased demand for food, water, housing, energy, healthcare, transportation, and more. There are several consequences of overpopulation.
Following are the main results of overpopulation:
- Ecological Degradation
An increase in population will inevitably create pressures leading to more deforestation, decreased biodiversity, and spikes in pollution and emissions, which will exacerbate climate change. Ultimately, unless we take action to help minimize further population growth heading into the remainder of this century, many scientists believe the additional stress on the planet will lead to ecological disruption and collapse so severe it threatens the viability of life on Earth as we know it.
- Increased Conflicts
The scarcity brought about by environmental disruption and overpopulation has the potential to trigger an increase in violence and political unrest. We’re already seeing wars fought over water, land, and energy resources in the Middle East and other regions, and the turmoil is likely to increase as the global population grows even larger.
- Higher Risk Of Disasters And Pandemics
Many of the recent novel pathogens that have devastated humans around the world, including COVID-19, Zika virus, Ebola, and West Nile virus, originated in animals or insects before passing to humans.
Part of the reason the world is entering “a period of increased outbreak activity” is because humans are destroying wildlife habitats and coming into contact with wild animals on a more regular basis. Now that we’re in the midst of a pandemic, it has become clear how difficult it is to social distance in a world occupied by nearly 8 billion people.