7 Billion

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7 Billion People According to the UN the world population hit 7 billion in 2011. Should this be cause for concern, does it really matter that there are 7 billion people? On one hand, exponential growth of the population has become more worrisome than ever due to limits of space and natural resources. There are also new projections that show numbers could possibly rise to10 billion or more by the end of the century. Calculations of Earth’s resources show limited availability of freshwater and food. This could possibly sustain 10 billion if there are major changes to eating habits such as using all grains to feed humans leaving little to none for livestock. Another factor to consider, in population growth, is the number of unwanted pregnancies that could have been avoided with the use of contraception. On the other hand, in the past there have been many predictions of global crisis due to overpopulation which never occurred. Advancements in technologies pertaining to agriculture and alternative energy sources could also enable people to live off of fewer resources while maintaining a high standard of living. Also, current statistics show a steady decline in birth rates all around the world. Studies show that fertility levels are reaching what is known as the replacement level in which new births just replace the parents or any children that die young.
The attempt to feed the 7 billion people in the world does not come without costs. Growing food requires using other resources and can be harmful to the environment. Increasing carbon footprints, deforestation of tropical rainforests, larger ocean dead zones, a need for stronger energy sources, and increase in waste are some of the harmful effects. Carbon emissions come from all stages of the food system, from manufacturing of fertilizer to storage of foods. Studies show that up to one third of greenhouse gas emissions come from agricultural production. Farming in tropical rainforests is increasing…

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