As the world is continuously growing in knowledge of science, technology, and medicines, we tend to forget that the populations of the people who reside within the world are growing as well.
Today there are more than 7.2 billion people. The rate of this growth is 1.2% every year which is 80 million people being added annually. While global population rates are beginning to slow, growth and fertility rates are still high in developing countries. Since the 1800’s, the world's population has increased sixfold. Space and time are running out.
A carrying capacity is the maximum population of a species a habitat can support without being ruined. Humans are edging closer and closer to their own carrying capacity. The estimated carrying capacity of the world is 10 billion people based on food resources. Since most people will not agree to stop eating meat, food resources will most likely fall short of 10 billion. With the world already at 7.2 billion people, humans will reach the carrying capacity sooner rather than later.
What will happen when we do reach carrying capacity? In most species the answer is simple. The population will decline because the environment can no longer support those who reside within it. Resources will be limited. Scientists are predicting a timbre famine coming in the near future. There will not be enough food, water, and space for humans to live.
Ways that can slow down the time we reach carrying capacity are by
-Provide safe and effective contraceptive options
-Guarantee education through secondary school
-Eradicate gender bias, offer age appropriate sexuality education
-End policies rewarding parents financially for having more kids
-Integrate lessons on population, environment, and development into school curricula
-Put prices on environmental costs and impacts
-Adjust to an aging population instead of boosting childbearing
-Convince leaders to commit stabilizing population through exercise of human rights and development.
As a society, we need to begin to think of more than just ourselves. Our actions and decisions are affecting more than just the present. We need to begin to think about the future generations. We are shaping the world our future children and grandchildren will live in. We need to make a world that is not only stable, but a world that is worth living in.