Next week, the world’s population will officially turn over a major milestone, 7 billion people. In 1987 we passed the 5 billion mark. This means that in the last 24 years we have added 2 billion people to the world’s population.
This is an unprecedented population explosion for humans. The causes of this population explosion are varied, but one of the biggest and most easily understood reasons is simply that people are living longer. Life expectancies for everyone from the citizens of the United States to Kenya have increased over the past years while birth rates have been falling at a much slower rate.
Exceptional human population growth causes a myriad of problems for the planet earth and the people, animals, and plants that live here. The earth is a finite resource pure and simple. This means that food, space, clear air, and other resources are being stressed more and more every year by the number of people who depend on them.
No one knows for sure how many people the planet can comfortably support, as there are many varying factors. Estimates range from us already overshooting the planets carrying capacity to us being able to double the earth population comfortably. But one thing we do know for sure is that the more people on this planet the more limited our resources are.
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