Research Round 2

Effects of overpopulation of nature…

Before diving in on our effects on nature, lets first take a look at the rise of our population over time and see how quick our rise to power was…

We start in 10,000 BCE where our population was a measly 4 million people (1), to put that into perspective that’s the population of Alberta today. from 10,000 BCE to 1700 our population growth was very slow, growing by only 0.04% annually. In 1700 the world population was at 600 million people, that is when great Britain kickstarted the industrial revolution and the world followed at her heels and the population skyrocketed from 600 million people to almost a billion people in 1800 (1). The industrial revolution kept on increasing the population to nearly 1.65 billion people in 1900, thanks to the invention of Insulin which proved to be a great medicine combating and eliminating most sicknesses that would otherwise be considered deadly farther increased the population to 2 billion in 1928 (2) and then not 40 years later the population would cross 3 billion people in 1960 and would then cross 4 billion in 1975 and then the population would roughly increase by a billion roughly every 12 years until we have reached 7 billion humans on earth in 2011 and currently the latest data from 2019 records around 7.7 billion people on planet earth (1). Had the population continued growing at around the same annual rate of 0.04% per year and we would only be at around 620 million people on the planet earth! Only 0.08% of our current population! But if you have paid attention to the stats you would have noticed that the population growth came about in the year 1800, after that, it only took us around 2 centuries to increase our population by a whopping seven times!

This massive population growth has a major impact on our providers, mother nature. A massive desire for food and appetite has made overhunting a very common practice where hunters hunt down animals quicker than they can reproduce resulting in a constantly decreasing number of species available in the wild (3). Due to overhunting, currently, there are 41,415 endangered species and 16,306 of these species are close to extinction (4,5). Human activity has made over 800 species extinct meaning they no longer exist and yet species are going extinct as I’m creating this post right now! This is 25% of mammals, 12.5% of birds, 33% of amphibians and a whopping 70% of plants are classified as endangered (5). Our effects nature go far beyond just endangering thousands of species. We also pollute our planet that we live on. Due to our increased need for food deforestation is turning out to be a big problem. Increased pollution leads to global warming creating smog and acid rain proving to be destructive to nature. Overpopulation has also resulted in a bigger demand for coal, oil and gas forcing pollution and the increased use of disposable plastics also leads to farther pollution in oceans and land (6).

Personal thoughts:

Looking at all of this, I decided to scourge my news feed for tech updates and news and amidst the outrageous claims made by Elon Musk and Donald Trump I thought about one of the companies under alphabets control, Calico. Calico is a company using technology to prolong life and maybe even eliminate death altogether. This is quite a huge and tough goal and to all the other companies out there with similar intentions, I want to ask the grand question, even if we were able to greatly prolong life and become immortals, is it worth it? This round of research has made me question the values that these companies hold. While it sounds great to prolong life and live longer, it will create unforseen problems in the near future. Death, while it is a very sensitive topic is essential to nature and as they say “death is a part of life” and I personally think this is true as the dead are reused by nature in a way that is beneficial. While nobody wants to meet the grim reaper, I personally think that dying is an essential part of nature. Let me hear your thoughts on companies like Calico in the comments.



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