Impacts of Growing Populations

Recently, when looking to understand the issues of sustainability, I have been less concerned with mpg or SOX, but about populations. Specifically, the fact that in 1950 we were a mere 1.5 billion people.. and now we are 6.7billion.

One of the more interesting, and concise documents, I found recently comes from the Population Media Center. Talking points on Population is a release from their media center at the end of 2008 that boiled out 4 pages of statistics that anyone involved with or interested in sustainability should be familiar with.

Written for the US market, there is still plenty for those of us in Asia to worry about:

By the year 2020, the combined populations of Asia and Africa are projected to be 6 to 8 billion—equal to or greater than the number that now lives on the entire planet.

Particularly, the impact on food and water are:

every day we remove 3.2 billion gallons of water from aquifers that are not replenished by natural processes.

China, its population expanding at about 7 million people per year as of 2006, appears to be advancing economically along the same path as did Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. If it does this to the point of achieving the same level of fish consumption as these nations, the entire sustainable wild fish production of all the world’s oceans would be required just to supply China’s fish needs.

to learn more about the Population Media Center, you can go to their website, or to see more of their publications, you can go here.

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