Why Do Rates and Measures of Population Change Use the “Total Mid-Year Population” Instead of the “End-Of-Year Population?”
Population refers to the total number of beings living in a particular area. Population helps us get an estimate of the number of beings and how to act accordingly. For instance, if we know the particular population of a city, we can estimate the number of resources it needs. Similarly, we can do the same for animals. If we look at the human population, we see how it is becoming a cause of concern. In particular, the third world countries suffer the most from population explosion. As it is the resources there are limited and the ever-increasing population just makes it worse. On the other hand, there is a problem of low population in many regions.
One of the reasons natural scientists have found population to be so appealing as a human dimension of environmental change is that data are readily available (in contrast to other human variables such as values, culture, and institutions), projections are reasonably reliable, and population can be treated in models in a manner that is analogous to all the other quantitative variables. This has promoted something of a reductionist view of population-environment interactions. Fortunately, a growing number of natural scientists are beginning to appreciate that humans interact with the environment in more ways than their raw numbers often imply. Populations are composed of people who collectively form societies, and people and societies cannot easily be reduced to food and material demands that result in some aggregate impact on the environment. This makes human societies at once messy for modeling and fascinating to study. The new understanding builds on the concept of coupled human-environment systems, which are more than the sum of their parts. Research on the human-environment system also takes advantage of new data sources (remote sensing, biophysical data, as well as georeferenced household surveys), new technologies (high-powered computers, geographic information systems, spatial statistics), and new models (agent-based, multilevel, and spatially explicit modeling). Much of the research reviewed in this chapter has sought to deconstruct population into its component parts and to understand how human social institutions in all their complexity (e.g., markets, policies, communities) mediate the impact of population variables on the use of resources, waste generation, and environmental impacts. Thus, they could be said to fit into this growing understanding of the human-environment system.
These are groups who also believe in the theories of Malthus and encourage population control programs for the present and future benefit of human beings. The Neo-Malthusians view however differ from Malthus in their belief on the use of contraceptive techniques for the birth control measures. The neo-Malthusians or the pessimistic view had more concerns about the effect that population growth would have on environmental degradation. While they supported the theories put forward by Malthus, this group of people strongly supported the idea of actively controlling population growth in order to prevent adverse impact on the environment. This pessimistic group are concerned about the effect overpopulation may have on resource depletion and environmental degradation. There has been a general revival in neo-Malthusian ideologies from the 1950s onwards especially after the publication of series of books by some Malthusian supporters such as Fairfield Osborn (Our Plundered Planet), William Vogt (Road to Survival) and Paul Ehrlich (The Population Bomb). Although many critics of neo-Malthusianism criticize the revival of this theory based on fact that the green revolution has led to sufficient food production, Pessimists such as Paul Ehrlich believe that unchecked population will ultimately lead to serious problems in the future (Ehrlich, 2009). Neo-Malthusian or the pessimistic view is more about the positive checks but Malthusian said that there is balance between both positive and negative checks. Uncontrolled growth of population will lead to rapid depletion of non-renewable natural resources such as fossil fuels which are used as source of energy. The burning of fossil fuel i.e. carbon based fuels, mainly wood, coal, oil and natural gas produces significant amount of CO2 which is one of the main green house gases that contributes to global warming (International Energy Outlook, 2000). The green house effect maintains the earth at comfortable temperature range but if there is excessive release of CO2 and other harmful gases from the industries and factories, the green house gases gets easily out of control and will lead to so many problems like continental drift, climate change, natural disasters and variations of suns out put.
For the most part, because of the positive population momentum, the world population will certainly continue to grow in absolute figures, even though the yearly growth rate in percentages is already on the decline for several years. The biggest contribution we could make therefore, with an immediate favourable impact for ourselves and the rest of the world, is to change our consumption pattern and deal with the structural overconsumption of the world’s richest countries.
International Energy Outlook 2000, Energy Information Administration, Office of Integrated Analysis and Forecasting, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C. (2000)
J. Van Den Bergh and P. Rietveld, Reconsidering the Limits to World Population: Meta-analysis and Meta-predictions, Bioscience 54, no 3 (2004): 195.
Laurance, W. F. 1999. Reflections on the tropical deforestation crisis. Biological Conservation 91: 109-117.
Paul R. Ehrlich; Anne H. Ehrlich (2009). “The Population Bomb Revisited”. Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development 1(3): 6371. Retrieved 2010-02-01.