The world’s population is already over 7.5 billion humans. It has been multiplied by two in the last 45 years, and even the most optimistic projections show we will reach the 10 billion mark about 2050. Many experts in population and development discuss this problematic. Is the world ready and capable of welcoming 10 billion people ?
What’s behind “Overpopulation” ?
Population growth is not a new phenomenon. The carrying capacity and WWF recently brought back questions about the world’s population in the foreground. The carrying capacity is the maximum or optimal number of people that a certain territory can accommodate without being destroyed by this population. In our case the territory is Earth and humans. In theory, this capacity is ideal to define overpopulation but in practice it is impossible to calculate it. In fact, it is not hard to model the resources present on the earth but the problem is to know which resources humans will consume over a period of time. For example, a few dozen years ago, rare-earth elements were not used at all and today it’s a major preoccupation.
Despite these difficulties, WWF and some other studies defined at approximately 8 billion the earth’s carrying capacity. A 2001 report from the UN indicated that two-thirds of the estimates are between 4 and 16 billion.
The possible consequences of overpopulation are numerous and we can already see the stakes that such an important population will raise. Nowadays, while we have almost reached the carrying capacity of the planet, we face energy, environmental and social challenges that can only increase.