Population growth does not threaten us with the apocalypse (Los Angeles Times, USA)

Now the population of the world is 7 billion people. Although the problem of scarcity of natural resources still exist, a child born today will almost certainly be better off than the people who lived decades ago, when food production per capita was calculated much smaller numbers.

According to the estimates of the United Nations (UN), the current Monday was the day when the world's population has reached a point in 7 billion. Many believe that on that date this year falls halloween, very symbolic, given the frightening prospect of today's demographics. Although this figure is 7 billion, in and of itself can frighten anyone, the UN seems to be striving to catch up more fear, and predicted that by 2083 the world population will grow to 10 billion. Roughly speaking, the card will be three more in India.

Photoblog: overpopulation threatens the human species?

However, the infant's parents semimilliardnogo be afraid for the future of their child. Despite the increasing threats caused by problems such as global warming, rising food prices and poverty, below which they live about a billion people, this child will almost certainly be better off than three billionth or six-billionth baby. Will we be able to cope with the problem of over-population, and if so, how? Let us remember how the world looked in 1960, when the number of people on the planet has reached 3 billion. Reducing child mortality, including mortality among infants, has led to the fact that in 1960 the population growth rate exceeded 2% a year, perhaps for the first time in human history. At this rate of growth of population had doubled in 35 years, which is, roughly speaking, is what happened in 1999. Meanwhile, over the next 39 years should not fear that the number of people on Earth will double. In fact, people may never have never double. Fertility declines rapidly in many developing countries, the fertility rate is about 2.1, which ensures simple reproduction. Reaching its peak in the 1960s, the population growth rate has been steadily declining since that time, so that by 2100 the number of residents if and exceed 10.1 billion, most of all, not much. So, we went through a time during which the population grew at a slower rate, which we hardly ever see in the future. Now is the time to look back and see how we have been able to cope with this problem. In the 1960s, predictions about overpopulation of the planet, looked rather bleak. The most famous of these was made in Paul Ehrlich (Paul Ehrlich) «Population Bomb» (The Population Bomb), published in 1968. Scientist in particular, said: "The Battle for ensuring human food has already been lost. We can not prevent outbreaks of famine, which will occur in the next decade. "Fortunately, Ehrlich was wrong. Over the past 50 years, food production has grown faster than the number of people on the planet. In 2009, food production per capita has exceeded the volume in 1961 by 41%.No country in the world was not so concerned about the problem of overpopulation, such as India. But even there, beginning with the so-called "green revolution" of the late 1960s, food production has grown faster than the population. Today, the country produces 37% more food per capita than in 1961, although the state's population has increased since that time by 2.6 times. Despite the fact that the serious problems associated with the distribution of food and malnutrition still exist, humanity has reached a remarkably good results in this regard, being able to provide for an additional 4 billion people who were born since 1960. Based on this, you must look to the future with confidence that we will be able to feed 3 billion more people who will be added over the next 30 years. In the world there is an increase in the volume of the food supply. This is one of the reasons that the health indicators of children born today are the best in the history of mankind. For example, a child born in India in 2011, has twice as likely to survive to the year than a baby, born in the same place, but in 1960. Additionally, semimilliardny inhabitant get a better education than a child born in 1960. A significant increase in the level of education in developing countries has been one of the most impressive achievements of the last 50 years, especially given the unprecedented growth in the number of children who have reached school age. Of all the girls born in India in 1960, only one in three received primary education and girls, born in 1990, about 75% have completed primary school. As for the girls, born in 2011, her chances for primary education will be even higher. The likelihood that a child will grow up in poverty, is also steadily declining. If you get the developing countries as a whole, the proportion of people living below the poverty line, which, according to World Bank estimates appropriate to the income which is equal to $ 1.25 a day decreased from 50% (as of 1981) to 25% in 2005. In India, during the same period the percentage of poor in the total population has fallen from 60% to 42% and is likely to decline further.

Of course, not all countries have achieved such impressive results, such as India. However, even in countries in Africa, south of the Sahara that are least developed economically since the 1980s, the poverty rate is falling, and food production per capita has been steadily increasing (albeit rather slowly), as the number of people educated. Naturally, all of the above does not mean that you can ignore the threat facing humanity. Hard work and creativity have helped people overcome the effects of the population explosion, so we need new efforts in this area to feed the growing population and reduce poverty. However, the unique experience of the last 50 years has taught us that we should not be afraid of birth semimilliardnogo person on the planet.David Lam — Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan and president of the American Association for the Study of Population ( Population Assn. of America).

Source: rus.ruvr.ru

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