Population explosion. The main causes of the population explosion
A population explosion is a process where a very high rate of population growth is observed in a particular territory. The problem of overpopulation of the Earth has been discussed for many centuries, but its effective solutions have not yet been invented. Biologists believe that in their behavior in terms of reproduction, humans act in the same way as other inhabitants of the planet, about whom it is known that they, under favorable conditions, increase their number exponentially. These processes stop when further expansion is impossible or unprofitable for the species.
Population of the Earth went at an uneven pace.
The population explosion in the world happened globally more than once. For example, the first one appeared during the Pleistocene period, when people learned how to hunt large animals and get enough protein.This led to the resettlement of hunters in large areas and the emergence of their larger offspring, which they could feed. The second time, the population of the planet sharply increased about ten thousand years ago, when humanity became engaged in agriculture. The third period is associated with the beginning of the technological revolution, which in the last century allowed to increase harvest by seven times and the area of agricultural land processed by two or three times compared with previous periods.
Five billion in a hundred years
The above transformations allowed the population of the planet to grow from 10 million people. approximately in the 7-8th millennium BC, up to 200 million by the beginning of the era, up to half a billion by the beginning of the industrial revolution (about 1650s), up to two billion by the beginning of the twentieth century and more than seven billion by now. This is a demographic explosion on a global scale, since it took a quarter of a millennium (1650-1900) to grow a half billion people, and only a hundred years to grow five billion.
Humanity is growing at the expense of non-renewable resources.
The main causes of the population explosion, as follows from the above data, are associated with an increase in the amount of food.However, it has become difficult to maintain high growth rates in obtaining food. In this regard, today on the planet about 0.5 billion people have excess nutrients, while two billion starve or eat poorly. Statistics showed that on Earth about 20 million people die of starvation every year. And such a picture can occur everywhere, when non-renewable reserves of oil, coal, gas, mineral minerals accumulated by the biosphere over billions of years run out.
Then nature, as a self-regulating system, will return the size of the human population to life only at the expense of renewable sources (for example, the energy of the Sun), which can ensure the existence of only half a billion people. This is due to the fact that the full use of solar energy makes it possible to use only about one percent of the biosphere. The man now has more than ten times the power consumption.
The main ways to resolve the demographic collapse
The problem of the population explosion is that it often causes a demographic collapse, the effective ways to resolve which have not yet been developed.Although there are four possible solutions to the problem of "excess population". The first, which is partially implemented today, is that hunger is not solved at all. It is believed that if the death rate from hunger increases by an order of magnitude, then the population growth will stop altogether (if 0.2 billion people die a year).
Statistics of the World Food Organization showed that at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the global agricultural industry produced 17% more calories per inhabitant than in 1970. This made it possible to provide every inhabitant of the Earth with food in abundance or even some excess. The problem of a population explosion of a planetary scale is that rich countries and international structures are transferring less and less aid to poor countries. So, in the 80s of the twentieth century about 9 billion dollars were transferred for similar purposes, while in 2005 about 4.6 billion dollars were transferred. That is, from where they overeat, there is no redistribution in favor of the starving.
Almost all people can be destroyed very quickly.
The second way is a way of reducing the number of non-biological plan,when one of the nuclear powers tries to seize non-renewable energy sources from another nuclear power and receives a retaliatory strike. In this case, the population explosion of the last century in a few hours can be nullified to an arbitrarily small number of people. The leaders of countries possessing nuclear potential understand the pernicious consequences of such an option, so they are trying to replace direct war with the organization of unrest and civil wars in foreign territories, etc., often for the subsequent seizure of resources by using non-nuclear military potential.
A population explosion, the concept of which was given above, can also be leveled by political methods - the introduction of a ban on increased fertility. But from a biological point of view, he is considered ineffective, as it causes negative reactions and protests from people.
Natural number control mechanisms
Demographers and biologists point out another way to regulate numbers, which nature itself implements. It lies in the fact that with the growth of a population and the active consumption of some resources by it, the habitat deteriorates.In the increased mass of individuals that live more crowded, diseases spread more quickly. And such mechanisms act on humans on a smaller scale. For example, the plague in Europe in the 14th century in two years reduced its population by half. Also, biologists point out that urbanization has a significant impact on population reduction, since a person, once in a crowded environment, changes his priorities and does not want to give a large offspring.
City life reduces fertility
It has been established that the highly fertile rural youth in the second generation in the city lose this property, giving an increase in the population in the form of 0.7 daughters per mother. Therefore, a population explosion is characteristic of countries with a predominantly rural population and a traditional way of life, often without contraception or abortion. Here numerous offspring are needed in order to cultivate enough land to feed a family. For example, in Ethiopia, where there is a birth rate of about 6 children per woman (and high mortality from hunger), about 16 percent of people live in cities.
Megacities are “black holes” where population growth “disappears”
In China, with a birth restriction of up to 2 children per woman, only about 40% are city dwellers. In Russia, with a birth rate of just over one child per woman in rural areas, about a quarter of the population lives. Even lower birth rates are observed in Japan, where more than 80 percent of Japanese live in cities. Therefore, it can be said that the causes of the population explosion, such as improved quality of life and more nutritious food, in large metropolitan areas are leveled out by tightness of “habitats”, lack of living space, frantic pace of life, quasi-communication and senseless pastime, harmful habits and poor ecology, which are not contribute to further population growth. This is illustrated by the example of Asia, where an actively growing population is rather quickly “absorbed” by large cities.
Fashion for four children in postdepression America
The causes of a population explosion of a local nature may be associated with specific historical events in a particular country. For example, in the United States there was an increase in the birth rate from the 30s to the 50s of the twentieth century. This was due to the fact that marriages and acts of childbearing were realized,which were postponed due to the Great Depression, marked unemployment and famine, as well as the good economic situation of the United States during World War II, when this state made a lot of arms supplies to other countries without military operations on its own territory. In those years, American families with four children became the norm, as in the late nineteenth century. Another surge in “birthing” activity was recorded after the events of September 11, 2001, when the American nation reacted in this way to the threat allegedly from terrorist states.
By 1979, the military losses of the population in the USSR were restored
The demographic explosion in Russia was observed in the period after the Great Patriotic War, when deferred marriages and childbirth were realized, and there was also a powerful compensation to the people who died in the battles. The average growth rate in the period from 1950 to 1963 was 3.3 million people annually, which gave a total population growth between 1959 and 1979 (according to census data) of 53 million people (26 percent). It is worth noting that, as of 1959, the rural population was almost equal to the urban population, while by 1979 there were about 188 million people in the cities, and only 98 million in the villages.
There has been no increase for more than twenty years
Since 1991, the Russian population has not given a natural increase until almost the tenth years of the 21st century due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the difficult economic situation. The increase, which, of course, does not resemble a population explosion, is observed only after 2013, when in Russia in a year the total increase in numbers was about 100 thousand people a year. It was noted that a certain insignificant part of the population, which is not satisfied with life in the megalopolis, is going to reduce its comfort level, moving to the countryside to live in the best environmental conditions and measured pace (“downshifting”). In general, for our country a massive population explosion is desirable. And its consequences will not need to be eliminated for a long time, since the territory of Russia is vast and rich in natural resources. The small population with insufficient development of technical military means may not be able to protect in the future what the less wealthy, but more aggressive neighbors around the planet can claim.