The consequences of rapid climate change and the destruction of global biodiversity are being made increasingly aware of the increasing number and intensity of natural disasters around the world.
Unfortunately, the problems associated with the increase in world population are often overlooked, despite the fact that its impacts are strongly correlated with global changes. Nevertheless, this problem needs to be addressed, as it is closely related to an increased demand for food as well as its increased waste.
Study: Warning from scientists about the population. Image Credit: Arthimedes / Shutterstock.com
Recently, scientists have proposed several strategies to mitigate the problem of climate change. Among these recommendations, which are part of an ongoing series on “scientific warning publications”, the main action mentioned in a recent Total Environmental Science study is the stabilization and gradual reduction of the human population.
Increase in world population
According to a report, it took more than 200,000 years for the human population to reach one billion and it is estimated to have occurred during the 19e century. Comparatively, the world population is currently over 7.9 billion people and is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030.
Recently, scientists analyzed the demographic crisis nation by nation. To this end, they stated that population demographic trends vary widely around the world. Thus, strategies to reduce the size of the population overlap, diverge and must be based on each specific country.
To gradually reduce the world population rate, the international objective is to lower the synthetic fertility index (ISF) from the current value of 2.4 to 2.1. Although the ICF has been declining since 1960, it remains above the required level.
Strategies to control world population
Several actions have been proposed that could help to gradually reduce the world’s population. Some of them include one-child policies, women’s empowerment, and the global distribution of wealth.
The first line of action is the worldwide call that all men and women have no more than one child. People who aspire to have a large family should opt for adoption, which is a compassionate choice for the children to be cared for.
Studies have shown that countries with high gender inequalities have higher fertility rates. Thus, enhancing gender equality by providing better job opportunities, education and legal rights for women could contribute to population control.
The second action asks policymakers to implement population policies that focus on empowering women, such as providing women with education and family planning services.
Previous studies have indicated that the average number of births is significantly reduced when women complete high school. Several demographers have reported that, on average, women who receive education and childhood planning services desire fewer children than those who do not have access to education and family planning services.
There is a need for “comprehensive sex education (CSE)” for all countries, including rich, middle-income and poor countries, which shapes the quality of life of young people. CSE has resulted in a significant reduction in unwanted pregnancies, which has helped to slow down the population. Additionally, critical thinking about sexuality enables an individual to make an informed decision about family planning.
There is a need to embrace CSE across the political spectrum to increase awareness of gay rights issues. This information will also help reduce abortion rates and the occurrence of unwanted pregnancies that occur due to lack of awareness.
Children and women must be protected against social injustice such as child marriages. Legal, media, financial and educational programs must be carried out to raise awareness of social injustice and gender inequality. International communities must act to abolish all forms of child abuse and provide them with better education and care.
Global redistribution of wealth
Scientists in the present study also support the introduction of global wealth tax redistribution to address issues related to poverty alleviation and impoverishment conditions. Some communities around the world need adequate funding to maintain proper sanitation, clean water, renewable energy electrification and food supply. Improving the global community is also associated with the provision of adequate health and education systems.
The global redistribution of wealth should be geared towards family planning services, which may involve increasing the availability of contraceptives for people in rural and urban settings. Additional funds may be allocated to educate men about vasectomy as a safe option, as well as for the construction of schools and other educational facilities.
In the present study, the researchers formulated the “IPAT” framework, which includes impacts (I) on population (P), affluence (A), and technology (T).
Humans have logic, intelligence, evidence-based reasoning and compassion; they are therefore ideal creatures to shape the future. The future of all life forms depends on global intention and collaboration to achieve a common good.