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Assess the View That Overconsumption Is Now More of a Threat Than Overpopulation to World Development (33 Marks)

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Submitted By amayaw
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“Fewer people could make more environmental damage than many people. The key lay not in numbers but in ..how much each person chooses to consume” this is a quote from the population reference bureau, who, amongst others, hold the view that overconsumption is a larger threat to the world than over population.
Overpopulation has long been seen as a hindrance to world development, in 2014 the world population is currently 7 billion, there is no doubt that the world has experienced a mass rise in population. Most of this increase has occurred in the developing world, the world population rises by approximately 83 people annual and 99% of this increase happens in the less developed regions of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. For example, Africa’s population, despite the AIDS epidemic has tripled to 926 million from 1960 to 2005, whilst Asia’s population doubled to 3.9BN in this period. Six countries account for half of this total increase in world population; these are; India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Contrasting to this the population of the developed world has actually fallen. The United Nations predict that by 2050, the world’s population will reach 9.2 billion, the population of less economically developed countries is expected to rise from 4.9BN (2001) to 8.2BN (2050).
Thomas Malthus (1766-1843) argued that populations increase in size at a much faster rate than the ability of those same populations to feed themselves. He concludes that these limits on food supply lead to natural checks on the population, such as famine and malnutrition, perhaps even war and increase death rates. He argues that overpopulation needs to be avoided by delaying marriage and abstaining from sex. Biologist Paul Ehrlich later adopted Malthus’ ideas in his book The Population Bomb (1968) he argued ‘the battle to feed all humanity is over’ after

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