Overpopulation is a word that gives the simple fact of population growth a negative connotation. It implies that an increase in the number of people will harm our lives, it might be scarcity of resources, excessive population density or harm to the environment. But is that justified?
Today, there are more than 7.5 billion people on Earth. We are used to thinking that this is already too much, but is it so? Let’s see how much space on Earth we humans actually take up. In 2012, the team of the project “Per Square Mile”lead by Tim de Chant produced an infographic showing how big a city would have to be to house 7 billion people. The city limits changed depending on which real city it was modeled on and what the population density there was, but we can still get an idea of how much of our planet is really inhabited and how much space we still have.
The United Nations estimate that population will increase to about 11 billion people, in the next 85 years. That means if all of humanity was concentrated in a land area with a population density similar to New York, it would at most occupy the size of 3 US states by 2100.
Are we going to run out of food? Will there be enough supply for everyone?
New technologies provide solutions for the numerous environmental issues related to traditional farming. For instance, hydroponics offers around 11 times higher yields while requiring 10 times less water than conventional agriculture. The agriculture industry is increasing yearly in efficiency.
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