Carrying Capacity of Earth and Concerns

Over the entire course of human existence population of a species has been crucial to the impact of the environment. History has shown that for a perfectly balanced habit you must not exceed certain number per species, this is known as the carrying capacity. Every environment has a carrying capacity including the earth, because humans have evolved and no longer live the hunter gatherer lifestyle our numbers as a whole have sky rocketed. People have become too blind to see the problem with our growing population, we will eventually hit a plateau to where we cannot keep up with the food demand and could see a collapse in our food sources. Earth’s max population number is hard to accurately pinpoint because it changes based on region and how a culture chooses to use their natural resources. Other problems with a population growing unchecked is the impact we have on the earth, we constantly have the need to tear forests down and build new house for our expanding species. The issue is what happens when we have nowhere to expand to and we have used up all the available land and resources. According to Anup Shah “many feel that the major international wars to be fought in the future will continue to be over natural resources”. War is one of the most overlooked and dangerous effects of growing population and the rapid use of our earth`s resources.

Tom Flynn gives a good explanation on the affect over earth becoming overpopulated and just how real this problem is becoming. Tom explains how fast the population rate is growing and sheds light on how slaughter houses and farmers are having trouble keeping up with the rapid incline of mouths to feed. He worries that I we do not acknowledge the problem and start taking preventative steps to slow down the rate of reproduction he fears the human race is in for a rude awakening. As we think about a carrying capacity an interesting thought is shared by one environmental expert “The poor are numerous, but as we shall see, consume far less resources of the planet” (Flynn). This type of thinking differs from all the other expert opinions about slowing down human population because it’s simply not sustainable at the rate we are currently going. Instead this type of thinking believes the carrying capacity can be greater than previously thought if we cut down on how wasteful we are and how we choose to live.  

Joel Cohen tackles the concern of the earth’s population and how much the earth can support without struggling. He explains there are six different methods of estimating earth`s carrying capacity, the main example he shows is food supply for each individual and the drinking water supply for each individual and how to calculate it to get a rough estimate on how much life our planet can support. The biggest concern is not how big the population gets but just how wasteful and careless each person is. We are described as living above our means because we can simply go to stores and stock up on excessive amounts of food that we might only eat half of. Unlike major countries such as the United States, third world countries use much less than we do because they only use an amount of sources that are necessary to continue living while the average American family is smaller but uses five times the amount of resources than those larger families in third world countries.

Anthony J. Cassils writes on sustainable development, population density, and strategies. In the writing Cassils talks about public opinion and how we as a whole are failing to understand that just because we are on top of the food chain as a species as a whole we are not invincible. We have this preconceived idea that because we are so intelligent and are at the top of the food chain that we can do what we want and have not consequences for our actions. One flaw Cassils address is the fact although hunting is good for the environment we need to hunt strictly for food and not for sport like so many people do. We need to understand that because of the generation gap from becoming hunters and gatherers to shopping at a supermarket we are growing too fast. He sheds light on the fact that these issues are not going to be talked about by the government or its politicians so the topic has no light shed on it. Anthony explains strategies for the growing challenges we will or could face as a species that consumes way more than the earth can provide. His motive is to cut down on our pollution and stop relying on fossil fuels because eventually we are going to exhaust those resources. His main goal is to bridge the gap between scientific concerns and public policy.

Feng explains the problem with pollution and alterative options to help prevent damage to the earth. According to Feng “One good human characteristic is that humans can adapt quickly”. We are constantly advancing in our day to day technology, many other alternative resources are being built and used all around the world to help cut down on resources and slow the depleting of natural resources. A few simple alternatives that will never run out are solar power, wind power and hydropower. Feng believes that it is not too late for our population to change its ways, we could reverse the negative affects we are currently having on our planet by changing our power sources to renewable clean power. The article believes we need to establish more on site energy and keep it renewable. Examples are solar and wind power that can be harnessed and use to power many of our everyday things.

our planet can only sustain a set amount of life. We as a species need to learn from our mistakes and plan for a change, over time we are beginning to see the long term effects from our greediness and abundant use of natural resources. We are depleting these resources such as coal, oil, and water faster than they can be replenished. The worst part about this is the fact that the general public is unaware of these growing concerns. What we are failing to realize is as the population continues to grow at a rapid pace so does our requirement for food, shelter, and water. Our food must be grown at a faster rate in order to feed all of our population, this causes a need for steroids, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals to go into our food. This might not seem like a major problem right now but these things take a toll on the human body as you continue to eat all these processed foods. 


As shown in the attached picture above, many cities are becoming too crowded. These picture shows a market in a foreign country where everyone is shoulder to shoulder and cannot move around comfortably. This leads me to the next concern as population rises, pollution. Pollution is a huge problem for our environment and we are doing it to ourselves. Regardless if a person is aware of it or not each one of use has a carbon footprint. This is defined as our impact on the environment and how much pollution we contribute while we are alive. This can be cut down by walking, riding bikes or even taking public transportation.



One response to “Carrying Capacity of Earth and Concerns

  1. I really liked how you basically summed up your research paper in an easy to read blog. It was nice that it wasn’t super lengthy and got straight to the point. Personally, I would like to read about the possible ways we can fix the resource problems in your blog. Great job.


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