Environmental Studies

Published: 2019-08-30 06:30:00
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Human population has been increasing over the years due to a number of factors. Improved quality of healthcare with reduced mortality rates has shown to prolong the lives of human beings globally. Research shows that the current population is at an approximate of 7.4 billion and it is expected to rise to 11.2 billion by the year 2100 (Fuessel et al. 320). As a result of population increase, demands for energy, housing, food, land and machinery to ease the labor work has been a pushing force towards industrialization. In many instances, increase in human population and industrialization is impacting the environment negatively. Release of chemicals such as mercury pollutes water. Burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal causes global warming. Large population of people demands more resources and as a result they generate more waste hence polluting the environment. Manufacturing factories disposes all form of garbage into rivers, seas and oceans which pollutes the water. A lot of solid and hazardous wastes from households, factories and industries are dumped off in open public places poses a risk to the environment.

Climate change is seen as the biggest threat to healthcare globally. High consumption in the developed countries has been classified as one of the major reasons for climate change. As population increases, consumption also increases but at a slightly higher rate than population growth in the long run. Population growth is associated with to the increase in greenhouse gases emitted in the atmosphere which contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer, thus climate change. The land is constant whereas the population occupying this land is growing on a daily basis, countries has been forced to improve their methods of agriculture for the purpose of meeting demand for food and other raw materials for industries. This has resulted to the establishment of greenhouses which contribute to climate change through emission of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. Population control mechanisms have not been well integrated in developing countries; these countries are characterized with a very high population growth coupled with high poverty levels. This high population growth weakens the capacity of developing countries to adapt to climate change and to set up good policies aimed at conserving the environment to avert climate change. High population growth is an obstacle to achievement of international goals set for each country on environment conservation. High population exerts pressure on the natural resources for example land, water bodies, forests and infrastructure. Degradation of forests lead to desertification and poor rainfall coupled with soil erosion. When degradation of forest cover goes on without being corrected, the weather changes from a wetland to a dry land and eventually a desert. Population is one facet which is often neglected in the efforts and policies set up to fight climate change.

Rapid population growth leads to depletion of natural resources thus acting as a catalyst to climate change. High population is attributed to the increase is demand for consumption goods, the high demand can result to poor management of natural resources by producers of the consumption goods and services. Poor management of natural resources translates directly to climate change. High population has always been found to increase vulnerability in the quest of adapting to climate change, for example, high population in Ethiopia is the root cause for soil degradation and low yields in agricultural production, this result to poor people relocating to urban areas and marginal areas. The migration results to unsustainable use of available resources translating to climate change. Technological change, population growth and industrialization are the major drivers in the increased emission of carbon dioxide and sulphur which destroy the layers preventing harmful rays from penetrating the atmosphere. The discussion above depict that there is a link between population and climate change. Another facet in climate change is water pollution which results solely from human actions. Water is life and it plays an integral part in the growth of vegetation and trees. Trees together form forests which improve climate and prevent climate change. Water is used domestically by human beings for consumption, bathing, cooking and irrigation among other uses. Water is also used in industries to clean engines, cool machines and as a means of waste disposal. Our water resources are infested with contaminants and wastes for example, plastic bags, chemical waste and solid waste making it unfit for consumption.

Water pollution if not contained can destroy the climate of the whole world because water is life. Industrialization is responsible for water pollution, factories produces emissions and wastes which are released in water thus contaminating it. These wastes are comprised of chemical waste which destroys water as well as the environment. Chemical wastes such as mercury and lead produced by factories kill organisms and other animals in water thus destroying the ecology of water bodies (Meadows et al, 89). These chemicals cause eutrophication which destroys the balance and life cycle in water bodies. Carbonic and sulphurous gases are known to cause acid rain which destroys plants thus contributing to drying of plants and trees which contribute to direct change. Human beings pollute water through releasing of sewage water and other untreated water to water bodies. High population is characterized with poor sanitation and drainage capacity. It is difficult to provide adequate latrines and sewage systems; population exerts pressure on current sitting resources resulting to unsustainable management of resources. Industrial activities such as mining completely remove plant cover on the ground, this activities lead to soil erosion and degradation which is directly related to climate change. Oil leakage into seas is one result of human activities that pollute water making unsuitable for human consumption and for plants. Burning of fossil fuels produce gases and particles which mx with water contributing to acid rain. When these gases accumulate in the atmosphere they cause to global warming. Green house increases the temperature of the earth thus results to increase in temperature in water bodies destroying aquatic animals as a result of global warming.

Invention of nuclear weapons has contributed to environmental degradation. Waste from nuclear plants cannot be decomposed naturally thus cause environmental hazards destroying plant cover and ecological cycle in water bodies. Industrialization is the main cause of urbanization; land is one resource which does not expand with population growth thus urbanization is characterized with deforestation. Population growth increase demand for food and housing, this pressure contribute to the use of fertilizers in agricultural production. Construction of houses requires timber thus contribute to deforestation which is one root cause for climate change. On the other hand, industrialization contributes to climate change. The degree to which industrialized countries contribute to climate change can be measured by carbon footprints. Carbon footprints measure the volume of carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere by countries. According to a report by the United Nations, industrialized countries for example United States of America are responsible for around 50% of carbon dioxide emissions in the world (Fankhauser 2013).The study further cited that people in the poor nations and the poor nations themselves produce only 3% of the emissions whereas United States of America which is an industrialized country has the largest footprints. Industrialized countries burn a lot of fossil fuels for example petroleum and coal which are responsible for the high footprints in these countries. Industrialization is characterized with production of machinery and automobiles which use fossil fuels to propel them. These industries and automobiles emit a lot of carbon dioxide which contribute to climate change. Climate change is evident in developed countries for example United States of America whose president is in the forefront of championing for policies aimed at addressing climate change. Parts of Canada are experience a rise in sea level as a result of high temperature in the North Pole which is caused by global warming.

Industries in industrialized countries emit mercury which is dangerous both to animals and plants. Mercury and other solid waste find their way into water bodies which are sources of water for consumption. Contaminated water is responsible for drying of plants and indigenous trees. Hazardous waste produced by industries makes the soil unsuitable for plant growth and thus directly contributing to deforestation. Emission of mercury and suphur dioxide result to acid rain which destroy climate through corrosion of plants and contamination of water bodies resulting to death of aquatic plants and animals. Majority of countries are investing to achieve industrial growth which is good for their economic development. This move on the other hand is encouraging rural urban migration making cities around the world overpopulated , this migration create a lot of pressure on existing natural resources making them to be used unsustainably. Industrialization is good on one hand but on the other hand it is responsible for environmental degradation and climate change in the world. Industrialized countries are very powerful and they block policies seeking to bar industries from emitting mercury. This moves by industrialized countries has negative effects on the climate which has already started to change, people living in the tropics for example Eskimos are already feeling the effect of climate change. Glaciers and ice on mountains is melting gradually over the years as a result if rising temperature resulting from emission of gases from industries. This is more evident in developed countries citing that industrialization has negative effects on the worlds climate.

The discussion above has portrayed the links between population and climate change, population dynamics and water pollution. This paper has also evaluated the role high population growth play in climate change and environmental degradation in the global scale .Industrialization and population have been found to have negative effects on the climate of the world. Activities of human beings contribute by a very high percentage to the current changes in climate observed in the world. It can be concluded that industrialization process is the mother to green houses, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, mercury and other waste products such as plastic bags which contribution to environmental pollution ad degradation. These pollutions from industrialization coupled with high population growth in the root cause for climate change and global warming in the world.

Works cited

Fuessel, Hans-Martin, and Richard JT Klein. "Climate change vulnerability assessments: an evolution of conceptual thinking." Climatic change 75.3 (2006): 301-329.

Fankhauser, Samuel. Valuing climate change: the economics of the greenhouse. Routledge, 2013.Meadows, Dennis, Linda Booth Sweeney, and Gillian Martin Mehers. The Climate Change Playbook: 22 Systems Thinking Games for More Effective Communication about Climate Change. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2016.Works Cited


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