Population And World Hunger Debate Essay, Research Paper
The correlation between over-population and growing world hunger has become a controversial topic in today’s society. Concerns of population expansion, world starvation, and environment destruction are matters of debate and are of much concern for their outcomes affect everyone of society. The world is home to an estimated 6 billion people with more than 80 million additions every year. With this astonishing growing rate of population it is necessary to address the matter of world hunger before it is too late. The three main theories of world population and the correlation to world hunger are debatable; however, it is ultimately left to an individual to determine the truth/ answer to such theories of world hungers origin.
Over two hundred years ago, Thomas Malthus proposed the theory that world starvation is directly linked with the population living on earth. He argued that the world’s population would increase at a faster rate than compared to the rate of the food production. This imbalance would in turn lead to mass starvation for there would not be enough food to feed all the mouths of the world. Malthus acknowledged that food is necessary for human existence; therefore, in order to eliminate world hunger population and food production must be kept at an equal balance.
Malthusian theory also deemed population expansion would have a direct correlation between the environment and its future destruction. The environment is the home not only to humans but also to the wildlife, vegetation, and other living species of the world. “Population will have a very serve, even catastrophic, impact on the natural environment and human welfare (Walker, On Wall Street). Over-population of humans directly places additional stress on earth and its ability to “house” the earths living creatures. “The extermination of thousands of species of plants and animals annually, the collapse of over two-thirds of the world’s fisheries, the loss of an estimated 24 billion tons of topsoil each year, and increasing unstable climate, faltering food security, and depletion of the protective ozone layer” (Walker, On Wall Street) will all be effected because of over-population.
According to a recent UN Food and Agriculture Report, in order to meet the population demands for the predicted population in 2050, the world will have to increase food production by 75%. This increase in population will have a direct effect on the environment for more land will be needed to support additional population growth. “An estimated 420 million people live today in countries that have less than .07 hectare of cultivated land per person (the bare minimum capable of supplying a vegetation diet for one person without the use of chemicals). That number is projected to increase to 1.04 billion in the year 2025” (UN Food and Agriculture Report). Land elimination and overuse is just one example of environment degradation as population increases. As more people use the land to grow food and found communities, smaller portions of land are left to support large growing numbers of people. One aspect of the land degradation is the overuse and abuse of soil. Soil supports the growth of food with in turn supports the existence of humans. If the soil is destroyed by overuse and overpopulation there will be no foundation for life. Over-population directly leads to world starvation for the land can only feed and house a particular amount of people and if that number is over-exceeded starvation and malnutrition will arise in the world.
Contrasting the Neo-Malthusian theory of world starvation is the Neo-Marxist theory which concludes that world hunger and world population are not directly correlated but rather it is the unequal distribution of the world’s food that causes world starvation. Distribution is the key to solving world hunger. It is thought that the earth has plenty of useable land for growing crops to nourish the world. “The fact that we have 6 billion people in the world in not why we have starving people. It is thought that poverty is ultimately the problem of world starvation, not population expansion. We have the surplus of food to feed all the worlds people” (Ayittey, Washington Post, A26). The United States currently produces an abundant amount of food creating a surplus of crops. However, countries still remain malnourished and starved because these surpluses of crops are not being distributed to the needed. It is argued the wealthier more affluent countries such as the US who produce surpluses of crops should distribute food to those countries in need. Distribution of surplus food to those less fortunate is the answer to would hunger—not decreasing the population.
Stimulation of food production with the advances in technology is the key to solving the worlds hunger problem and is the third theory of world starvation solutions. Malthus assumed that population would exceed food supplies, but he failed to project the benefits of the advances in technologies and medicine on world starvation. Scientists are constantly finding ways to increase food production and distribution with advances in farming and crop rotation. More food can be grown in smaller patches of land with innovations in farming equipment and cultivating techniques than ever before. Scientific advances such as cloning food is another means of expanding food productions in the world which along with technology can increase food production thus elimination world hunger. Argued by the author of Life on Earth is Getting Better, Not Worse, Julian Simon claims the per person food production in the world in up over the last 30 years because of advances in technology. It is thought that as long as technology can keep up with the world’s population there will be no fear of over-population. It is thought that the long-run overview of the world is one of a more pleasurable, material life rather than one increased with scarcity (Simon, 415).
Ayittey, George B. Enough Food For the World. The Washington Post. A26.
Simon, Julian. Life on Earth is Getting Better, Not Worse. The Ultimate Resource.
Princeton Press. 1981. Pg. 415.
Walker, Lews. Economist of Doom. Thomas Malthus Influence Continues. On Wall