Past, Present, Future
New York City has 8.3 million residents and a population density of 27,000 per square mile. But it’s not space that will keep the human population in check.
Why It Matters
- Space is not the problem with human population; other resources – food, clean water, clean air – are more difficult to obtain.
- Thomas Malthus observed that human populations grow exponentially; the ability to provide food only grows linearly. The end result will be starvation.
- People need air, water and food. Wealthy people consume much more than that.
- The world’s combined food output could feed about 11 billion people, yet about 1 billion are hungry.
- The population is growing in poorer countries; many wealthy countries are having a population decrease.
Show What You Know
With the link below, learn more about overpopulation. Then answer the following questions.
- Sci Show, The Science of Overpopulation (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD-yN2G5BY0
- What did Thomas Malthus say would happen when the human population grew too high?
- What kept Malthus’ prediction from coming true so far and how did it work?
- One reason there are so many people alive now is that births exceed deaths by quite a bit. What is the other?
- Why can we grow food for 11 billion, we have 7 billion, but still 1 billion are hungry?
- For what reasons does Hank Green propose that there could be a global insurrection?