University of Bristol
Wellcome Trust
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PEEP for Physics & Ethics at GCSE

Population Growth

The following extract highlights this debate between overuse of resources V population growth:

Environmental Impacts, Human Population Size, and Related Ecological Issues

The global threat posed by population increases was recognised by the 1994 United Nations meeting in Cairo and by the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, who said in 1999 that nothing could be more important than helping the world’s people control their numbers. United Nations programmes are helping to slow growth in the global population which may peak at about nine billion, 50% greater than now. In Australia, however, there is a strong pro-growth lobby (the boosters) who claim that environmental degradation is not caused by population but by other factors. For example, Bone (2000:18) asserted that ‘it is not the size of the population, but what that population does, that matters.’ Of course both factors matter because of the multiplicative relationship described above.

A.R. Jones, Division of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Australian Museum

 Original source

In your opinion, which is more to blame? Go over the list and decide – you could score it using a point system for each.

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