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Tyler Hatfield

Adam Padgett
English 102
November 20, 2016

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. Earths
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 its 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 earths 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.
Thomas, Faunce article is a little different from what I have previously read because his article is
more public health focused than carrying capacity but is still equally as effective. It explains that
our goals are no longer for the greater good but instead we have become driven by greed and
selfishness. According to the article we need to get our priorities in order such as food and water

security, deforestation, and greenhouse gas emissions. This article is effective at getting you to
think about human structure and how goals are materialistic instead of caring about our planet or
environment. The main point of the article is about how we put more enhancements in our food,
to grow it faster and produce more of it, when in the long run we are hurting ourselves because it
affects our bodies and leads to new types of problems. The point that Thomas is trying to get
across is that we have a major demand on food and need animals to get bigger and produce more
meat in a shorter amount of time, to do this we have been injecting animals with growth and
other types of steroids to speed up an animals growth rate and get them as big as possible in the
shortest amount of time to put food in stores to feed a rapid growing population.
Most of the articles I have read on these topics shows that humans can cause huge
environmental changes. Some even go as far as to explain forced changes of genetics of Atlantic
salmon due to humans changing their patterns or separating them through river regulations. The
information has been collected for twenty years to show the difference between the salmon.
These articles are a good source to show us the huge impact humans can have. We are an
unpredictable species, we can either cause animals to go extinct with our choices or we can cause
them to change if we alter the environment that they are used to forcing them to adapt. An
interesting thought composed by experts over time we are seeing humans change the genetics of
animals and breaking the theory of survival of the fittest. This is because humans have the
capability to hunt and kill the strongest animals for sport or even bragging rights. This can be
seen in a number of animals, for example elephants were hunted for their large tusks, Because of
this the genetics of tusks in elephants has weakened and in doing so the genetics of large tusks
have died off leaving behind elephants with shorter tusks or sometimes no tusks at all.

As the top species on earth it is our job to protect it while still using its resources for our
own benefit. This is a serious epidemic that we are facing and only we can stop it by coming
together. Together if we control our usage per person and cut down on how wasteful we are
being we can support a growing population. Earths carrying capacity can be maintained by better
family planning education and getting a better grip on overconsumption. This is a huge issue that
will not solve itself but together our species can overcome any problem.

Works Cited
Cohen, Joel E. "Population Growth And Earth's Human Carrying Capacity." Science
269.5222 (1995): 341. Academic Search Complete. Web. 19 Oct. 2016.
Cassils, J. Anthony. "Overpopulation, Sustainable Development, And Security:
Developing An Integrated Strategy." Population & Environment 25.3 (2004): 171-194. Academic
Search Complete. Web. 19 Oct. 2016.
Feng, Lujia, et al. "Energy, Economy, And Environment Analysis And Optimization On
Manufacturing Plant Energy Supply System." Energy Conversion & Management 117.(2016):
454-465. Academic Search Complete. Web. 19 Oct. 2016
Flynn, Tom. "Overpopulation, Immigration, and the Human Future." Free Inquiry June
2015: 4+. Academic Search Complete. Web. 19 Oct. 2016