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Overpopulation The Worlds Problem The worlds population will soon reach a level where there will not be enough resources to sustain life as we know it Growth must be checked to avoid this catastrophe Many environmental social and economic problems either stem from or are increased in magnitude by the overpopulation problem With an exponentially increasing population the problems created by overpopulation grow correspondingly To ensure population stability not only in the increasingly wealthy third-world areas but also in the industrialized areas countries and individuals must work together to achieve zero population growth The earth does not contain enough resources to indefinitely sustain the current enormous population growth For instance there is a limited area of arable land and living space China home to 12 billion people or 15 the worlds population is an excellent example of the kinds of problems that arise in an increasingly crowded society Trying to increase the standard of living of its people China has industrialized and the economy has grown Hanson This increase in wealth has increased the demand for food in China The demand is so great that China went from exporting 8 million tons of grain in 1992 to becoming a net importer of 16 million tons of grain in 1994 China News Digest This causes a world-wide grain shortage which raises prices which in turn puts food out of reach of even more people In many areas there is simply not enough food to feed the growing populations Each day 40000 children die from malnutrition and its related diseases 150 million children in the world suffer from poor health due to food shortages Turbak 20 Another resource which cannot keep up with an increasing population is water The supply of fresh water is limited The recent California drought exemplifies this problem Conflicts ensue between farmers municipalities environmentalists and others over water rights Recently environmentalists battled with Los Angeles over the diversion of
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