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Overpopulation The Book of Genesis tells the story of creation of man God said to man be fruitful and increase in numbers fill the earth and subdue it Prior to the nineteenth century it was believed that God would provide for those who came into the world Day 101 But in 1798 this view was shaken by Thomas Malthus An Essay on the Principle of Population in which he concluded that while population increases geometrically agricultural production only increases arithmetically Current evidence shows that this theory may not be far from the truth The world population reached 6 billion on October 12 1999 and is expected to reach 93 billion by 2050 The impact of population growth is already felt by a majority of nations The US population has increased by 78 since 1950 Growing at 3000000 per year US population is expected to approach half a billion people in 50 years1 A number of factors drive this growth At the most basic level it is because far more people are born each year than die Advances in nutrition and health care have increased survival rates and longevity for much of the world and shifted the balance between births and deaths The demands of increasing population magnify demands for natural resources clean air and water as well as access to wilderness areas In the future when there are not enough resources to go around we will see significant scarcity and a backlash of poverty A number of problems lie behind scarcity and poverty Ultimately our own numbers and the lifestyles many of us choose to live drive all the critical issues we confront Left unchecked the combination of population growth and consumption- along with increasing inequity between rich and poor individuals and nations-will soon threaten not only the well-being but even the lives of a majority of people on this planet When population levels reach a critical threshold we then see both a
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