The consumption of the planet’s natural resources and overpopulation are among the most sensitive topics discussed by scientists today. In his mini-lecture on exponential growth, David Suzuki, a famous environmental activist, claims that human society is gradually running out of resources needed for all people’s survival. He illustrates this point, using an example of the bacteria in a test tube that double every minute.
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Nowadays, there is some division of opinions when it comes to the details of this issue. In general, everyone agrees that the planet cannot expand and produce more resources than possible (Cumming). However, there are claims that the problem is caused by the nature of consumption instead of the growing number of people (Cumming). In his example, David Suzuki applies the concept of steady and exponential growth to humanity. At the same time, according to the UN’s data on this issue, the current rate of population increase is much lower than, for instance, in the 1960s (Cumming). The same is true for fertility rates that continue to decrease (Cumming). Thus, not all researchers agree with Suzuki’s projections about the amount of time left.
Despite that, the need to decrease the consumption of natural resources is widely discussed today. Based on the findings published by the Global Footprint Network, the planet’s natural resources that humanity needs for twenty months are consumed almost two times faster – in seven months (Berke). This information aligns with Suzuki’s hypothesis about the speed of resource depletion on Earth. In modern research, the ways to prevent the catastrophic consequences of population growth are discussed concerning childbirth restrictions and women’s access to contraceptives, especially in developing countries (Berke). Thus, in his lecture, Suzuki raises a significant problem that is recognized by the global scientific community.
Berke, Jeremy. “One of the Largest Banks Issues an Alarming Warning that Earth is Running out of the Resources to Sustain Life.” Business Insider. 2018, Web.
Cumming, Vivien. “How Many People Can Our Planet Really Support?” BBC. 2016, Web.