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How does human population growth affect natural resources?

1 Answer
Jan 2, 2016

Answer:

Generally speaking, as the human population grows, our consumption of natural resources increases.

Explanation:

Generally speaking, as the human population grows, our consumption of natural resources increases. More humans consume more freshwater, more land, more clothing, etc. The more people on the planet, the more food you need to feed those humans (more fishing, more farming, more deforestation to make room for agriculture and raising livestock, and so forth).

Example 1 human population growth and phosphates:
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2882

Example 2 human population and deforestation:
http://news.mongabay.com/2014/03/u-n-we-can-save-worlds-forests-at-a-fraction-of-cost-of-fossil-fuels-subsidies/

Now, this is not a rule. To say that as we have more humans on the planet, we will always have an increase in resource use is false and ignores technology and science. Scientific and technological innovations mean that we are improving our efficiency at using and harvesting natural resources. For example, natural gas plants have become increasingly more efficient, thus humans are able to obtain more energy out of the same amount of gas.