Pollution and Environment Essay - Overpopulation and Personal Responsibility

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Overpopulation and Personal Responsibility

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of having a large family when I was older. I envied friends with three or four siblings. I’d proudly tell anyone I was going to have six children when I grew up. Now, I’m a little older, and still far away from making that decision, my conscious will still face a looming dilemma. With my knowledge negative impacts caused by overpopulation, how can I deliberately have a large family, while upholding my environmentalist values?

Over the past few years I’ve found myself paying particular attention to articles about overpopulation, foreign adoption, and infertility caused by environmental factors. The older I get, the more stories I hear of friends and family members having infertility problems. Their only two options are heavy fertility drugs or waiting on long lists for adoption. I have read many articles and books relating infertility to environmental factors. I often wonder if nature is just trying to balance itself out.

At one time, a large family was needed for security or free labor. Now, with the rise of social security, child labor laws, and overall quality of life, children are not a necessity in this country. Some Americans do not realize overpopulation is even a problem. According to the Population Resource Bureau, American population grew by 10% from 1990 to 1999. In addition to the strain on government spending in some cases (through welfare and other support) large families may also have a significant impact on urban sprawl and other environmental issues.

The article Facts, Not Fear, contained a section about China’s strict one child policy. Although arguably necessary in China, as an American I cannot even imagine th...

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...f overpopulation.

In our lives, and the lives of our children we have seen and will continue to see the harsh effects of population growth. The projected numbers are scary. Projections show a doubling rate of 51 years for world population at current growth rates. At this pace, our children will see twice as many people who need support from our planet. We each do our own part, however small it may seem, the huge issue may become smaller and smaller. Eventually, either we will stabilize our growth, or nature will do it for us.


Cutter, Fenwick and Fenwick. (1991). Exploitatoin, conservation, and preservation, 2nd edition. John White & Sons.

Population Reference Bureau. www.prb.org. 28 March. 2001

Sanera, M. & Shaw, J. (1996). Facts, not fear: a parentâs guide to teaching children about the environment. Washington DC: Regency Publishing, Inc.

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