Too Many People? by Vanessa Baird

analytical Essay
1435 words
1435 words

The worldwide population is approaching 7 billion and is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 (Baird). This projected population number is down from a once predicted 16 billion (Baird) and while some are not concerned, others are worried about any increase in population. Population growth is discussed in the articles “Too Many People?” by Vanessa Baird; “Population Control: How Can There Possibly Be Too Many of Us?” by Frank Furedi; and “The Population Bomb Revisited,” by Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich. Baird and Furedi concur that a concern for population growth has been around since mathematician Thomas Malthus, in 1798, warned that overpopulation could lead to “the collapse of society” (Furedi). Furedi claims that too much human life is being used as an excuse, by population control supporters, for the world’s current and future problems. Baird tries to discover if “the current panic over population growth is reasonable.” For Ehrlich and Ehrlich the concern over population growth is very real, and they reinforce and support their book “calling attention to the demographic element in the human predicament” (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 63). While taking different approaches to their articles, the authors offer their perspectives on population growth, population control and the environmental impacts of a growing population.

The authors have differing perspectives on population growth. Ehrlich and Ehrlich believe

“ignored population growth,” since writing their book in 1968, is one reason “collapse now seem[s] ever more likely” (63). They suggest we can avoid collapse if we reduce our population to an “optimal number” and they reinforce the message of their book, earth has a finite capacity and a growing ...

... middle of paper ...

... provides us with information to put the “panic” over population into perspective. She addresses both the benefits and side effects of family planning and that population growth can have environmental concerns. Whether offering an opinion or presenting an academic writing or investigation, each author has left the reader with a great deal to consider in regards to the relationship between population control and a growing population.

Works Cited

Baird, Vanessa. “Too Many People?” New Internationalist 01 Jan. 2010:

Web. 30 Sept. 2011.

Ehrlich, Paul R., and Anne H. “The Population Bomb Revisited.” The Electronic Journal 1.3

(2009): 63-71. Web. 30 Sept. 2011.

Furedi, Frank. “Population Control: How Can There Possibly Be Too Many of Us?” Spiked

18 Jun. 2007. Web. 30 Sept. 2011.

Internet World Stats. 19 Jul. 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2011.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the world's population is approaching 7 billion and is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050.
  • Analyzes how furedi believes too much human life around killing the planet is an increasingly popular idea encouraged by population control groups.
  • Compares ehrlich and furedi's views on population growth and terrorism.
  • Argues that while baird and ehrlich see benefits to family planning, furedi disagrees with the concerns of an ageing population.
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