In 1804 for the first time in the history of humanity more than one billion people were living on Earth. Then in 1927, 123 years later, the Earth's population surpassed two billion. Another billion was added by 1960, another in 1974, and another-bringing the total to over five billion-in 1987. Estimates are that the Earth's population will surpass six billion in 1999 and reach nine billion people in the year 2054-250 years after first reaching one billion. Traditionally the historically slow increase in population has been attributed to limits on agriculture. Modern analysis of population growth, however, indicates that the primary restriction has been disease. The control of disease and the resulting decline mortality has not always been accompanied by a declining rate of fertility. This has resulted in the huge increase in human population. The rapid increase in the number of humans living on Earth will undoubtedly cause changes in the individual lives of men. Though the changes will not be as drastic as some authors predict, the changes humans introduce to the Earth's environment must be addressed and fully understood.
Those who believe that man is reproducing himself into destruction are quick to point out that greater numbers of men result in a greater strain on the Earth's resources. In the book A Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations Clive Ponting claims that humans are doing irreparable damage to the Earth and as population continues to increase this damage will continue. Ponting claims that this increase of population, what he terms the weight of numbers, will lead to the eventual destruction of ...
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...and Birth Control, Ed. Garret Hardin. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1969, 107-9.
 J.H. Fremlin, "How Many People Can the World Support?," New Scientist 415 (1964): 285-7, Rpt. in Population, Evolution, and Birth Control, Ed. Garret Hardin, San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1969, 59-66.
 Robert Thomas Malthus, "An Essay on the Principle of Population," 1798, Population, Evolution, and Birth Control, Ed. Garret Hardin, San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1969, 4-16.
 Ian Thomas, Population Growth, London: MacMillan Education, Ltd., 1980, 11.
 United Nations Population Division
 Robert Livernash, "The Future of Populous Economies China and India Shape Their Destinies," Environment 37.6 (1995): 6-32.
 A.J. McMichael, "Contemplating a One Child World," British Medical Journal 311.7021 (1995): 1651-3.
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