Chapter 8

Essential Environment: The Science behind the Stories (3rd Edition)

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8 Human Population Chapter Objectives This chapter will help students: Assess the scope of human population growth Evaluate how human population, affluence, and technology affect the environment Explain and apply the fundamentals of demography Outline and assess the concept of demographic transition Describe how wealth and poverty, the status of women, and family planning programs affect population growth Lecture Outline I. Central Case: One-Child Policy
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A. The People’s Republic of China is the world’s most populous nation, home to one-fifth of the 6.7 billion people living on Earth at the start of 2006. B. Under Mao Zedong’s leadership, which began in the 1950s, improved food production and distribution and better medical care allowed China’s population to swell, causing environmental problems as water was depleted, forests leveled, and the air polluted. C. The government instituted a population-control program in the 1970s. 1. The program started with education and outreach efforts encouraging people to marry later and have fewer children, and increasing the accessibility of contraceptives and abortion.
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2. By 1976, China’s annual population growth dropped to 1.8%. 3. In 1979, the government decided to institute a system of rewards and punishments, enforcing a one-child limit per family. D. China’s growth rate is down to 0.6%; however, there have been unintended consequences of the program, such as widespread killing of female infants and an unbalanced sex ratio. II. Human Population Growth: Approaching 7 Billion A. The human population is growing nearly as fast as ever. 1. The human population has doubled since 1964. 2. We can estimate doubling time of a population by taking the number 70 and dividing it by the annual percentage growth rate. For example: If China’s annual percentage growth rate is 2.1%, then dividing 70 by 2.1 shows a doubling time of just 33.3 years. B. Is population growth really a “problem”? 1. Our ongoing burst of population growth has resulted largely from technological innovations, improved sanitation, better medical care, increased agricultural output, and other factors that have led to a decline in death rates, particularly a drop in the rates of infant mortality. 2. There are many people today who deny
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that population growth is a problem. 3. Under the Cornucopian view, resource depletion as a consequence of greater numbers of people is not a problem if new resources can be found to replace depleted resources. 4.
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Chapter 8 - 8 Human Population Chapter Objectives This...

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