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"And Sarah said unto Abraham: Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing" (Genesis 16:2, quoted by Thomlinson). But a more scientific approach has been forwarded and it aimed to find solutions. For instance, in the case of couples where the man is sterile, the woman could choose to be artificially inseminated; or in the cases when the woman is sterile, the man could inseminate a surrogate mother. But these alternatives are sometimes frowned upon and seen as equal to adultery (Thomlinson, 1976).
The population dynamics and their environmental effects can also be analyzed from three different angles: size, distribution and composition.
Despite the increasing infertility, the population size continues to increase, directly impacting the surrounding environment. "Population size is inherently linked to the environment as a result of individual resource needs as well as individual contributions to pollution. As a result, population growth yields heightened demands on air, water, and land environments, because they provide necessary resources and act as sinks for environmental pollutants" (Hunter, 2000). As a consequence, efforts have been made to reduce the population size and they basically refer to a reduction in the natality rate. But for a successful impact upon the environment and the natural resources to be felt, additional efforts must be made. These basically refer to a reeducation of the population in regard to their behaviors relative to the nature and could materialize in educational programs as to how to increase the efficiency while reducing the water and energy consumption.
The distribution of population refers to the location of the groups and individuals across space and it has three primary environmental implications: "(1) the increased pressure placed on overextended resources in many less-developed nations as a result of relative increases in population densities, (2) the ecological strain put on coastal resources as a result of amenity-driven migration in the United States, and (3) the ecological effects of urbanization, including concentration of pollutants and land-use conversion" (Hunter, 2000). All these materialize in increased demands, increased consumption and damaging effects upon the natural environment through increased pollution and reduced resources.
Finally, from the standpoint of population composition - or the primary features of a group of individuals (such as age, gender or socio-economic background) - the findings are rather elusive. It has however been found that demands and consumerism, and consequently pollution and eliminated waste, tend to increase as the household income increases (Hunter, 2000).
The features and changes of the current lifestyles have been analyzed from various perspectives and have been found to critically impact the natural environment. The studies have most often been conducted from a political, economic, social or even technological standpoint, and rarely from a demographical one. In this line of thoughts, and due to the numerous forces that a comparison between population dynamics and biological forces would impose, the specialized literature is rather limited on the subject. "Generalizations about the relationship between population and the environment are difficult because of the many types of demographic factors, multiple facets of the environment, and various mediating influences acting on the relationship" (Hunter, 2000)
But even if the results of the conducted studies indicate a somber future, specialized environmentalists argue that the planet and humanity have always found a way to develop and adapt to the new conditions. But even if this is true, it is not certain if the adaptation will be sufficient for the survival of the species. "However, it may be argued that a change of environmental conditions is a major driving force of evolution. The basic question to be answered is: can the rate of environmental change be matched by the rate of evolutionary change? [...] Conclusions can be drawn only from a large number of random experiments" (Richter, Sondgerath, Suhnling and Braune)
Hunter, M.L., 2000, the Environmental Implications of Population Dynamics, Rand
Lorimer, F., Osborn, F., 1934, Dynamics of Population: Social and Biological Significance of Changing Birth Rates in the United States, the Macmillan Company
Richter, O., Sondgerath, D., Suhnling, F., Braune, E., Impact of Climate Change on Population Dynamics and Temporal Patterns of Benthic Assemblages of Rivers, Modeling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zeeland, Retrieved at http://www.mssanz.org.au/modsim05/papers/richter.pdfon May 12, 2008
Thomlinson, R., 1976, Population Dynamics: Causes and Consequences of World Demographic Change, Random…[continue]
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