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Population, Global Inequality, and the Environmental Crisis

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Presentation on theme: "Population, Global Inequality, and the Environmental Crisis"— Presentation transcript:

1 Population, Global Inequality, and the Environmental Crisis
Chapter 15 Population, Global Inequality, and the Environmental Crisis This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; any rental, lease or lending of the program. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

2 Chapter outline Fertility Mortality Migration Theories on growth
Population Growth Fertility Mortality Migration Theories on growth Problems World Hunger Controlling Fertility Immigration Population and Environment Environmental Degradation Air Pollution and Greenhouse Effect Water, soil, and forests Solid, toxic, and nuclear waste Perspectives Functionalist Conflict Interactionist Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

3 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010
Overpopulation The world’s population: Is 6.72 billion Was 2.5 billion in 1950 Has doubled in the last 50 years Will double again in the next 50 years, if trends continue Concern: Can the earth’s resources support this growth? Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

4 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010
Population Growth Growth rates vary among nations High-income nations (i.e. US) have lower growth rates Low-income nations (i.e. Africa) have higher growth rates Population All people living in a specified region Demography Study of size, composition, and distribution of populations Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

5 Factors affecting growth
Fertility Actual number of children born to an individual or population Associated with social and biological factors Mortality Number of deaths in a specific population Infant mortality (death of infants under age 1) Life expectancy (average lifetime of a person) Migration Movement of people from one geographic area to another to live Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

6 Impact of Population Growth
Population growth affects the biological and social characteristics of a population Age, sex, race Marital status Education, occupation, income Size of household Example: In the U.S., age distribution of population affects the need for schools, employment opportunities, health care, and age-appropriate housing. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

7 Perspectives on Growth
Malthusian Perspective (1798) Global population will exceed the available food supply Population expands geometrically (1,2,4,8,16...) while food supply increases arithmetically (1,2,3,4,5...) Disaster can be averted by: Positive checks (e.g., famine, disease, war) Preventive checks (e.g, sexual abstinence, delayed marriage) Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

8 Perspectives on Growth, cont.
Neo-Malthusian Perspective The earth is a ticking time bomb because population exacerbates environmental problems Need to reduce our world population growth Demographic Transition Theory Societies move from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates as a result of technological development Technology can help overcome problems predicted by previous 2 theories. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

9 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010
World Hunger Proposals to avert global food shortages: Green revolution Dramatic increases in agricultural production through growing of high yield “miracle” crops This has been helpful in some areas but not in all areas Biotechnological revolution “Improving” plants or animals or using microorganisms in innovative ways This has also helped but is not without problems. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

10 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

11 Controlling Fertility
Researchers believe limiting fertility is best way to control overpopulation. Government focuses on family planning measures. Zero Population Growth: totally stable population from year to year. U.S. approaching zero population growth Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

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Immigration Proportion of immigrants in the U.S. population is the highest since 1940 In 2006, 12% of total population were from other nations Immigration leads to higher taxes but also brings substantial economic benefits US population policies focus on immigration – particularly illegal immigrants Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

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14 Population and the Environment
Environmental Degradation Disruptions to the environment that have negative consequences for ecosystems Causes As humans pursue economic development and growth, they cause environmental degradation Removing natural resources and increasing pollution Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

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Air Pollution Acid Rain Rainfall with large concentrations of sulfuric acid and nitric acids Greenhouse Effect Environmental condition caused by excessive carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere leading to global warming Causes Fossil fuel pollution, mostly from vehicles but also from industry Hole the size of North America in ozone layer, steps being take to reduce this problem. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

16 Water, Soil, and Forest Problems
Water scarcity is increasing on a global basis Water pollution further diminishes the supply A major water polluter in the U.S. is the paper-manufacturing industry 15 million acres of forest are lost to desertification Usable land turned into desert due to: Overgrazing Harmful agricultural practices Deforestation (greatest in middle- and low-income nations) Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

17 Solid, Toxic, and Nuclear Waste
High-income nations are running out of space for solid waste produced by “disposable societies” 236 million tons of solid waste created each year Typical North American creates 1,500 lbs solid waste per year Toxic waste from hazardous by-products of industry causes death and disease if not disposed of properly Love Canal (1970’s New York) Nuclear waste most dangerous of all toxic wastes and remain deadly for prolonged period. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

18 Sociological Perspectives
Technological Innovation serves important functions Latent dysfunctions of technology cause problems, but new technologies can solve them Solutions to overpopulation and environmental degradation lie in social institutions. Especially education and government Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

19 Sociological Perspectives, cont.
Conflict: Classic Marxist If poverty were alleviated, there would be enough food for all Poverty exists because capitalists skim workers’ wages for profit Contemporary conflict Corporations and government make economic decisions that result in environmental problems Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

20 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010
Conflict Eco-feminism: Patriarchy is a root cause of environmental problems as nature is viewed as something to be possessed and dominated Environmental Justice Framework: Environmental racism: disproportionate amount of hazardous facilities placed in areas populated by minorities. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

21 Sociological Perspectives
Interactionist: Through socialization, children learn core values that are often detrimental to the environment However, there is some indication that concern for the environment is becoming a core value in the U.S. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

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