There are two contrasting views regarding what to do about the global population dilemma. One of these is the belief that the relatively recent population explosion means that there are simply too many people on the planet, meaning that sustainability of global resources is impossible. "The world is at carrying capacity. The next generation will certainly not have enough resources to survive, and there will be a "thinning out:" a war, a famine, or a plague will reduce the earth's numbers until the planet's population is once again manageable." Vashti, USA (BBC Talking Point) The contrasting opinion to this is saying that the global availability of resources is certainly enough to meet the demands of an ever-increasing population, but only if distribution is fairer - it is fair to say that this is a more egalitarian viewpoint.

"I do not believe that earth's population has reached its limit. Population growth needs space and resources. Both of these are being mismanaged by greedy governments and business." Elbert Joseph, Canada (BBC Talking Point) "TOO MANY PEOPLE" > In Ethiopia, the poverty rate is such that the calorie supply per capita is on average 73% of what is considered the minimum requirement, and child malnutrition is such that 64% are stunting, 8% wasting. > In Cameroon 94. 1% of households are without any electricity. In Kenya homes are not allowed any electricity during the day.

> Increasing population -- > More demand for energy -- > Further exploitation of fossil fuels -- > Greater CO 2 emissions during fuel burning plus sulphur dioxide & NOx released -- > Greenhouse Effect & Global Warming problems significantly worsened, as well as acid rain. > Birth control? In Niger the fertility rate is 7. 1 and is on average 5. 9 for the entire of Africa.

> In North Africa Islam is the main religion, i. e. in Algeria 99% are Muslim, who are heavily against abortion, and also promote family values. > In many heavily agriculture-based LEDCs such as India, people find it necessary to have many children for (a) to help work on the land, (b) look after them in later age, (c) they hope that by doing this some will survive.

In some cultures children are also seen as a sign of fertility. > S/L? In Burkina only 1 person in 200 has a TV, 1 in 1000 a car, 1 in 500 a telephone... "FAIRER & BETTER DISTRIBUTION IS NEEDED" > Though in Ethiopia on average people get only 73% of what is regarded as the daily minimum requirement, the average Irishman gets 157% of this. However, the Green Revolution in India has significantly increased crop yields (though this has been of little benefit to the poor, arguably). > Though electricity is sparse in some African countries, 99% of Italian homes have electricity.

However, with UN funding, there are projects in LEDCs to find alternative sources of energy, and to increase efficiency. > It is the Ledcs that contribute the vast amount to problems such as Global Warming, though it shall be the LEDCs in particular that may suffer from it in the future. Nations are coming together to try and tackle these problems, though, e. g. limiting exploitation of resources. > There have been successful family planning programmes introduced in LEDCs, e.

g. in Kerala, India, the fertility rate is 50% lower than other regions. > In LEDCs, linked with family planning programmes is teaching couples how to control births without going against religious values - e. g. Islam is not anti-contraception. > In many LEDCs, increasing economic efficiency leads to more funding for e.

g. the health service - it is common to see infant mortality rates decreasing, as with the death rates. Because of this, some parents now have less children as they believe all may will survive. > There appears to be an upward trend regarding the standard of living in the majority of all countries, as often government-related schemes teach people how to be efficient when spending, and arguably in many nations average wages are increasing. MY VIEW I believe that in general, there simply are too many people on Earth for present and future sustainability of resources to be possible.

It is certainly true that there is an incredible contrast in lifestyle, exploitation of resources etc between e. g. USA and Burkina, though I believe that the concept of equal distribution can only go to some extent, and the concept of everyone on this planet having equal levels of finance, calorie intake etc is rather surreal. The main reason, in my opinion, to why some countries have significantly more than others, is geographical inertia.

For example, in western European countries there is a climate ideal for growing crops, and numerous resources available for electricity. Compare this with the Sahel nations, where drought means that few crops can be planted, or Bangladesh, where during monsoon season 90% or so of the nation is flooded, hindering the process of development to cater for a growing population. The previous page showed a contrast regarding calorie intake, and it would be fair to say that if all food was shared out poverty may be almost eradicated. However, although a fairer distribution on a global scale may seem a sensible idea, it has limits...

e. g. although Europe produces literally millions of tonnes in food mountains each year, transporting this to LEDCs is more difficult than it sounds, in my opinion. And it is not possible in most cases to send vast amounts of "energy" across continents. A main problem when creating the two lists on the previous page was that for the "Better & Fairer Distribution" sector, there are always problems that contradict what was written. For example, many family planning programmes have not been successful due to illiteracy, wars between neighbouring countries (e.

g. Rwanda & Burundi) hinder any progress in e. g. health services, with a lot of government money spent on Arms, even though Islam is not anti-contraception the availability of them in LEDCs is often poor, Global Warming is continuing to rise, and any restrictions may slow down but certainly do not decrease the rate... Another problem when considering sharing out is the general characteristics of areas. For example, I believe it is fair to stereotype America as a heavily capitalist nation.

Due to this, they may not wish to share out resources, wealth etc unless it is of benefit to them - their spending on aid (0. 31%) is only half that which UN desire. Here religious influence may be significant, i. e. Islam promotes charity, and Saudi Arabia gives 3. 3% of its GNP to other countries.

Although it may be possible for food mountains to be transported to poorer nations without it losing its goodness, who is willing to fund such a project? Although mechanisation and industrial efficiency has significantly increased in the last decades, and is predicted to continue, I believe that it is unlikely that this shall cater for a global population growing at an exponential rate.