Science Snippet: Carrying Capacity

Many distinguished scientists believe that overpopulation is a contributing factor in pushing the planet over the edge to disaster, and biologists argue that nature exerts its own ways to limit overpopulation. “Too many people, not enough land,” says Sir David Attenborough, a famous British naturalist, film-maker and broadcaster. “Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it right now.” This relates to an ecological term called “carrying capacity.” This is the ability of an ecosystem to provide suitable space, food, climate and adaptive opportunities for a given organism (or set of organisms), to flourish. These days it seems to be taboo to discuss the possibility that overpopulation may be a major contributing factor in what is happening in Ethiopia, the Middle East, South America, Africa, and in the rise of ISIS and other terrorist groups made up of jobless, hopeless and disenfranchised people. Without a paradigm change in policies by the globe’s nation states, the future of mankind remains in peril, for, whether we face it or not, the carrying capacity of this planet is finite. (“The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment,” 2009, 2nd ed., by Paul and Anne Ehrlich; by Carl Safrina;;

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