The Earth currently has well over seven billion people, and these numbers have been suggested to increase in the near future. With this in mind, I believe that the Earth is overpopulated because mortality rates have decreased due to extensive research on medicine. The problem is not that birth rates are increasing because it has been demonstrated that economic development and urbanization have led to decreased birth rates (Knox and Marston, 2016). Instead, the transitional stage of the Demographic Transition Model demonstrates that fewer people are dying because they have more access to necessary supplies such as food and water (Knox and Marston, 2016). Additionally, during the transitional stage, populations have access to better medical technology and as a result, decrease mortality rate while increasing the population rate (Knox and Marston, 2016). Most population growth occurs in less developed countries because they do not have a lot of access to education and health care, which results in both higher death and birth rates. To combat high death rates, women in periphery countries typically have high total fertility rates, which contribute to overall population growth.
With his theory and philosophy, Thomas Malthus would most likely answer similarly to me and state that the Earth is overpopulated. In his theory on population growth, Malthus believed that if specific resources increase, then population growth will also increase as we consume more resources (Knox and Marston, 2016). However, Malthus believed that as we continue to consume more resources, they will eventually be used up and will no longer support populations. As a result, not having access to useful abundant resources such as food and water will result in the decline and eventual collapse of human society. Although Malthus’ theory is compelling and has relevant ideas, several individuals have come to critique his theory. One individual that critiqued Malthus was Julian Simon, who was more optimistic about the relationship between humans and resources. Simon argued that a positive population growth allows for more humans to create solutions to problems involving resource scarcity (Ahlburg, 1998). Simon states, “A larger population influences the production of knowledge by creating more minds to generate new ideas” (Ahlburg, 1998). Similarly, both Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles believed that technological development and distributing resources evenly would solve population and resource issues (Knox and Marston, 2016). Considering Malthus and his critiques, I think that both the total human population needs to decrease while resources need to increase so we can ensure that humans can thrive in years to come.
Environmental protection attempts to improve and protect the environment by keeping it clean and safe, while reducing the amount of pollution in geographical areas. The Environmental justice movement attempts to give all humans regardless of their race, the necessary environmental benefits that they need to stay healthy in their communities (Knox and Marston, 2016). Pollution from toxic waste is a significant issue that negatively impacts both air and water quality, especially in urbanized geographical areas. In particular, China has recently industrialized and urbanized, which has led to large amounts of pollution. As China continues to urbanize, the air has become increasingly polluted with concentrated particles (Zhang et al, 2007). Zhang and his collaborators conduct their study in Beijing, which they state polluted air particles can cause numerous problems to the overall environment as well as affecting the health of humans. These particles were responsible for human respiratory issues in Beijing and increased the overall mortality rates. Similarly, economic cost increased to 6.55% of Beijing's total GDP (Zhang et al, 2007). This study was necessary to include because it provides significant evidence that people of different race are introduced to harmful toxins as a result of urbanization.
A specific example that demonstrates that people have exercised their right to environmental justice includes a blockade that occurred in Canada in 2013 (Knox and Marston, 2016). About 300 natives blocked the road so that an energy company could not examine areas they could harvest for oil and gas. Harvesting oil and gas from the ground is called Fracking, which has negatively impacted both land and water quality. Fracking has become a significant issue in environmental justice, as several protests have been conducted globally. Just in the United States, there have been about 420 communities that have protested Fracking on their land (Knox and Marston, 2016).
Another example of an environmental justice movement occurred in Warren County, North Carolina, in 1982 (Skelton and Miller, 2016). Mostly African American Inhabitants of Warren County blocked the road so that dump trucks could not dump large amounts of soil into a landfill. The soil contained toxic PCBs that were reaching the water supplies and contaminating it. These protests have led to the creation of environmental justice organizations that attempt to protect the environment while expressing the need for extensive social change in urban areas (Skelton and Miller, 2016). In conclusion, environmental justice is necessary to ensure that all humans have equal access to environmental protection resources so their communities can remain healthy and safe.
Define diversity. Provide an example of how globalization can both negatively and positively impact diversity.
Diversity refers to the different cultures, languages, religions, and social normalities that are present across the globe. Diversity is often connected to cultural diversity, which is various practices, ethics, and morals that a culture shares among the community. In various geographical places, numerous different cultures make up those populations. These cultures are often very diverse and are always changing as history proceeds (Knox and Marston, 2016). Cultural landscapes describe geographical areas in which humans have directly altered the land to form their culture (Knox and Marston, 2016). Diversity is necessary and essential because it allows us as humans to interact with people that come from different cultural and ethical backgrounds. Interacting with different cultures will enable us to learn and observe new perspectives of life. As we continue to learn, we can implement certain aspects of the culture into our own. Utilizing other cultural practices and making them a part of our own culture is referred to as cultural hybridization. For example, there are numerous types of language that are diverse and spoken globally. Being introduced to new languages allows humans to be more connected with one another. Religion is also extraordinarily diverse, and several religious beliefs and practices have been connected together.
Globalization is described as when specific processes connect different areas of the Earth. These processes are associated with cultural, political, environmental, and economic developments (Knox and Marston, 2016). Globalization has impacted human beings in different manners, including positive and negative. Globalization has allowed for technological advances and knowledge to be shared among cultures allowing them to communicate ideas with one another. Similarly, Globalization has allowed cultural aspects such as food, music, media, and the market to be distributed to other geographical locations (Knox and Marston, 2016). Globalization is a concept of “uniformization” that promotes the interaction of different cultures (Sotshangane, 2002). However, many fear that Globalization will result in the decline of cultural diversity and that all societies will become too similar to each other. Some people have gone as far as hosting protests against Globalization on new economic, political, and cultural policies (Sotshangane, 2002). It is suggested that Globalization has the potential to lead to westernization in which all societies will be influenced by Western or American culture (Knox and Marston, 2016). To conclude, Globalization has been a concept that has been researched for many years. As we continue to modernize, different populations and cultures have different opinions and views on Globalization.
The beginnings of the Green Revolution originated in 1943 when the Rockefeller Foundation funded an agricultural research group (Knox and Marston, 2016). The research group was made up of U.S. scientists who conducted extensive research in Mexico as an attempt to increase wheat and maize production. The Rockefeller Foundation provided fertilizers, pesticides, and hybridized seeds to increase agriculture production in Mexico (Knox and Marston, 2016). As years passed, the wheat seeds were successfully modified and wheat production increased. Most of the Green Revolution occurred during the 1960s in which core countries exported fertilizers and high-yielding seeds to periphery countries (Knox and Marston, 2016). Technological machines used to increase the productivity of agriculture were also sent to less developed countries including Mexico and Asian countries. Norman Borlaug is credited as one of the founders of the Green Revolution in which he helped increase overall agricultural production, and decrease world hunger (Knox and Marston, 2016). The Green Revolution was an impactful revolution that allowed countries to produce more crops. For example, rice production in India and Asian countries began to increase significantly as a result of new agricultural methods (Knox and Marston, 2016). In Asian countries, rice production increased to approximately 66 percent allowing the continent to have enough food to support its population (Knox and Marston, 2016). Globally, modified seeds and new agricultural techniques accounted for up to 90 percent of total grain output (Knox and Marston, 2016).
Although the Green Revolution was successful in most countries, it has created problems with social equality. Green revolution technological advancements have given wealthier farmers more power while creating more poverty for poorer farmers (Knox and Marston, 2016). New technological machines have led to the decrease of human labor and employment as they have replaced farmers (Knox and Marston, 2016). Additionally, female farmers and workers have been negatively impacted by the Green Revolution. Green revolution technologies were distributed more to male farmers not allowing females to have the necessary resources for agriculture (Pingali, 2012). A study has indicated that Green revolution technologies have led to rural inequalities in India (Dhanagare, 1987). Higher yield seeds were introduced to certain rural areas but were not implemented in others areas, impacting household income (Dhanagare, 1987). Additionally, chemicals from pesticides were negatively impacting the ecosystem and have made farm workers sick (Dhanagare, 1987). In conclusion, the Green Revolution helped several countries to increase their agricultural production. However, several social inequalities arose that were not recognized and addressed until later.
Urbanization is an essential concept in human geography because it has grown significantly in recent years. A higher percentage of populations are undergoing urbanization in which people are moving to urban areas. Urban areas are typically located near big cities that thrive on economics and large businesses. As urbanization continues to grow, a city’s organization, infrastructure, and physical structure must expand to meet the rapid expansion (Knox and Marston, 2016). Different types of people move to the city and are distinguished by their education, finances, and ethnicity (Knox and Marston, 2016). Typically, people migrate to urban areas and larger cities to seek employment. Since there are more substantial businesses and more opportunities for employment, people undergo urbanization to support their households. Around 200,000 people move to urban areas each day, which increases the urban population significantly (Knox and Marston, 2016).
The environment is negatively impacted as the urban population continues to increase at such a rapid rate. Larger businesses and cities demand a lot of total energy that harms the environment by producing pollution. Urbanized towns and locations are the areas in which most pollution is created. Cities emit large amounts of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide into the air, which impacts the health of urban occupants. Additionally, due to the massive amounts of pollution that larger cities emit, they are more susceptible to both human-made and natural disasters (Knox and Marston, 2016). Disasters like earthquakes and fires would be detrimental to dense cities because they have large, constructed buildings that are distributed within close proximity. To combat greenhouse gas emissions and the likelihood of disasters, cities should implement environmental and energy use policies. A large city in Denmark has considered solving environmental issues by introducing policies to become a carbon-neutral city by the year 2025 (Knox and Marston, 2016). Similarly, rapid urbanization has led to overcrowded populations and increased poverty. This is supported by the research conducted in Malaysia in which both urbanization and poverty increased (Siwar et al, 2016). Siwar and his collaborators state that excessive urban growth leads to an increase in social and economic costs. Specific programs and policies need to be created to decrease overall poverty. New jobs should be implemented so that unemployment rates will fall, and lower-income populations can increase their economic status. Additionally, population control policies must be carried out so that urbanized areas will not continue to be overpopulated. All individuals in cities should have equal access to education and resources so poverty and crime rates can decrease.
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