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Chapter 6.docx

Environmental Studies
Course Code
ENV 1101
Sonia Wesche

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Chapter 6: Human Population
Assess the Scope and Historical Patterns of Human Population Growth:
- The current global population of 6.7 billion people add about 80 million people per year (2.6 every
- The worlds population growth rate peaked at 2.1% in the 1960’s and now stands at 1.2%. Growth
rates vary among regions of the world
- Attitudes toward the “population problem” have changed over time. The Malthusian perspective
holds that population is a problem to the extent that it depletes resources, intensifies pollution,
stresses social system, or degrades ecosystems, such that the natural environment or our quality of
life declines
Evaluate how human population, affluence, and technology affect the environment:
- The IPAT model summarizes the environmental impact (I) results from interactions among
population size (P), affluence (A), and technology (T)
- Rising population and rising affluence (leading to greater consumption) each increase
environmental impact. Technological advances have frequently exacerbated environmental
degradation, but they also can help mitigate our impact
- Four major societal transitions (Paleolithic tool-use; Neolithic development of agriculture;
Industrial Revolution switch to fossil fuels and mechanization; and the modern Medical-
Technological and Green Revolutions) have fundamentally altered the way the human population
interacts with the environment
Explain and apple the fundamental concepts of demography:
- Demography applies principles of population ecology to the statistical study of human population
- Demographers study size, density, distribution, age structure, and sex ratios of populations, as well
as rates of birth, death, immigration and migration
- Total fertility rate (TFR) contributes greatly to change in a population’s size
Outline the concept of Demographic Transition:
- The demographic transition model explains why population growth has slowed in industrialized
nations. Industrialization and urbanization have reduced the economic need for children, while
education and the empowerment of women have decreased unwanted pregnancies. Parents in
developed nations choose to invest in quality of life rather than quantity of children
- The demographic transition may or may not proceed to completion in all of today’s developing
nations. Whether it does is of immense importance in the quest for population stabilization and
Describe how wealth and poverty, the status of women, and family planning programs and policies
affect population growth:
- When women are empowered and achieve equality with men, fertility rates fall, an children tend
to be better cared for, healthier and better educated
- Family planning programs and reproductive education have successfully reduced population
growth in many nations
- Poorer societies tend to have higher population growth rates than do wealthier societies
- The high consumption rates of affluent societies may make their ecological impact greater than
that of poorer nations with lager populations
Characterize the dimensions of HIV/AIDS pandemic and its impact on population, the environment,
and sustainability
- About 38 million people worldwide are infected with HIV/AIDS, of which 25 million live in sub-
Saharan Africa
- Epidemics that claim large numbers of young and productive members of society influence
population dynamics, and can have severe social political, and environmental ramifications,
particularly for traditional food production
IPAT Model: a formula that represents how humans total impact on the environment results from the
interaction among three factors: population, affluence, and technology
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