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  • Aaryan Doshi

Beyond the Limits: Addressing the Challenge of Population Growth

Addressing the Challenge of Population Growth image: adobe firefly

Why do nations go to war? Why do we have so many people leaving their home countries? And what does it all have to do with climate change, environment or circular economy?

According to Our World In Data, current world population is 8 billion. 12,000 years ago, the world's population was just 4 million, which is less than half the current population of New York City. By the 1800s, it had reached 1 billion. So our population has grown by eight times just in the last 200 years! However, as our population has grown, our planet has remained the same!

I'm feeling like we're on a planet with limited resources. Overpopulation is causing all sorts of issues like food and water shortages, energy and housing problems, and even challenges with medical care and transportation.

Our ability to adjust to the consequences of climate change will be hindered by the overpopulation crisis. It will lead to more aggressive farming practices resulting in the degradation of agricultural land, which in turn forces significant migrations of people to metropolitan areas to urban areas. And then, in urban areas, when a natural disaster brought on by climate change strikes one of these metropolitan centers (like the flooding that occurred last year in New York City), it becomes more difficult for emergency and shelter services in these congested cities to meet the requirements of all of the city's residents.

As more people move to urban areas, we witness a surge in car ownership and travel, resulting in higher levels of carbon dioxide emissions. And let's not forget about the impact of overpopulation on our environment. Expanding cities can lead to deforestation, reducing our planet's ability to absorb CO2.

The growing global population forces countries to intensify their efforts to replenish depleted natural resources, such as minerals and water. As countries compete for limited resources, these actions could inflame geopolitical tensions as nations try to help their own citizens out at the cost of others. Due to the interplay of these various factors, overpopulation emerges as a paramount concern in the context of global climate change.

But in a world where population growth is putting a strain on already-scarce resources, we must find ways to recycle and repurpose materials so that they last longer in use. Circular Economy has never been more relevant than now!


Ritchie, H., Rodés-Guirao, L., Mathieu, E., Gerber, M., Ortiz-Ospina, E., Hasell, J., & Roser, M. (2023, July 11). Population Growth. Our World in Data.


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