Consequences of High Population

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  1. hello_10

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    Consequences of High Population

    The growth in human population around the world affects all people through its impacts on the economy, social and environment sectors. Rapid human population growth has a variety of consequences which in this essay it would be separated becoming micro and macro levels consequences. The micro level consequences in this context are referred to individual and family things while the macro level consequences are referred to regional, national and global things instead.

    At the micro level, rapid population growth has delivered to unmet need which significantly threat child and maternal health and family welfare (United Nations Population Information Network / POPIN website). If the number of family member increases while the family income still in low rate (poor family) and can not cover the family needs, so then children may be affected by micronutrient deficiencies and easily attacked by diseases which also have a detrimental effect on growth and development. Furthermore, most maternal deaths are due to unsafe practices in terminating pregnancies, a lack of readily available services for high-risk pregnancies, and women having too many children or having them too early and too late in life (World Population Balance website). On the other hand, lower fertility levels resulting in smaller families were thought to benefit both parents and their children directly, at least the wife has more chance as an employment to support family welfare (United Nations Population Information Network / POPIN website).

    At the macro level, rapid population growth has delivered a number of consequences such as environmental threats, poverty, scarcities of food and fresh water and international security threat.

    Environmental Threats

    Rapid population growth will emerge the expansion of human activity. The expansion of human activity will cause the destruction of forest and the loss of biological diversity which may lead to instability of ecological systems and reducing ability of the ecosystem to combat global warming. As reality, the population growth is following by increasing of water pollution, erosion of hillsides and silting of rivers, increasing of greenhouse gases, rising sea levels, growing weather severity, disruption of agriculture, and increase the energy and resources consumption (Population Media Center website).

    Poverty

    Rapid population growth aggravates poverty in developing countries by producing a high ratio of dependent children for each working adult. This leads to a relatively high percentage of income being spent on immediate survival needs of food, housing, and clothing, leaving little money for purchase of elective goods or for investment in the economy, education, government services, or infrastructure. Lack of available capital continues to frustrate the attempts of many developing countries to expand their economies and reduce poverty. Only about 20 percent of the current world’s population has a generally adequate standard of living. The other 80 percent live in conditions ranging from mild deprivation to severe deficiency. This imbalance is likely to get worse, as more than 90 percent of future population growth is projected for the less developed countries ( Population Media Center website)(see Figure 1)

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    Scarcities of Food and Fresh Water

    Productive agricultural systems have contributed to economic progress in many countries, both developed and less developed. The Green Revolution of the 1970s enabled some developing countries to become net exporters of food. Yet, global population growth during and since the Green Revolution is continuing to consume more and more of the expanding food base, leading to a decline in per capita availability of cereal grains on a global basis over the last 15 years.

    The world’s agricultural systems rely substantially on increasing use of fertilizers. But now, the world’s farmers are witnessing signs of a declining response curve, where the use of additional fertilizer yields little additional food product. At the same time, fertilizers and intensive cropping lower the quality of soil. These factors will more and more limit the possibilities of raising food production substantially and will, at a minimum, boost relative food prices and resulting hunger for many. So will the mounting resistance of pests to insecticides, which are used increasingly by the world’s farmers. On a global basis, 37 percent of food and fiber crops are now lost to pests. At the same time, nitrogen-based fertilizers are yielding nitrous oxide, which adds to the greenhouse effect of the carbon dioxide humans produce.

    At the same time, shortages of water are at a crisis point in many countries. At least 400 million people live in regions with severe water shortages. By the year 2050, it is projected to be approximately two billion. Water tables on every continent are falling, as water is pumped out at far greater rates than rainwater can replenish in order to provide irrigation for agriculture. "India, for example, is pumping out its underground aquifers at twice the rate of natural replenishment." Humans are already using half of the globe’s products of photosynthesis and over half of all accessible fresh water. Long before human demand doubles again, the limits of the ecosystem’s ability to support people will become dramatically evident (Population Media Center website).

    Threats to International SecurityAs mentioned earlier, population growth is a major contributor to economic stagnation through its depressing effect on capital formation. With growing numbers of young people attempting to enter the labor force, many developing countries have extraordinarily high levels of unemployment. Often high rates of unemployment give rise to severe political instability, which ultimately threatens national and international security. Moreover, the combination of poverty and violence is adding rapidly to the number of refugees seeking to move into more stable and prosperous areas. Growth of refugee and migrant populations are contributing to political instability and economic dislocation in many countries. Intelligence agencies in the U.S. and elsewhere have long recognized the implications of population growth for international security ( Population Media Center website) (see Figure 2)

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    Consequences of Rapid Population Growth « Indonesians Resonance
     
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  3. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Impact of Population Growth

    India is the best country to study the consequences of over population. Geometric growth in population has pushed our country into population explosion leading to number of serious consequences. Some of them are:

    •Decreased availability of food and clothing.

    •Decreased per capita food availability despite phenomenal increase in their production.

    •Decreased per capita GMP and reduced standard of living due to ever increasing population.

    •Increased pressure on resources like land, water, natural forests, animals etc. leading to many far reaching effects like:

    a) Fragmentation of land below the economic level.

    b) Acute shortage of drinking and irrigation water.

    c) Denudation of forest (Deforestation) to increase the area under agriculture.

    d) Pollution of water, land, food materials etc.

    •Urbanistaion beyond a healthy developmental limit as more rural people shift to towns / cities in search of better work / earning. Urbanization has led to may problems such as

    a) Increased housing problems in cities / towns.

    b) Very high vehicular movement in cities / towns leading to accidents, pollution, etc.

    c) Serious problem connected to vast urban waste generation and its disposal.

    d) Serious drinking water shortages.

    e) Unending demands for civic amenities like roads, transport, markets, etc.

    •Unemployment problems of serious dimension both in urban and rural areas leading to reduced per capita earning, poverty, etc.

    •Hunger deaths - because of reduced per capita food availability and poor distribution of food.

    •Acute shortage of medical facilities including qualified doctors, medicines, dispensaries, modern health care facilities etc - due to high population.

    •Shortage of education facilities including schools, colleges, qualified teachers.

    •Serious shortage of power and problems connected with its distribution.

    •Increased inflation.

    •Increased borrowings from international organisations.

    •Reduced care of young ones leading to increased child health problems as well as vulnerability of children to many diseases.

    •Reduced health care to mothers.

    •Difficulties encountered in implementation of all national and state developmental programmes.

    •Increased government expenditure.

    •Increased density of population.


    In India, the over population has engulfed almost all our achievements in industrial growth, agricultural production, supporting services like medical care, housing, transport, education, banking etc. It has put serious pressures on every sector of our economy and every section of society. Almost all our national problems can be traced back to have their roots in overgrowing population.

    At global level, China and India are facing overpopulation issues of highest magnitude. But rate of growth of population has reduced in China substantially in recent years.

    Consequences of over Population/impact of Population Growth | Tutorvista.com
     
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    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    "Science Summit" on World Population:

    A Joint Statement by 58 of the World's Scientific Academies

    In a follow-up to several recent initiatives by assemblies of scientists and scientific academies, most notably one taken by the Royal Society of London and the US National Academy of Sciences that resulted in a joint statement, "Population Growth, Resource Consumption, and a Sustainable World, '' issued in February 1992 (see Documents, PDR, June 1992), representatives of national academies of science from throughout the world met in New Delhi, 24-27 October 1993, at a ''Science Summit'' on World Population. The participants issued a statement, signed by representatives of 58 academies. The statement offers a wide-ranging if ex cathedra-style discussion of population issues related to development, notably on the determinants of fertility and concerning the effect of demographic growth on the environment and the quality of life. It also sets forth policy propositions, with emphasis on contributions that ''scientists, engineers, and health professionals'' can make to the solution of population problems. The statement finds that ''continuing population growth poses a great risk to humanity, '' and proposes a demographic goal, albeit with a rather elusive specification of a time frame: "In our judgement, humanity's ability to deal successfully with its social, economic, and environmental problems will require the achievement of zero population growth within the lifetime of our children. '' The text of the academies ' statement is reproduced below.

    The New Delhi meeting was convened by a group of 15 academies "to explore in greater detail the complex and interrelated issues of population growth, resource consumption, socioeconomic development, and environmental protection.'' One of the convening organizations, the Nairobi-based African Academy of Sciences, declined to sign the joint statement, issuing, instead, one of its own. The text of this statement is reproduced below as the second Documents item appearing in this issue. Other academies that did not participate in the New Delhi meeting, or did not choose to sign the joint statement (whether for substantive or procedural reasons), included academies of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain, and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Notwithstanding the African Academy dissent, representatives of six African national academies, among them four from countries of sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda) were among the fifty-eight signatories.


    The growing world population

    The world is in the midst of an unprecedented expansion of human numbers. It took hundreds of thousands of years for our species to reach a population level of 10 million, only 10,000 years ago. This number grew to 100 million people about 2,000 years ago and to 2.5 billion by 1950. Within less than the span of a single lifetime, it has more than doubled to 5.5 billion in 1993.

    This accelerated population growth resulted from rapidly lowered death rates (particularly infant and child mortality rates), combined with sustained high birth rates. Success in reducing death rates is attributable to several factors: increases in food production and distribution, improvements in public health (water and sanitation) and in medical technology (vaccines and antibiotics), along with gains in education and standards of living within many developing nations.

    Over the last 30 years, many regions of the world have also dramatically reduced birth rates. Some have already achieved family sizes small enough, if maintained, to result eventually in a halt to population growth. These successes have led to a slowing of the world's rate of population increase. The shift from high to low death and birth rates has been called the "demographic transition."

    The rate at which the demographic transition progresses worldwide will determine the ultimate level of the human population. The lag between downward shifts of death and birth rates may be many decades or even several generations, and during these periods population growth will continue inexorably. We face the prospect of a further doubling of the population within the next half century. Most of this growth will take place in developing countries.

    Consider three hypothetical scenarios* for the levels of human population in the century ahead:

    Fertility declines within sixty years from the current rate of 3.3 to a global replacement average of 2.1 children per woman. The current population momentum would lead to at least 11 billion people before leveling off at the end of the 21st century.

    Fertility reduces to an average of 1.7 children per woman early in the next century. Human population growth would peak at 7.8 billion persons in the middle of the 21st century and decline slowly thereafter.

    Fertility declines to no lower than 2.5 children per woman. Global population would grow to 19 billion by the year 2100, and to 28 billion by 2150.

    The actual outcome will have enormous implications for the human condition and for the natural environment on which all life depends.


    Key determinants of population growth

    High fertility rates have historically been strongly correlated with poverty, high childhood mortality rates, low status and educational levels of women, deficiencies in reproductive health services, and inadequate availability and acceptance of contraceptives. Falling fertility rates and the demographic transition are generally associated with improved standards of living, such as increased per capita incomes, increased life expectancy, lowered infant mortality, increased adult literacy, and higher rates of female education and employment.

    Even with improved economic conditions, nations, regions, and societies will experience different demographic patterns due to varying cultural influences. The value placed upon large families (especially among underprivileged rural populations in less developed countries who benefit least from the process of development), the assurance of security for the elderly, the ability of women to control reproduction, and the status and rights of women within families and within societies are significant cultural factors affecting family size and the demand for family planning services.

    Even with a demand for family planning services, the adequate availability of and access to family planning and other reproductive health services are essential in facilitating slowing of the population growth rate. Also, access to education and the ability of women to determine their own economic security influence their reproductive decisions.


    Population growth, resource consumption, and the environment

    Throughout history and especially during the twentieth century, environmental degradation has primarily been a product of our efforts to secure improved standards of food, clothing, shelter, comfort, and recreation for growing numbers of people. The magnitude of the threat to the ecosystem is linked to human population size and resource use per person. Resource use, waste production and environmental degradation are accelerated by population growth. They are further exacerbated by consumption habits, certain technological developments, and particular patterns of social organization and resource management.

    As human numbers further increase, the potential for irreversible changes of far reaching magnitude also increases. Indicators of severe environmental stress include the growing loss of biodiversity, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing deforestation worldwide, stratospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, loss of topsoil, and shortages of water, food, and fuel-wood in many parts of the world.

    While both developed and developing countries have contributed to global environmental problems, developed countries with 85 percent of the gross world product and 23 percent of its population account for the largest part of mineral and fossil-fuel consumption, resulting in significant environmental impacts. With current technologies, present levels of consumption by the developed world are likely to lead to serious negative consequences for all countries. This is especially apparent with the increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and trace gases that have accompanied industrialization, which have the potential for changing global climate and raising sea level.

    In both rich and poor countries, local environmental problems arise from direct pollution from energy use and other industrial activities, inappropriate agricultural practices, population concentration, inadequate environmental management, and inattention to environmental goals. When current economic production has been the overriding priority and inadequate attention has been given to environmental protection, local environmental damage has led to serious negative impacts on health and major impediments to future economic growth. Restoring the environment, even where still possible, is far more expensive and time consuming than managing it wisely in the first place; even rich countries have difficulty in affording extensive environmental remediation efforts.

    The relationships between human population, economic development, and the natural environment are complex. Examination of local and regional case studies reveals the influence and interaction of many variables. For example, environmental and economic impacts vary with population composition and distribution, and with rural-urban and international migrations. Furthermore, poverty and lack of economic opportunities stimulate faster population growth and increase incentives for environmental degradation by encouraging exploitation of marginal resources.

    Both developed and developing countries face a great dilemma in reorienting their productive activities in the direction of a more harmonious interaction with nature. This challenge is accentuated by the uneven stages of development. If all people of the world consumed fossil fuels and other natural resources at the rate now characteristic of developed countries (and with current technologies), this would greatly intensify our already unsustainable demands on the biosphere. Yet development is a legitimate expectation of less developed and transitional countries.


    The earth is finite

    The growth of population over the last half century was for a time matched by similar world-wide increases in utilizable resources. However, in the last decade food production from both land and sea has declined relative to population growth. The area of agricultural land has shrunk, both through soil erosion and reduced possibilities of irrigation. The availability of water is already a constraint in some countries. These are warnings that the earth is finite, and that natural systems are being pushed ever closer to their limits.



    Quality of life and the environment

    Our common goal is improving the quality of life for all people, those living today and succeeding generations, ensuring their social, economic, and personal well-being with guarantees of fundamental human rights; and allowing them to live harmoniously with a protected environment. We believe that this goal can be achieved, provided we are willing to undertake the requisite social change. Given time, political will, and intelligent use of science and technology, human ingenuity can remove many constraints on improving human welfare worldwide, finding substitutes for wasteful practices, and protecting the natural environment.

    But time is short and appropriate policy decisions are urgently needed. The ability of humanity to reap the benefits of its ingenuity depends on its skill in governance and management, and on strategies for dealing with problems such as widespread poverty, increased numbers of aged persons, inadequate health care and limited educational opportunities for large groups of people, limited capital for investment, environmental degradation in every region of the world, and unmet needs for family planning services in both developing and developed countries. In our judgement, humanity's ability to deal successfully with its social, economic, and environmental problems will require the achievement of zero population growth within the lifetime of our children.


    Human reproductive health

    The timing and spacing of pregnancies are important for the health of the mother, her children, and her family. Most maternal deaths are due to unsafe practices in terminating pregnancies, a lack of readily available services for high-risk pregnancies, and women having too many children or having them too early and too late in life.

    Millions of people still do not have adequate access to family planning services and suitable contraceptives. Only about one-half of married women of reproductive age are currently practicing contraception. Yet as the director-general of UNICEF put it, ''Family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race." Existing contraceptive methods could go far toward alleviating the unmet need if they were available and used in sufficient numbers, through a variety of channels and distribution, sensitively adapted to local needs.

    But most contraceptives are for use by women, who consequently bear the risks to health. The development of contraceptives for male use continues to lag. Better contraceptives are needed for both men and women, but developing new contraceptive approaches is slow and financially unattractive to industry. Further work is needed on an ideal spectrum of contraceptive methods that are safe, efficacious, easy to use and deliver, reasonably priced, user-controlled and responsive, appropriate for special populations and age cohorts, reversible, and at least some of which protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS.

    Reducing fertility rates, however, cannot be achieved merely by providing more contraceptives. The demand for these services has to be addressed. Even when family planning and other reproductive health services are widely available, the social and economic status of women affects individual decisions to use them. The ability of women to make decisions about family size is greatly affected by gender roles within society and in sexual relationships. Ensuring equal opportunity for women in all aspects of society is crucial.

    Thus all reproductive health services must be implemented as a part of broader strategies to raise the quality of human life. They must include the following:

    Efforts to reduce and eliminate gender-based inequalities. Women and men should have equal opportunities and responsibilities in sexual, social, and economic life.

    Provision of convenient family planning and other reproductive health services with a wide variety of safe contraceptive options. irrespective of an individual's ability to pay.

    Encouragement of voluntary approaches to family planning and elimination of unsafe and coercive practices.

    Development policies that address basic needs such as clean water, sanitation, broad primary health care measures and education; and that foster empowerment of the poor and women.

    "The adoption of a smaller family norm, with consequent decline in total fertility, should not be viewed only in demographic terms. It means that people, and particularly women, are empowered and are taking control of their fertility and the planning of their lives; it means that children are born by choice, not by chance, and that births are better planned; and it means that families are able to invest relatively more in a smaller number of beloved children, trying to prepare them for a better future."*


    Sustainability of the natural world as everyone's responsibility

    In addressing environmental problems, all countries face hard choices. This is particularly so when it is perceived that there are short-term tradeoffs between economic growth and environmental protection, and where there are limited financial resources. But the downside risks to the earth—our environmental life support system—over the next generation and beyond are too great to ignore. Current trends in environmental degradation from human activities combined with the unavoidable increase in global population will take us into unknown territory.

    Other factors, such as inappropriate governmental policies, also contribute in nearly every case. Many environmental problems in both rich and poor countries appear to be the result of policies that are misguided even when viewed on short-term economic grounds. If a longer-term view is taken, environmental goals assume an even higher priority.

    The prosperity and technology of the industrialized countries give them greater opportunities and greater responsibility for addressing environmental problems worldwide. Their resources make it easier to forestall and to ameliorate local environmental problems. Developed countries need to become more efficient in both resource use and environmental protection, and to encourage an ethic that eschews wasteful consumption. If prices, taxes, and regulatory policies include environmental costs, consumption habits will be influenced. The industrialized countries need to assist developing countries and communities with funding and expertise in combating both global and local environmental problems. Mobilizing "technology for environment" should be an integral part of this new ethic of sustainable development.

    For all governments it is essential to incorporate environmental goals at the outset in legislation, economic planning, and priority setting; and to provide appropriate incentives for public and private institutions, communities, and individuals to operate in environmentally benign ways. Tradeoffs between environmental and economic goals can be reduced through wise policies. For dealing with global environmental problems, all countries of the world need to work collectively through treaties and conventions, as has occurred with such issues as global climate change and biodiversity, and to develop innovative financing mechanisms that facilitate environmental protection.

    What science and technology can contribute toward enhancing the human prospect

    As scientists cognizant of the history of scientific progress and aware of the potential of science for contributing to human welfare, it is our collective judgement that continuing population growth poses a great risk to humanity. Furthermore, it is not prudent to rely on science and technology alone to solve problems created by rapid population growth, wasteful resource consumption, and poverty.

    The natural and social sciences are nevertheless crucial for developing new understanding so that governments and other institutions can act more effectively, and for developing new options for limiting population growth, protecting the natural environment, and improving the quality of human life.

    Scientists, engineers, and health professionals should study and provide advice on:

    Cultural, social, economic, religious, educational, and political factors that affect reproductive behavior, family size, and successful family planning.

    Conditions for human development, including the impediments that result from economic inefficiencies: social inequalities; and ethnic, class, or gender biases.

    Global and local environmental change (affecting climate, biodiversity, soils, water, air), its causes (including the roles of poverty, population growth, economic growth, technology, national and international politics), and policies to mitigate its effects.

    Strategies and tools for improving all aspects of education and human resource development, with special attention to women.

    Improved family planning programs, contraceptive options for both sexes, and other reproductive health services, with special attention to needs of women; and improved general primary health care, especially maternal and child health care.

    Transitions to economies that provide increased human welfare with less consumption of energy and materials.

    Improved mechanisms for building indigenous capacity in the natural sciences, engineering, medicine, social sciences, and management in developing countries, including an increased capability of conducting integrated interdisciplinary assessments of societal issues.

    Technologies and strategies for sustainable development (agriculture, energy, resource use, pollution control, materials recycling, environmental management and protection).

    Networks, treaties, and conventions that protect the global commons.

    Strengthened world-wide exchanges of scientists in education, training, and research.


    Action is needed now

    Humanity is approaching a crisis point with respect to the interlocking issues of population, environment, and development. Scientists today have the opportunity and responsibility to mount a concerted effort to confront our human predicament. But science and technology can only provide tools and blueprints for action and social change. It is the governments and international decision-makers, including those meeting in Cairo next September at the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development, who hold the key to our future. We urge them to take incisive action now and to adopt an integrated policy on population and sustainable development on a global scale. With each year's delay the problems become more acute. Let 1994 be remembered as the year when the people of the world decided to act together for the benefit of future generations.

    Reprinted from Population and Development Review, Vol. 20, no. 1 (March 1994):233-238

    overpopulation -- NOW A SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS
     
  5. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    another country to study of high population is pakistan

    uncontrolable growth of paki polulation rises to 18 crore. out of that 50% are poor and illiterate. they will become terrorist one day

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  6. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Consumption dwarfs population as main environmental threat

    A small portion of the world's people use up most of the earth's resources and produce most of its greenhouse gas emissions, writes Fred Pearce. From Yale Environment 360, part of Guardian Environment Network

    It's the great taboo, I hear many environmentalists say. Population growth is the driving force behind our wrecking of the planet, but we are afraid to discuss it.

    It sounds like a no-brainer. More people must inevitably be bad for the environment, taking more resources and causing more pollution, driving the planet ever farther beyond its carrying capacity. But hold on. This is a terribly convenient argument — "over-consumers" in rich countries can blame "over-breeders" in distant lands for the state of the planet. But what are the facts?

    The world's population quadrupled to six billion people during the 20th century. It is still rising and may reach 9 billion by 2050. Yet for at least the past century, rising per-capita incomes have outstripped the rising head count several times over. And while incomes don't translate precisely into increased resource use and pollution, the correlation is distressingly strong.
    Moreover, most of the extra consumption has been in rich countries that have long since given up adding substantial numbers to their population.

    By almost any measure, a small proportion of the world's people take the majority of the world's resources and produce the majority of its pollution. Take carbon dioxide emissions — a measure of our impact on climate but also a surrogate for fossil fuel consumption. Stephen Pacala, director of the Princeton Environment Institute, calculates that the world's richest half-billion people — that's about 7 percent of the global population — are responsible for 50 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile the poorest 50 percent are responsible for just 7 percent of emissions.

    Although overconsumption has a profound effect on greenhouse gas emissions, the impacts of our high standard of living extend beyond turning up the temperature of the planet. For a wider perspective of humanity's effects on the planet's life support systems, the best available measure is the "ecological footprint," which estimates the area of land required to provide each of us with food, clothing, and other resources, as well as to soak up our pollution. This analysis has its methodological problems, but its comparisons between nations are firm enough to be useful.

    They show that sustaining the lifestyle of the average American takes 9.5 hectares, while Australians and Canadians require 7.8 and 7.1 hectares respectively; Britons, 5.3 hectares; Germans, 4.2; and the Japanese, 4.9. The world average is 2.7 hectares. China is still below that figure at 2.1, while India and most of Africa (where the majority of future world population growth will take place) are at or below 1.0.

    The United States always gets singled out. But for good reason: It is the world's largest consumer. Americans take the greatest share of most of the world's major commodities: corn, coffee, copper, lead, zinc, aluminum, rubber, oil seeds, oil, and natural gas. For many others, Americans are the largest per-capita consumers. In "super-size-me" land, Americans gobble up more than 120 kilograms of meat a year per person, compared to just 6 kilos in India, for instance.

    I do not deny that fast-rising populations can create serious local environmental crises through overgrazing, destructive farming and fishing, and deforestation. My argument here is that viewed at the global scale, it is overconsumption that has been driving humanity's impacts on the planet's vital life-support systems during at least the past century. But what of the future?

    We cannot be sure how the global economic downturn will play out. But let us assume that Jeffrey Sachs, in his book Common Wealth, is right to predict a 600 percent increase in global economic output by 2050. Most projections put world population then at no more than 40 percent above today's level, so its contribution to future growth in economic activity will be small.

    Of course, economic activity is not the same as ecological impact. So let's go back to carbon dioxide emissions. Virtually all of the extra 2 billion or so people expected on this planet in the coming 40 years will be in the poor half of the world. They will raise the population of the poor world from approaching 3.5 billion to about 5.5 billion, making them the poor two-thirds.

    Sounds nasty, but based on Pacala's calculations — and if we assume for the purposes of the argument that per-capita emissions in every country stay roughly the same as today — those extra two billion people would raise the share of emissions contributed by the poor world from 7 percent to 11 percent.

    Look at it another way. Just five countries are likely to produce most of the world's population growth in the coming decades: India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. The carbon emissions of one American today are equivalent to those of around four Chinese, 20 Indians, 30 Pakistanis, 40 Nigerians, or 250 Ethiopians.

    Even if we could today achieve zero population growth, that would barely touch the climate problem — where we need to cut emissions by 50 to 80 percent by mid-century. Given existing income inequalities, it is inescapable that overconsumption by the rich few is the key problem, rather than overpopulation of the poor many.
    But, you ask, what about future generations? All those big families in Africa begetting yet-bigger families. They may not consume much today, but they soon will.

    Well, first let's be clear about the scale of the difference involved. A woman in rural Ethiopia can have ten children and her family will still do less damage, and consume fewer resources, than the family of the average soccer mom in Minnesota or Munich. In the unlikely event that her ten children live to adulthood and have ten children of their own, the entire clan of more than a hundred will still be emitting less carbon dioxide than you or I.

    And second, it won't happen. Wherever most kids survive to adulthood, women stop having so many. That is the main reason why the number of children born to an average woman around the world has been in decline for half a century now. After peaking at between 5 and 6 per woman, it is now down to 2.6.

    This is getting close to the "replacement fertility level" which, after allowing for a natural excess of boys born and women who don't reach adulthood, is about 2.3. The UN expects global fertility to fall to 1.85 children per woman by mid-century. While a demographic "bulge" of women of child-bearing age keeps the world's population rising for now, continuing declines in fertility will cause the world's population to stabilize by mid-century and then probably to begin falling.

    Far from ballooning, each generation will be smaller than the last. So the ecological footprint of future generations could diminish. That means we can have a shot at estimating the long-term impact of children from different countries down the generations.

    The best analysis of this phenomenon I have seen is by Paul Murtaugh, a statistician at Oregon State University. He recently calculated the climatic "intergenerational legacy" of today's children. He assumed current per-capita emissions and UN fertility projections. He found that an extra child in the United States today will, down the generations, produce an eventual carbon footprint seven times that of an extra Chinese child, 46 times that of a Pakistan child, 55 times that of an Indian child, and 86 times that of a Nigerian child.

    Of course those assumptions may not pan out. I have some confidence in the population projections, but per-capita emissions of carbon dioxide will likely rise in poor countries for some time yet, even in optimistic scenarios. But that is an issue of consumption, not population.

    In any event, it strikes me as the height of hubris to downgrade the culpability of the rich world's environmental footprint because generations of poor people not yet born might one day get to be as rich and destructive as us. Overpopulation is not driving environmental destruction at the global level; overconsumption is. Every time we talk about too many babies in Africa or India, we are denying that simple fact.

    At root this is an ethical issue. Back in 1974, the famous environmental scientist Garret Hardin proposed something he called "lifeboat ethics". In the modern, resource-constrained world, he said, "each rich nation can be seen as a lifeboat full of comparatively rich people. In the ocean outside each lifeboat swim the poor of the world, who would like to get in." But there were, he said, not enough places to go around. If any were let on board, there would be chaos and all would drown. The people in the lifeboat had a duty to their species to be selfish – to keep the poor out.

    Hardin's metaphor had a certain ruthless logic. What he omitted to mention was that each of the people in the lifeboat was occupying ten places, whereas the people in the water only wanted one each. I think that changes the argument somewhat.

    • From Yale Environment 360, part of Guardian Environment Network

    Fred Pearce: Consumption dwarfs population as main environmental threat | Environment | guardian.co.uk
     
  7. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Seven Biggest Environmental Threats

    The seven biggest environmental threats to the Earth are issues every person should understand and take action to see that these threats are eventually eliminated.

    Examining the various threats to the Earth's environment must include the human impact on the planet. Catch phrases such as carbon footprint, global warming, deforestation, and other commonly used terms have become the everyday jargon for those concerned about the environment.

    1. Human Population and Pollution

    A growing world population might seem like an obvious threat to the environment that goes far beyond the debatable theory of global warming. The bigger threat is far more complex and directly linked not to the controversial idea of a carbon footprint, but to the unique system of supply and demand.

    Consumers place more and more demands on the earth's natural resources as the population increases year after year. These demands leave pollution and waste in the wake of human daily activity. Compound this with each world government doing its own brand of commerce, many without environmental consciences, and you get the formula for environmental chaos and disaster.

    A prime example of higher consumption demands can be found in the fishery industry, where the world's marine life is being harvested with few to no renewable methods in place. Consumers are also responsible via industry for hundreds of hazardous chemicals used in the production of various products. Heavy metals continue to contaminate land, water and air.

    The power of a consumer can be mighty when each person in the world realizes that action can be taken and changes made by carefully choosing how each consumer dollar is spent.


    2. Earth Changes

    The last major climate change was an ice age and the world is in the final stages of that event. The result is a rise in temperatures and the melting of glaciers and even the polar ice cap. Many highly-respected scientists disagree that global warming is the result of human-caused pollution any more than it can cause powerful hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, and even solar flares. This school of thought views earth changes as being the result of the natural processes found in an evolving living planet and its sun. While the cause of global warming remains controversial, both sides agree that it's a very real environmental threat to the world as you know it.

    3. Deforestation

    When a region loses its biodiversity, it becomes more vulnerable to other environmental elements. Deforestation disrupts the natural balance of ecological systems in the area where the trees have been harvested and far beyond. Food production can be impacted due to drought and erosion directly linked to the loss of forests.

    4. Ozone Deterioration

    Chemicals and chlorofluorocarbons pollutants are created by industry and agriculture. They have a negative impact the ozone layer. The lack of strict enforcement of laws to prevent the use of such pollutants compounds the situation. World governments that continue to allow various pollutants into the environment impede the recovery of the ozone layer.

    5. Acid Rain

    Acid rain is created by excessive sulfuric and nitric acid being pumped into the atmosphere, rivers, oceans, and land. While some acid rain is the byproduct of the natural processes of decaying vegetation and volcanic activity, the current crisis comes directly from the burning of fossil fuels. Water becomes toxic when acid rain imbues the oceans or lakes with an absorption quality that cause the water to absorb soil-based aluminum and poisons the aquatic plant and marine life.

    6. Dead Zones in the Ocean

    Another harmful source of excessive nitrogen being dumped into the oceans can be traced back to agricultural practices of over-fertilization of crops, lawns and gardens. The end result has been the creation of over 160 dead zones throughout the world's oceans.

    The oceans' eco-systems are dependent upon the natural process of organic ocean matter known as phytoplankton, which is found on ocean surfaces. This eventually breaks down and filters to the bottom of the ocean floor where it's broken down further by ocean floor bacteria. This process is called bacterial respiration.

    When too much nitrogen feeds the phytoplankton, like any fertilized crop, it begins to overproduce. The bacteria are unable to break down the plankton fast enough and the chemical processes that convert carbon dioxide into oxygen can't keep up. The oxygen is used up quicker than it can be produced. The plankton chokes out the flow of water and oxygen so that marine and plant life die from the lack of oxygen.

    7. Species Extinction

    An alarming rate of species extinction is happening worldwide. As of 2010, the rate of loss is estimated to be more than 1,000 times the normal rate. Greater preservation tactics and strategies are needed with laws put into place to protect species. Once more, manmade pollution is the culprit along with land encroachment by developers. Both causes are created by consumer demands as people branch out into areas that were once remote habitats for various species.

    An example of successful endangered species preservation is the American national symbol, the bald eagle. In the 1960s, there were fewer than 470 eagle nestlings. As of 2010, there were over 7,000 nestlings in the United States. This increase in the bald eagle population demonstrates how threatened species can be brought back from the brink of extinction. More and more animals and other forms of wildlife are being added to the endangered species list each year. It makes sense to become better land stewards, instead of encroaching on forests and wetlands.

    While there are many other threats to the environment that have a significant impact, these are certainly the seven biggest environmental threats facing the world today.

    Seven Biggest Environmental Threats
     
  8. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    I was thinking population is an asset if handled properly

    it is a burden only if we screw up the handling of population:hmm:
     
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  9. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    To a certain limit. India would have been just fine if we had 700 million people. :sad:
     
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  10. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Why Population Matters

    With the world confronting a host of major crises relating to climate, energy, severe poverty, food, the global economy and political instability, why should anyone be concerned about population? The simple answer is that virtually all of the major problems that confront the world today relate in some critical way to population growth.

    While public concern about rapid population growth has subsided in recent decades, world population is still growing at about 80 million people a year. If current trends persist, there will 2.5 billion more people on the planet by mid-century, bringing the total to about 9.2 billion. That projected population growth raises a host of questions about the future of humanity and the planet we inhabit.

    Most importantly, will we be able to feed 9.2 billion people? This year, for the first time in history, over 1 billion people go to bed hungry every day. High food prices and the global economic recession have pushed 100 million more people than last year into chronic hunger and poverty. And, looking ahead, we know that climate change, rising energy prices, and growing water scarcity will make it harder, not easier, to grow the crops necessary to feed an expanding population. Mounting soil erosion and the loss of farm land will also add to the challenge of boosting food production.

    And it's not just food that's potentially in short supply. Water scarcity is a growing concern. In many parts of the world today, major rivers at various times of the year no longer reach the ocean. In some areas, lakes are going dry and underground water aquifers are being rapidly depleted. And climate change, of course, will make the water situation even more critical. Drier areas will be more prone to drought, wetter areas more prone to flooding, and the summer runoff from snowpack and glaciers will diminish:meeting:

    As food, water, and other resources are strained by the escalating demands of a growing world population, the number of environmental refugees in the world will rise…and so will the potential for conflict and civil war.

    Fortunately, for all of us, there is one simple strategy that will help to address all these problems: provide universal access to voluntary family planning and reproductive health services. There are over 100 million women in the world today who want to space or limit their pregnancies, but who lack knowledge of, or access to, modern methods of contraception. By educating and empowering women, and giving them access to family planning services, we can save lives, strengthen families, fight poverty, preserve the environment, and help achieve a world population that can live in harmony with the planet.

    The Population Institute
     
  11. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Why “Resource Sufficiency Evaluation” is Crucial: Sustainable World Initiatives

    > Sustainable Development is Not the Same as Sustainability:

    Sustainability, from a natural resource perspective, means that we don’t take things from
    nature faster than nature can replace them. For an ecosystem like a forest, it means that
    we don’t harvest trees faster than the forest can regrow them. Otherwise we will eventually
    destroy the forest. For an underground aquifer system, it means that we don’t pump water
    out faster than it is naturally replenished. Making development more efficient, and thus more
    sustainable, is important, but merely making economic activity more sustainable does not
    guarantee that we are living within nature’s means.

    > We’re Already Consuming Resources at an Unsustainable Rate:

    With 7 billion people on the planet and rising levels of affluence, we are already exceeding
    nature’s limits. Every two years, the Global Footprint Network and the World Wildlife Fund
    publish a “Living Planet” report that looks at humanity’s ecological footprint. The latest
    report, issued in 2010, indicates that humankind is already overusing the renewable resource
    capacity of Earth’s biosphere by 50%. Climate change, peak oil, water scarcity, biodiversity
    loss, and recurring food crises are all signs that humanity is overusing global resources.
    Leading scientists warn that we are in biological and general resource overshoot.

    > We’re Already in Danger of Breaking Planetary Boundaries:

    Thirty leading scientists assembled by the Stockholm Resilience Centre have identified nine
    “planetary boundaries,” which, if crossed, could cause irreparable harm to the planet and
    the prospects for future human well-being. According to these scientists, we have already
    exceeded three of these important boundaries: climate change, nitrogen loadings, and the
    rate of biodiversity loss. The other six boundaries—ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone,
    aerosol loadings, freshwater use, land use changes, and chemical pollution—to varying
    degrees are also approaching a scale “where abrupt global environmental change can no
    longer be excluded.”

    > The Challenge is Getting Larger, Not Smaller:

    The demands that we are placing upon the planet are growing exponentially. According to
    U.N. projections, world population—currently 7 billion—is likely to grow to 9 billion by 2042
    and to over 10 billion by 2085. At the same time, the world’s economic output continues to
    rise at 3-4 percent a year, putting enormous pressures on a fragile ecology and a dwindling
    resource base.

    > “Greening” the Economy is Necessary, but Not Sufficient:

    With the world economy on track to quadruple in size over the next half century, any gains
    we make in producing renewable energy or in conserving resources will not, in all likelihood,
    be enough to achieve a sustainable world. Indeed, historical data show that technological
    advances can accelerate the rate at which natural resources are consumed and the
    environment is impacted. Green technologies may help to de-link resource extraction from
    economic growth, but—by themselves—they will not ensure progress toward sustainability.

    > Resource Exploitation has Propelled Human Progress:

    In the past 100 years we have made major strides in improving the human condition. Average
    life spans have more than doubled. Food production has more than quadrupled. Living
    standards in many countries have increased by a factor of at least ten. Our progress has been
    propelled by the extraction of fossil fuels and the exploitation of natural resources, but it has
    taken a terrible toll on the environment, and our resource base is steadily shrinking.

    > Our Very Future Depends on Resource Sufficiency:

    We cannot maintain the progress we have made in eliminating poverty and eradicating
    hunger, unless we maintain an adequate resource base. Continued advances in human
    welfare will require sufficient land, water, minerals, and metals. We will also need healthy
    ecosystems capable of sustaining a wide range of biological diversity, including human life.

    > Sustainability Requires Resource Sufficiency Evaluation:

    We will never know if we have enough resources to maintain human development unless
    we actually evaluate our resource demands and compare them to what is available. No one
    would think of driving a car or flying a plane without a fuel gauge. By the same token, we
    cannot plan for our future without knowing whether we have enough resources to meet our
    projected needs. Every nation, whether its economy is developed or developing, should
    undertake a resource sufficiency evaluation, and the international community should provide
    technical support. At the same time, world leaders must undertake an international resource
    sufficiency evaluation to gauge global progress towards a sustainable world.

    > Methodologies Already Exist for Doing Resource Sufficiency Evaluations:

    Scientifically-based accounting methodologies, such as the ecological footprint, are already
    available to conduct resource sufficiency evaluations. These methodologies, and the biophysical
    ‘balance sheets’ that are generated, will give policymakers and the public a clearer
    understanding of sustainability and what is needed to achieve it. Our future depends on it.
    Resource Sufficiency Evaluation is our Road Map to a Sustainable Future.

    Resource Sufficiency Evaluation is our Road Map to a Sustainable Future.

    http://www.populationinstitute.org/external/files/Fact_Sheets/SWI_2_Pager.pdf

    Sustainable World Initiative
     
  12. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    I may say few things in case of India as below:

    1. Total share of agriculture in Indian GDP is hardly around 16% but over 52% population, 600mil, is based on this sector. while only a third of it, 200mil, is required to have this level of agriculture production, the maximum. and this way rest of 400mil population based on agriculture is only a waste, a burden on Indian economy who live because of hefty subsidy for agriculture, which is over $20bil right now. would you like to take this excess 400mil Indian people to other countries????

    2. even in small to large cities, out of total population 600mil living in these small to big towns, at least 200mil live life in either slum or not good, who always try to find a reasonable job which they can't get. enough government spend to keep then alive also, like free medicines for poor etc.

    this way we find 400mil+200mil=600mil excess population in India which is of no use and only a burden on the Indian economy, and consume subsidies. the heavy subsidy which may be used for higher growth, making credible infrastructure...........

    its all about, "how much population you would have to maintain a 'fit' relationship with 'resource consumption' and maintain a reasonable level of green house gases emission?"
     
  13. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    For instance, South Korea , Taiwan, Netherlands have a Bigger population density than India and Japan ,Isreal Belgium etc have a very close population density of India. Still they have managed a very high HDI and a very high prosperity level. Why? Also take into account the Hostile condition in which Israel is situated, the hostile as well as poor condition in which Taiwan and South Korea started out, and the devastated state in which the Japan started out(after ignoring the fact that it is mineral poor state)?

    India has 1/4th of the arable land in the world. It has the largest area in cultivation. So theoretically we can support a much larger population without deteriorating our standard of living.What country has the most arable land?. And we have a very good mineral resource!

    I think the reason india screwed up is because we Indians fcuked ourselves up with a highly inefficient Socialistic economic model.

    So I really think it is high time we indians stopped blaming our problems on the Population and instead focus on removing the inefficiencies in present system!
    And if you think high population precludes development, think USA- the third most populous country in the world :thumb:
     
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  14. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    I disagree sir. Instead of thinking about the 1.2Bn population as a burden, think of it as a work force!

    For a simple ex, for if a 100 person population group creates a unemployment of 6 %, then the 1.2 Bn should also produce the same 6% un-employment.

    So if a 100 person group can absorb a 6% unemployment, then, naturally a 6% unemployment of the 1.2Bn is also absorbable. Think about it.

    And if we dont manage our resources efficiently, even if we had only a 300Mn population, we will be poor, cue- think the status of India now and India in 1947 or even the 1980s

    Edit : I am not talking about the pollution at all :troll:
     
  15. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    if the poor of India ask the Western nations to share the burden of subsidies then they will simply kick these shiits of India, isn't it? and if its only Indian Middle Class who is generating money and running government and also paying heavy price for the welfare/subsidies for poor, then they do have a right to ask the Indian Government, "to what extent they will have to bear this burden of tax just to feed poor, and whether they will remain capable enough in future also to bear this burden on long run if the government doesn't control the population?????????"

    like the news as below, around 50% indian population is based in agriculture only, around 600mil, while even 200mil population may produce the same agriculture output? and the same in cities of India, around 50% people just try to earn a decent salary which they can't, simply because too many mouths and limited resources. and Indian Middle Class is just paying high price to feed these around 600mil excess population, but still there is no effort to have a control on this growing population???????

    here for example of Pakistan and Bangladesh, right now overly populated Pakistan is full of target killings, too many mouth and no resources to feed them. its similar to 'genocide' itself? and Bangladeshis just want to run from Bangladesh, mainly to India. its the worse to see people dying without dignity than controlling population by force..........
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  16. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    ^^ What about resources ?
    Where would you get resources from?. What would happen if India starts consuming like the US. ?
    The world would be screwed, if India and China starts consuming like the US.

    Remember, India is by no measure a resource rich country, except maybe coal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  17. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    sir, many economists of India advocate "food security"/ "free medicines"/ "right to get a job" etc in India which is not possible until the Indian government may control its population. they simply can't feed 1.2bil population from the limited natural resources they have :wave:. USA is 3 times bigger in area than India but population of India is 4 times to USA? and on the top of that, Indian government wants to give welfare/ heavy subsidies to its people? if India face a sudden fall like ASEAN in late 90s and South America like in 80s, all these they will have to withdraw after that so better they keep habit to live in less and get rid off the unnecessary subsidies/welfares :wave:. for example, we always find Pakistan increasing petrol and diesel prices as per market prices as they can't afford to give subsidies while the people of Pakistan are poorer than India, but Indian government always hesitate to do so? but the day India will reach level of Pakistan, just one good economic fall is required, and India will learn all by themselves. :wave:
     
  18. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    We Should stop consuming resources because the world will be screwed?:dude:
     
  19. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    This is a radically different thinking , I am not claiming I am right, but lets keep our prejudices away for argument's sake now, shall we?

    It does not need to. It just needs to use the population effectively.

    :facepalm:Do you even read? India has the largest area under cultivation. I read somewhere that India has the 1/4th of Arable land of the world, which technically means we should be able to support 1/4th of Human resource in the world.

    Again, dint I say socilaism screws the economic efficiency of the people?


    .
    Again, it boils down to subsidies and shit. Now answer why South Korea managed to be 20 times better than India wrt to economy, despite a more hostile environment with more population(relatively) to feed ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  20. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    What I'm saying is, a large population coupled with lack of resources is a bad combination. Other nations are not going to give resources for free, it's going to get costlier. And to feed a large population is going to get more difficult. Hence population control.
     
  21. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Answer my basic question, how did Japan, which cant feed its own people(it imports its food unlike India) manage to prosper? BUt India can atleast feed its own people.

    The answer is, Japan was simply more efficient in managing its Human resource. Give me a better answer if you can.
     

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