|Three Views of Population Growth
Scenario 1 - Disastrous
As the century began, natural resources are under increasing pressure, threatening public health and development. Water shortages, soil exhaustion, loss of forests, air and water pollution, and degradation of coastlines afflict many areas. As the world's population grows, improving living standards without destroying the environment is a global challenge.
Most developed economies currently consume resources much faster than they can regenerate. Most developing countries with rapid population growth face the urgent need to improve living standards. As we humans exploit nature to meet present needs, are we destroying resources needed for the future?
In the past decade in every environmental sector, conditions have either failed to improve, or they are worsening:
• Public health: Unclean water, along with poor sanitation, kills over 12 million people each year, most in developing countries. Air pollution kills nearly...