Social Impact of Population Growth Discussion 6

The United Nations has hired you to be a consultant on global issues. One of the challenges is assessing the impact of population growth. There is no question that the world population will grow dramatically in the next decade throughout many countries of the world. The members of the UN are working to understand the impact that population growth has on society, specifically in developing countries. Your first project with the UN is to develop a white paper on three issues related to the population growth faced by one of these countries. Read the Case Study and provide an assessment based on the questions below.

(For a brief list of resources for this assignment, please see the end of the course guide.)


Our obsession with continual economic growth deters us from studying the role that an expanding population plays in global warming.[1]

About 3 billion years ago, the Earth suffered through a mass extinction caused by catastrophic volcanic activity in Siberia and wildfires that covered the entire planet. Since then, four more extinctions have eradicated up to 80% of all species each time. The world’s climatologists and scientists overwhelmingly agree that we are now on the verge of a sixth mass event that, over the next few tens of thousands of years, will wipe out nearly all living species on Earth — including humankind.

This is not the stuff of science fiction or speculation, but rather the studied view of the people who are most qualified to make this kind of assessment. As anthropologist Richard Leaky, author of The Sixth Extinction,[2] wrote in 1995, “Homo sapiens might not only be the agent of the sixth extinction, but also risks being one of its victims.”

This brings us to two issues worthy of reflection:


Discussion of the Social Impacts of Population Growth 6 Discussion of the Social Impacts of Population Growth 6

The United Nations has engaged you as a global issues consultant. One of the difficulties is determining the influence of population expansion. There is no doubt that the global population will increase considerably during the next decade in several countries around the world. Members of the United Nations are attempting to understand the influence of population expansion on society, particularly in developing nations. Your first project with the UN will be to write a white paper on three concerns relating to one of these countries’ population increase. Read the Case Study and answer the questions below to provide an assessment.

(For a short list of resources, click here.)