Section A

1. With consideration of an increasing world population and increasing pressures on resources, critically evaluate the relationships among water scarcity, food production, and food security. Explore the implications, particularly in future scenarios, and what actions can be taken.

A critical evaluation of the relationships among Water Scarcity, Food Production, and Food Security

Humanity’s food and water supply constantly face threatening challenges stemming directly from the exponential rise in the global populace. The global populace is at the 7.7 billion mark and is anticipated to increase rapidly in the next four decades (Kuo, 2020). The global populace is anticipated to grow exponentially regardless of the measures to address the strain of overpopulation on natural resources. Increasing global population is directly linked to the development of climate change across the planet. On the other hand, global warming causes food insecurity and water scarcity in varied regions around the world. Increased global warming has been linked to overpopulation because the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests and other carbon sinks promote the planet’s warming to greater temperatures (Kuo, 2020). Consequently, this results in the manifestation of unpredictable climatic conditions and patterns that negatively affect farming due to changes in seasons across diverse global regions.

Implications of Overpopulation on Natural Resources

The proliferated rise in the global populace has increasingly sparked the development of wide-ranging effects, especially concerning the sustainability of natural resources. In particular, overpopulation is known to cause strains on vital human and natural resources, including land and water. Indeed, the exponential rise in the global population subsequently increases the demand for land for settlement and arable farming.

Nonetheless, the rise in population across the globe has similarly led to the dwindling of water resources. Research has shown that places known to have a relatively low population increase experience minimal incidences of food insecurity compared to areas characterized by high population growth rates (Kuo, 2020). Indeed, the rise in population causes an increase in demand for food and land for settlement. Increased population growth results in more land being set aside to grow crops and livestock rearing, thereby leading to the emergence of other consequences on the environment, such as habitat encroachment and loss of species.

Overpopulation increasingly features among the factors known to foster the prevalence of hunger in the world. It is expected that countries found in the African sub-regions and parts of South Asia will likely bear the brunt of overpopulation, especially concerning food production and water scarcity. This is because increased growth of population in the aforementioned low developed countries is detrimental to their survival. The said countries currently experience higher prevalence rates of poverty and hunger (Kuo, 2020). At this rate, the continued rise in population will significantly increase hunger in low developed countries.

People from impoverished backgrounds constantly experience limited access to clean water for drinking and inadequate food supply (Kuo, 2020). Nonetheless, several people lack access to quality sanitation and hygiene, use inappropriate care practices, and lack accessibility to quality healthcare (Kuo, 2020). Food crises in several parts of the world, especially in Africa and South Asia, have constantly resulted in an increased prevalence of malnourished youth and the death of livestock.

Water is also an equally vital element increasingly needed in food production and for the survival of living organisms on the planet. It is estimated that about one billion people lack access to clean and safe water for drinking worldwide. This number is expected to rise soon due to the increased rise in global warming that affects precipitation and seasons, thereby causing food insecurity and water scarcity.

Measures for addressing the issue of Overpopulation and its effects on Natural Resources

The increased rise in the global populace continues to spark the development of wide-ranging food and water scarcity while simultaneously fostering increased climate change. The aforementioned effects call upon the adoption and implementation of a diverse array of strategies designed to regulate overpopulation effects. Some of these measures areas listed below.

Increasing Agricultural Production

Agriculture is increasingly featured among the greatest contributors to climate change. This is because more land is needed to increase food production for the sustenance of the ever-increasing global populace. However, increasing agricultural production is one of the strategic measures designed to curb the issue of food crises in several parts of the world. It is advisable to use better techniques of farming that contribute minimally to global warming (Kuo, 2020). Preferable farming methods include the use of large-scale modern mechanization alongside the use of fertilizers, modern genetic seeds, pesticides, and irrigation in a bid to increase farming yields.

Using resources sparingly and efficiently

The need to use resources efficiently equally plays a core role in the regulation of food crises. Modernized commercial farming is increasingly sparking a revolution in food production. In particular, computerized tractors and other farm equipment have paved the way for the proper application of pesticides and fertilizers (Kuo, 2020). This has seen several farmers increase their crop yields accordingly.

2. Discuss and critically evaluate the issues that mining for raw materials has on both the environment and humans. 

Mining, by definition, denotes the extraction of mineral elements from the earth’s interior onto the surface. The minerals extracted from the earth’s surface are in turn used in the production of wide-ranging commodities. Some of these commodities include batteries, mobile phones, electronic computers, and cars, just to mention a few. While the continued mining of minerals contributes to the development of global economies, there is a catch to this operation – it poses the development of debilitating consequences both to the environment and human health.

Effects on the Environment

The mining of mineral elements has led to the deterioration of the environment for the longest time. Mining tends to affect biodiversity in one of two ways, namely indirect and direct means. The former entails the threat caused by industries heavily invested in diverse mining operations and the stakeholders that gain unlimited access to areas rich in biodiversity from the pursuit of mining operations (Sonter et al., 2018). On the other hand, the latter refers to the direct extraction of mineral elements from the earth’s surface (Sonter et al., 2018). Continued indulgence in mining operations has been linked to the development of numerous effects, including land degradation, loss of wildlife habitat, and the decline of ecosystems (Sonter et al., 2018). Industries that process the extracted minerals release waste products to the environment that present detrimental health conditions to several human lives.

Effects on Human Health

Indulgence in mining operations is also one of the greatest causal factors of environmental pollution. In particular, continued extraction of minerals from the earth’s crust and subsequent processing of the crude raw materials is inextricably linked to the subsequent pollution of different facets of the environment such as air, soil, and water systems. Industrial processing of extracted minerals increasingly results in the subsequent release of toxic physical and chemical waste products such as aerosols and dust into the environment. The processing of minerals extracted from the earth’s surface resultantly sparks the release of hazardous chemicals into the air, including cyanide and mercury used to extract gold (Sonter et al., 2018). Nonetheless, the oxidation of mineral ores from getting exposed to air leads to the discharge of hazardous acids into the environment. The release of chemical emissions into the atmosphere causes humans to contract detrimental health defects, including, among others, a manifestation of debilitating respiratory illnesses. Continued pursuit of mining operations also threatens the safety of miners. This is especially true for minors who become victims of mines collapsing unexpectedly, thereby losing several precious lives. To that end, there is a need to adopt and implement strategic measures with the potential to regulate and curb the aforementioned detrimental effects on human lives.

Section B

There are many factors that affect natural resources and their availability. Describe and discuss the impacts and implications that Brexit and/or COVID-19 have had and continue to have on natural resources, resource security both in terms of the environment and people. Use case studies from the Global North and/or the Global South, and reference your field trip to Arfon Timber Cooperative Ltd. 

The outbreak of coronavirus has led to the manifestation of positive outcomes toward the environment. In particular, some of the best outcomes that have arisen from the continued rise in the prevalence of said disease include the resultant reduction of air pollution (Rume and Islam, 2020). This is especially true because the imposition of stringent legal measures such as social distancing and curfews undermined the progression of several business operations that otherwise sparked the spread of air, noise, and water pollution (Rume and Islam, 2020). Therefore, the prevalence of coronavirus has impacted the livelihoods of humanity through restructuring the provision and distribution of resources. Indeed, the proliferation of COVID -19’s infections led to the adoption and subsequent implementation of stringent laws that barred the progression of businesses, thereby undermining the very livelihoods of several human lives.

The continued prevalence of coronavirus infections has and continues to spark the proliferation of debilitating consequences on human health. Presently, the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus has increasingly led to an increment in the release of biomedical waste products (Rume and Islam, 2020). This is primarily attributed to the greater number of patients constantly admitted to the hospitals for diagnosis and treatment.

The continued prevalence of coronavirus has tremendously impacted the livelihoods of several American citizenries over time, with several families suffering devastating economic blows in the long run. Following the first incidences of COVID-19 prevalence, several Americans and other individuals have borne the brunt of the pandemic through the loss of their employment. This, in turn, led to the manifestation of adverse outcomes such as lack of access to adequate resources and amenities (Rume and Islam, 2020). The exponential rise in the spread of the pandemic subsequently caused the migration of families that had settled in urban centers to migrate back to rural areas. This resultant rural migration led to the subsequent spread of coronavirus from the urban to rural communities.

Reference List

Kuo, G., 2020. Overpopulation and water scarcity leading to world future food crisis. [Online]. https://mahb.stanford.edu/library-item/overpopulation-and-water-scarcity-leading-to-world-future-food-crisis/

Rume, T. and Islam, S.D.U., 2020. Environmental effects of COVID-19 pandemic and potential strategies of sustainability. Heliyon. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7498239/

Sonter, L.J., Ali, S.H. and Watson, J.E., 2018. Mining and biodiversity: key issues and research needs in conservation science. Proceedings of the Royal Society B285(1892), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6283941/

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