Maybe We Should Think Twice Before Moving?
As one of our class texts, Introduction to International Studies, begins speaking about population and the alarmingly rapid rate at which at the population on Earth is increasing, we can sense that some issues will arise. One of the first issues that the book touches on is the migration of the younger generation from countries which are more ‘slow-growing’ to countries which have much ‘faster growing’ economies. Ultimately though, a connection was then made between the increasing population and the natural environment. It is evident that once there are more of a species on earth, that species would inevitably utilize more and more resources from the earth in order to maintain its population. As in the case of the human population, by far the largest population of species, we utilize many resources from the earth.
Unfortunately, the waste created from using these resources are also left behind and accumulates. The accumulation of these pollutants thus results in a number of issues, some of the main ones being excess CO2 in the air from the burning fossil fuels. Additionally, with the increase in population, of course we have to (1) have somewhere to put everyone, (2) provide food for everyone (both plants and livestock) and (3) have somewhere to raise the livestock as well as feed them, and the increase in population only causes the need for these to increase. The need for space means that deforestation will likely occur so that not only us humans, but also the livestock which will feed us, have somewhere to live and grow. Deforestation results in a -decrease in the carbon sinks present, which means there are fewer plants available to intake CO2. What does this mean? — An increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. I’m sure by this point we are all aware of the fact that increasing CO2 levels have always been related to an increase in the atmospheric temperature of the Earth. This rise in temperature and its effects can pretty much be felt all around the world in instances from melting ice caps to increases in diseases as well as extremes of both hot and cold weather. The current brain drain in several global south countries isn’t helping either. With more and more of the younger generation leaving their home countries, usually developing, in search of ‘better’ opportunities in the more developed countries, this only leads more people in already congested and industrialized areas. They would be adding to the need for burning more fossil fuels as well as industrialization. Both of which contribute to an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. It has been seen that more developed countries, which are a part of the global north, are major contributors to global climate change because of how highly industrialized they are. Therefore, more and more persons seeking to move to these countries isn’t necessarily helping this whole global warming issue.
It’s interesting to see however, that I have never looked at it this way before. Me, leaving my country and going to a global north country, would eventually contribute to global warming. Not saying that I couldn’t have contributed while at home but more developed countries because of how industrialized they are, are even bigger contributors to the phenomenon. Therefore with more and more persons residing there, it causes for great concern. This is a reason why we should really look at what we’re doing and analyze how it is impacting our Earth. Who would have thought that something as ‘simple’ as moving from one country to the next for whatever personal reasons would have a greater impact environmentally. Not only environmentally but it will ultimately come back and affect us, humans, directly. Sadly, we won’t see it as that big of an issue until it gets to that point.