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Speech and Environmental Science Learning Community

This guide will provide research and resources to support students enrolled in EVR 1001 and SPC 2608 learning community.

Human Population

Human population growth exerts significant pressure on the environment by intensifying resource consumption, habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change. The increased demand for food, water, energy, and land has led to deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and ecological imbalances. Addressing the challenges posed by population growth is essential for achieving long-term environmental sustainability.


Listen While You Learn

Stream these podcast episodes online in your browser or on your mobile device through the following apps: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify. Use the Listen Notes Podcast Search Engine to find additional podcast episodes about your topic. 

Human Population Podcasts

If there were fewer of us, would the amount of greenhouse gasses we emit reduce? It’s a question that often creeps up in discussions about climate change. Studies show that the global population will decline eventually and populations in many rich nations are already declining. However, 11,000 scientists signed a paper warning of “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless society transforms, including the reversal of population growth. But an analysis by the United Nations found that affluence has a greater impact on the climate than population. When we talk about overpopulation, what are we really saying and where does the conversation go from here?

So what are the key demographic trends driving population growth? Where is population growing fastest? Where is it declining? And what do the age structures of populations around the world tell us about the future of our planet? We kick off with a brief history of population growth and with a discussion of the so-called demographic transition, which is the long process in which populations steadily live longer and have few children. 

There are 45 million enslaved people in the world today. The links between slavery, conflict, environmental destruction, economics and consumption began to strengthen and evolve in the 20th century. The availability of people who might be enslaved dramatically increased in line with population growth. According to Kevin Bales, professor of contemporary slavery and research director of the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham, the large and negative environmental impact of modern slavery is just now coming to light.

We’re approaching overpopulation. Or we’re in danger of population decline. It depends who you ask. As we prepare to pass eight billion humans on Earth, a look at the history of population anxiety and thoughts about where we go from here. Plus, a visually-appealing compostable alternative to Keurig Cups and Nespresso pods. And a vital Muppet-related update.

In the fall of 2022, humanity entered unprecedented territory when, according to the United Nations, the world’s population reached eight billion people. Journalist Bruce Livesey explores the complex issues around population growth — from its connection to energy sources, to the often racist reactions to the subject.

Research Database

Use this library database to search for research articles about your topic. See below for featured articles to get started on learning more about your topic. 

Find full-text articles in: Applied Science & Technology Source, General Science Full Text, and GreenFILE.

Population Books