Analysis on the Effects of Population Growth
High population growth has significantly impacted the release of greenhouse gases (Blodgett, J., & Parker, L., 2007, April) especially in developing countries. This is because these countries rely mostly on natural resources for their day-to-day living. For example, most electricity consumed comes from burning of fossil fuels. Rates of deforestation, which results in the release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, is also significant in these countries. These activities result in the man-made component of greenhouse effect.
The United Nations has, therefore, asked me to analyze how the increasing populations in developing countries has impacted the release of greenhouse gases. The organization requires that I choose one developing country in my analysis. The point of focus will be how burning of fossil fuels in the chosen country has led to greenhouse effects. The paper expects that I use examples from the chosen country to justify the statements. I will be looking at Kenya, a developing country in East Africa, and which the consumption of fossil fuel energy is significant. The country’s population currently stand at over 40 million. The majority middle class use cheap energy sources at home and to run businesses. Many are also buying vehicles that consume the same type of energy.
The analysis will contain three sections, covering one page each. A background section will explain what greenhouse is and how it contributes to global warming. The second section explains the challenges faced in the developing countries as a result of greenhouse emissions. These include the economic, political and the security problems. In the last section, I will talk about the two causes greenhouse gases and the possible solutions to address them as well as how population growth control relates to greenhouse emissions.
Section I. Background
Naturally, our atmosphere contains gases that help support life. These gases trap heat from the sun and radiate it to the earth surface. These makes the earth surface warm and favorable for life. This is called greenhouse effect and the gases that are responsible for this effect, mostly carbon dioxide, methane and ozone, are called greenhouse gases. These gases should be maintained at some balanced levels for the natural greenhouse effect. However, many human activities have caused increased of especially carbon dioxide gases in the atmosphere, affecting the natural greenhouse effect.
Global warming refers to the rising levels of temperature on the earth surface. When heat from the sum that is radiated by the greenhouse gases should not keep accumulating. When this heat fails to escape back to the atmosphere, it gradually increases the temperature levels leading to undesired heating effects. Burning of fossil fuels cause carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere. These increases the concentrations of the gas among the greenhouse gases affecting its balance. This causes more heat to be trapped within the earth surface which with time lead to extreme climate changes.
In Kenya, for example, fossil fuel energy consumption was reported to be at 17.15% in the year 2014. These figures have been rising due to the growing population and thus increase in the number of individuals who are dependent on these forms of energy. The country depends on natural gas, oil, fossil fuel and coal for energy which when burnt release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The country has been experiencing extreme climate change. The seasons where heavy rains are expected end up being hot. Severe droughts have been experienced and a lot of livestock have been lost. Some wild animals have also died and slowly becoming extinct. Food insecurity is increasing as large scale farming that dependent on natural rainfall no longer does as expected.
Section II. How Emissions Causes Problems for the Developing World
Countries Producing the most Greenhouse Gases
Globally, china is known to be the leading in emission of greenhouse gases and the rates of emission continuously increase. In 2014, the emissions weighed 11.186 billion tones which was 17% higher compared to the year 2010. The country has a large coal mines which results in the release of methane, a gas which is known to trap more heat compared to carbon dioxide. China leads in the production and consumption of coal. The other counties include India, Russia and Brazil.
Economic Challenges of Greenhouse Emissions
Greenhouse emissions have resulted in changes in climatic conditions. Activities that depend on natural weather conditions and weather patterns have been affected. The governments have had to meet the demands of such activities therefore pulling down economic growth. The money spend could be used in other projects. For developing countries, it becomes impossible to eradicate poverty.
In Kenya, for example, the disappearance of long rainfalls that most farming depended on has forced the government to meet the food demands of her population. Food security has been threatened and the government is already budgeting on how to feed the affected (Kabubo-Mariara, J., & Kabara, M., 2018). This has mostly affected the poor within the country, therefore, making them poorer. A county called Marsabit lost more that 60% of the livestock due to drought. The government is tasked with thinking of diversified farming and innovation solutions. The alternating hot seasons and heavy rainfalls that has caused floods is evidently dragging Kenya economy. The potential of having the beautiful Kenyan coastal region destroyed due to rising sea levels will pose a threat to the country’s tourism sector (Anyona, S., & Rop, B. K., 2016).
Security Challenges of Greenhouse Emissions
The threats posed by the changing climatic conditions which result from greenhouse effect include lack of access to clean water, sufficient food and damage of landscape (United Nations, 2006). Climate change generally causes depletion of resources if not addressed (Morales Jr, E. (2015). In addition, dissatisfied individuals may turn against one another and start fighting. Also, pollution caused by openly burning wood increases chances of chronic diseases. In Kenya, there is already an alarm for possible food insecurity (Kabubo-Mariara, J., & Kabara, M., 2018). Longs rains did not occur as expected. A lot of individuals and livestock who live in the drier parts of the country have lost their lives. It is also reported that the communities have started fighting due to lack of water and livestock grazing fields.
Political Challenges of Greenhouse Emissions
The government is expected to respond to the effects of greenhouse emissions. New legislation will have to be put in place to deal with the negative impacts of greenhouse effects, for example, to adapt to climate change (Volenzo, T. E. et al, 2019). The security and economic impacts already discussed must involve the government and politics to seek solutions or alternatives for the population. The government may also impose rules and regulations on the consumption of fossil fuels. In Kenya, for example, the government is devising ways alternative to normal farming that can bring about food security (Kabubo-Mariara, J., & Kabara, M. (2018).
Section II. Causes and Solutions of Greenhouse Gases
Two Causes of Greenhouse Gases
The two causes of greenhouse gases are burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Fossil fuel contains carbon which upon burning it is released to the air where it combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide. Deforestation is the act of cutting down trees in large quantities. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release energy. Such plants can assist in taking in the large quantities of carbon dioxide, however, without trees, a lot of carbon dioxide will accumulate in the atmosphere.
The proposed solution to these two causes s to embrace green energy and to practice afforestation. Trees should always be planted and policies to prevent cutting down of trees should be put in place. Green energy will prevent burning of coal, use of oil, petroleum and natural gas. Examples of green energy sources include: Wind energy, solar energy and wave energy
Relationship Between Population Control and Greenhouse Gases
Higher populations means higher demands for energy. As analyzed with the case of Kenya, majority of population use fossil fuels as sources of energy. The more the population increases, the more the use and the more carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere. Many middle class are also buying personal vehicles ans the more the people the more the vehicles. Majority are also carrying out small businesses such as salons and motor centers, which attract affordable capital. Controlling populations means controlling fossil fuel consumption and consequently reducing the emissions.
Increasing population has a direct impact on greenhouse emissions and greenhouse effect. The developing countries heavily depend on fossil fuel energy and coal mining. Burning fossil fuels increases the levels of carbon dioxide. Coal mining increases levels of methane. Greenhouse effects have diverse negative effects on the affected population, the major impact being climate change and the associated impacts. The economy and security of developing countries is largely impacted. It becomes almost impossible for developing countries to end poverty.
The UN should greatly advocate for population control, use of green energy and afforestation. If fossil fuels must be burnt, there should be strict policies for reusing the released greenhouse gases. Population control controls energy consumption. It is also easier to impose rules and regulations on a smaller group of people. Trees are quite important in absorbing carbon dioxide. The poverty levels in the developing countries has forced individuals to invade natural forests, cutting down trees to sell or prepare charcoal for selling. A controlled population enables a government to budget for the population and it becomes easy to fight poverty.
Blodgett, J., & Parker, L. (2007, April). Greenhouse gas emission drivers: population, economic development and growth, and energy use. Congressional Information Service, Library of Congress.
Kabubo-Mariara, J., & Kabara, M. (2018). Climate change and food security in Kenya. In Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change in Africa (pp. 55-80). Routledge.t.
Anyona, S., & Rop, B. K. (2016, May). Global Warming and its Impact on Kenya’s Coastal Structures. In Proceedings of Sustainable Research and Innovation Conference (pp. 126-131).
Volenzo, T. E., Odiyo, J. O., & Obiri, J. (2019). Greenhouse gas emissions as sustainability indicators in agricultural sectors’ adaptation to climate change: Policy implications. Jamba (Potchefstroom, South Africa), 11(1), 576. doi:10.4102/jamba.v11i1.576
United Nations. (2006). Fact Sheet on Climate Change: Africa is particularly vulnerable to the expected impacts of global warming
Morales Jr, E. (2015). Global Climate Change as a Threat to US National Security. Journal of Strategic Security, 8(5), 13.