Ecology Science Fair Project
Overpopulation vs. Overconsumption


Projects by Grade Level
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th
Home Advanced Award Winning Warning!
Project Information
Title: Overpopulation vs. Overconsumption
Subject: Ecology
Grade level: Elementary School - Grades 4-6
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Descriptive
Cost: Low
Awards: 2nd place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (2004)
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (VSF)
Year: 2004
Description: Main topics: definitions of overpopulation and overconsumption, history of population, resource distribution, current overpopulation issues, quiz.
Link: www.virtualsciencefair.org...
Background

Overpopulation is the condition where an organism's numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its habitat. In common parlance, the term usually refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth.

Overpopulation is not a function of the size or density of the population only. Overpopulation is determined using the ratio of population to available sustainable resources. If a given environment has a population of ten, but there is food or drinking water enough for only nine, then in a closed system where no trade is possible, that environment is overpopulated; if the population is 100 individuals but there is enough food, shelter, and water for 200 for the indefinite future, then it is not. Overpopulation can result from an increase in births, a decline in mortality rates due to medical advances, from an increase in immigration, or from an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources. It is possible for very sparsely-populated areas to be overpopulated, as the area in question may have a meager or non-existent capability to sustain human life (e.g. the middle of the Sahara Desert or Antarctica).

The resources to be considered when evaluating whether an ecological niche is overpopulated include clean water, clean air, food, shelter, warmth, and other resources necessary to sustain life. If the quality of human life is addressed, there may be additional resources considered, such as medical care, employment, education, electricity, proper sewage treatment and waste disposal. Overpopulation places competitive stress on these basic life sustaining resources, leading to a diminished quality of life.

Some countries have managed to increase their carrying capacity by using technologies such as modern agriculture, desalination and nuclear power. Some economists such as Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams have argued that poverty and famine are caused by bad government and economic policies, not necessarily by overpopulation. In his book The Ultimate Resource, economist Julian Simon argued that higher population density leads to more specialization and technological innovation, producing a higher standard of living. Others argue that overpopulation is an important cause of these problems.

Over-consumption is a concept related to overpopulation, referring to situations where per capita consumption is so high that even in spite of a moderate population density, sustainability is not achieved. The concept was coined to augment the discussion of overpopulation, which reflects issues of carrying capacity without taking into account per capita consumption, by which developing nations are evaluated to consume more than their land can support. Green parties and the ecology movement often argue that consumption per person, or ecological footprint, is typically lower in poor than in rich nations.

For More Information:
Overpopulation
Overconsumption

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License)

Useful Links
Science Fair Projects Resources
Citation Guides, Style Manuals, Reference
General Safety Resources
Electrical Safety FAQ
Ecology Science Fair Projects

Ecology Award Winning Projects

Ecology Experiments
Books

                 



Projects Home
Primary School
Elementary School
Middle School
High School
Advanced
Easy Projects
Award Winning
Popular Ideas
Branches of Science
Experiments

Science Fair Project Guide
Home
Science Fair Project Types
The Scientific Method - How to Experiment
The Display Board
Topics, Ideas, Sample Projects

Repeat Famous Experiments and Inventions
Science Jokes Science Trivia
Scientists & Inventors

Read for Free
The Science Fair
A Juvenile Science Adventure Novel
by Julian T. Rubin

Human Abridged Wikipedia Articles



My Dog Kelly

Follow Us On:
       

Privacy Policy - Site Map - About Us - Letters to the Editor

Comments and inquiries:
webmaster@julianTrubin.com


Last updated: January 2018
Copyright 2003-2018 Julian Rubin