This article about reaching a global population of 8 billion in November 2022 connects population growth to many climate change topics, including biodiversity loss, unsustainable resource use, increased greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and unsustainable agricultural practices.
The article outlines how we got to this point, the many global challenges we face due to rapid population growth, the disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities, and important solutions.
This is a clear and concise overview of the issue of rapid population growth.
The article highlights the unmet need for equal access to education and access to health care for women, especially in developing countries.
There are numerous links to additional resources throughout the article.
Students can choose one topic from the article to investigate further using the linked resources and share their findings with the class.
Students can discuss the benefits and drawbacks of possible solutions to rapid population growth including those mentioned in the article and additional solutions identified by students.
Science classes can connect this resource to lessons about population dynamics, r- or K-selected species, advancements in microbiology, ecology, habitat loss, mass extinction events, or ecological sustainability.
Ethics and social studies classes can connect this article to lessons about human rights, equal rights, women's rights, the rights of other species, and the rights of nature.
The article highlights investing in girls' education and family planning programs as a means to curb population growth. To learn more about these solutions, students can read this article by Project Drawdown.
The topic of population growth and the significance of ethical family planning are covered in the resource. Human needs rise along with population growth, which is bad news for achieving the UN SDGs. It is advised that students use this resource, which honors World Population Day, to help them raise awareness about the effects of population growth on the environment.
English Language Arts
Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
9-10.RI.5 Analyze in detail how an author's ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text.
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS.ESS3.3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among the management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.