Since the middle of the 20th century, the world's population has more than doubled. According to experts, our ever-increasing demands will eventually exhaust the earth's supplies of fuel, water and food. Other experts argue that, as our numbers rise, scientists will develop new ways to sustain the human race without harming the environment. This text investigates how and why the population is growing so fast, the pressure on resources, the effects on wildlife and habitats, food distribution, living spaces and urbanization, migration and refugees and suggests ways of controlling growth. Opposing viewpoints are given in each instance to provide opportunities for discussion and debate.
Rob Bowden is a freelance development geographer who has taught at the universities of Sussex, Brighton and Keele and worked in Africa and the Middle East. He specializes in international environment and development issues and has written numerous children's books. The consultant, Hazel Barrett, is a Reader in Geography at Coventry University and has written several books on population issues. She is also editor of 'Geography', the journal for the Geographical Association.