Two Long-Term Problems: Too Many People, Too Few Trees Summary

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Two Long-Term Problems: Too Many People, Too Few Trees

-Moti Nissani

Summary of “Two Long-Term Problems: Too Many People, Too Few Trees”:

The essay “Two Long-Term Problems: Too Many People, Too Few Trees” was written by an American writer, Moti Nissani. In this essay, the writer addresses the twin problems of overpopulation and deforestation, especially in the context of Nepal.

More than 1500 of Nobel prize winner scientists are worried about the state of the biosphere. They express their worry and concern about the future of humanity in a document, “World Scientists Warning to Humanity.” Royal Society of London and US National Academy of Science, on the other hand, state that the future of humanity will be in the balance if the degradation of the natural environment is halted in time.

Also Read: Over Tourism In Nepal, Causes and Solutions

The facts today speak something else. Human health, natural environment, and wildlife are at serious risk due to overpopulation and deforestation. The population of the world, including that of Nepal, is exploding. In the context of Nepal, an average woman is giving birth to 5 children, which has caused the population of Nepal to grow by 2.5 % every year. The population has risen to 23 million from 9 million in less than 50 years. If the current trend continues, it is predicted to reach 46 million by 2026. In the global context, the population is increasing by 10,000 people every hour and 80 million people every year. This frightening trend of population growth leads Moti Nissani to believe that the world is facing an overpopulation crisis.

The causes of overpopulation are as follows:

  1. Advancement in sanitation, nutrition, and health
  2. Lack of family planning devices
  3. Lack of equal opportunities for women
  4. Illiteracy
  5. Lack of population education
  6. Traditional and superstitious society

The consequences of overpopulation are massive and uncertain. It is likely to invite problems in human life, wildlife, and the natural environment.

The consequences of overpopulation include:

  1. Deforestation and desertification of the earth
  2. Erosion in the quality and value of human life
  3. Depletion of nonrenewable resources
  4. Degradation of the natural environment
  5. Loss of wild species of plants, birds, and animals
  6. Acid rain and ozone layer depletion and the greenhouse effect
  7. Crime ethnic conflicts and warfare

History and common sense tell us that we can control population growth.

The following measures might help control the rapid growth of population.

  1. Modernization in thought and lifestyle of people
  2. Literacy, especially for third world people
  3. Media campaigns for public awareness
  4. Readily available means of family planning
  5. Equal economic, educational and legal opportunities for women.

Deforestation is another long term problem. It existed in the past, will exist in the future. The only difference is it is being destroyed much faster and on a larger scale than ever before. For example, Forest covered 40% of the earth’s total land at the beginning of the 20th century, but the figure stands at 25% at the end of the century.

The causes of deforestation are as follows:

  1. Overpopulation, poverty, and dependence on forest for livelihood
  2. The affluent lifestyle of some people
  3. The high demand for mahogany furniture, paper products, beef and hamburgers in the western countries
  4. Deforestation is likely to affect human life, wildlife, and the natural environment.

The consequences of deforestation are as follows:

  1. Soil erosion, landslide, flooding and siltation of rivers
  2. Loss of variable species of both plants and animals
  3. Greenhouse effects, droughts, weather extremes, sizzling temperature, global warming, depletion of the Ozone layer
  4. Degradation of the natural environment

We can save the forest by controlling our numbers and appetites.

The following measures can solve the problem of deforestation:

  1. Controlling growth in population
  2. Moves towards participatory democracy
  3. Economic sufficiency
  4. Efficiency in the use of wood products
  5. The financial incentive for preserving forests
  6. Recycling, reforestation
  7. Appropriate technology

We know we need to help a few people and more trees. We also know how to do it, but we still lack forest compassion and wisdom to turn our knowledge into reality.

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