Environmental issues can be broken into two general categories—those based on rapid population growth in developing nations and those based on consumer demand in the developed nations. In the poorer countries, the main issues are generally broad in scope, influencing immense numbers of people, other animal and plant species, and/or vast tracts of land (Table 1.1). On occasion, these problems result in the loss of many people, high infant mortality, and unstable social conditions. There will be about 6.35 billion people in the world by the year 2000, up from the 4 billion in 1975 (Hileman, 1982). The poorest countries will experience 90% of this growth and house 78–80% of the world’s population by the year 2000. Growth of the world’s population will slow only marginally from 1.8% in 1975 to 1.7% in 2000. Although food supply is on the increase, the actual per capita consumption of food in south Asia, the Middle East, and much of Africa is expected to improve little, if not to decline.
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James W. Moore
- Springer New York