Advertisement

Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 95–108 | Cite as

The effect of population growth on environmental quality

  • Samuel H. Preston
Population and policy

Abstract

This paper summarizes research on the effect of population growth on environmental quality. Land transformations induced by the spatial expansion of agriculture are probably the major route by which population growth has affected features of the natural environment. These transformations are not automatic and their extent is influenced by social institutions. Intensification of agricultural land use is an alternative response with its own set of environmental implications. These are especially salient in the case of expanded irrigation. In contrast to relations in the agricultural sector, a new version of the conventional I = PAT equation is introduced to suggest that population growth is a minor influence on the extent of industrial pollution. Nevertheless, population policy may play a useful role in strategies to reduce industrial pollution.

Key words

Agriculture Environment Pollution Population 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bilsborrow, R. E. (1994). Population, development, and deforestation, in Population, Environment, and Development. Proceedings of the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Population, Environment, and Development, January 1992. United Nations, New York, pp. 117–134.Google Scholar
  2. Birdsall, N. (1994). Another look at population and global warming, in Population, Environment, and Development. Proceedings of the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Population, Environment, and Development, January 1992. United Nations, New York, pp. 39–54.Google Scholar
  3. Bongaarts, J. (1993). Population growth and the food supply: Conflicting perspectives, Population Council Working Paper No. 53. The Population Council, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Coale, A. J. & Hoover, E. (1958) Population Growth and Economic Development in Low Income Countries. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.Google Scholar
  5. Commoner, B. (1994). Population, development, and the environment: Trends and key issues in the developed countries, in Population, Environment, and Development. Proceedings of the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Population, Environment, and Development. January 1992. United Nations, New York, pp. 64–80.Google Scholar
  6. Cunha, A. & Sawyer, D. (1991). Agricultural growth and sustainability: Conditions for their compatibility in the humid and sub-humid tropics of South America, in S. Vosti, T. Reardon, & W. von Urff (eds.), Agricultural Sustainability, Growth, and Poverty Alleviation: Issues and Policies. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C., pp. 311–324.Google Scholar
  7. de Haen, H. (1991). Environmental consequences of agricultural growth, in S. Vosti, T. Reardon & W. von Urff (eds.), Agricultural Sustainability, Growth, and Poverty Alleviation: Issues and Policies. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C., pp. 31–48.Google Scholar
  8. Kneese, A. V. (1988). The economics of natural resources, in M. S. Teitlehaum & J. M. Winter (eds.), Population and Resources in Western Intellectual Traditions. Supplement to Volume 14 of Population and Development Review. The Population Council, New York, pp. 281–309.Google Scholar
  9. Lutz, W. (1992). Population and environment: What do we need more urgently, better data, better models, or better questions? Forthcoming in John Clarke & Basia Zaba (eds.), Environment and Change. Ordina Editions, Liege, Belgium.Google Scholar
  10. Mather, A. S. (1986). Global trends in forest resources, in Population and Resources in a Changing World. pp. 289-304.Google Scholar
  11. Mathews, J. T. (1991). Introduction and overview, in J. T. Mathews (ed.), Preserving the Global Environment. W. W. Norton and Company, New York, pp. 15–38.Google Scholar
  12. Miller, K. R., Reid, W. V. & Barber, C. V. (1991). Deforestation and species loss: Responding to the crisis, in J. Mathews (ed.), Preserving the Global Environment. W. W. Norton and Company, New York, pp. 78–111.Google Scholar
  13. Myers, N. (1994). Population and the environment: The vital linkages, in Population, Environment, and Development. Proceedings of the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Population, Environment, and Development, January 1992. United Nations, New York, pp. 55–63.Google Scholar
  14. National Research Council (1986). Population Growth and Economic Development: Policy Options. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  15. Palloni, A. (1992). The relation between population and deforestation: Methods for Drawing causal inferences from macro and micro studies, Working Paper 92–14 of the Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc.Google Scholar
  16. Rosenberg, A. A., Fogarty, M. J., Sissenwine, M. P., Beddington, J. R. & Shepard, J. G. (1993). Achieving sustainable use of renewable resources, Science 262: 828–29.Google Scholar
  17. Ruttan, V. (1991). Sustainable growth in agricultural production: Poetry, policy and science, in S. Vosti, T. Reardon & W. von Urff (eds.), Agricultural Sustainability, Growth, and Poverty Alleviation: Issues and Policies. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington D.C., pp. 13–28.Google Scholar
  18. Skole, D. & Tucker, C. (1993). Tropical deforestation and habitat fragmentation in the Amazon: Satellite data from 1978 to 1988, Science 260: 1905–1910.Google Scholar
  19. Spencer, D. & Polson, R.A. (1991). Agricultural growth and sustainability: Conditions for their compatability in the humid and sub-humid tropics of Africa, in S. Vosti, T. Reardon & W. von Urff (eds.), Agricultural Sustainability, Growth, and Poverty Alleviation: Issues and Policies. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C., pp. 273–94.Google Scholar
  20. Thompson, G.P. (1985). The environmental movement goes to business school, Environment 27: 7–11.Google Scholar
  21. Waggoner, P.E. (1994). How much land can ten billion people spare for nature? Task Force Report No. 121, Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, Ames, Iowa.Google Scholar
  22. Wolman, G. (1993). Population, land use, and environment: A long history, in C. Jolly & B.B. Torrey (eds.), Population Growth and Land Use Change in Developing Countries: Report of a Workshop. National Academy Press. Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  23. World Bank (1984). World Development Report 1984. Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  24. World Bank (1992). World Development Report 1992: Development and the Environment. Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel H. Preston
    • 1
  1. 1.Population Studies Center, University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations