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Thread: Dynamics and linkages: population, health, environment

  1. #1
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    Dynamics and linkages: population, health, environment

    The third and last paper I hope to write on (to end up as a chapter) in the civic education textbook is: The Dynamics and Linkages between Population Growth, Health and Environment.

    Here we take a global view (examples from developed and developing countries) on how the three factors affect each other.

    I hope to approach this topic by considering some diseases that may be caused by a degraded and/or dirty environment and how those diseases affect the people. Again it is another vicious circle.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    I'm an environmental studies major. One link between environmental problems and health is that global warming allows mosquitoes to live at higher elevations and bring diseases to areas that were historically "safe" from those specific diseases. A link between poverty and disease is that people living crammed together with more residents than an apartment or house was designed to hold will transmit communicable diseases at higher rates. I read once that you find leprosy these days mostly in very poor neighborhoods in parts of South America where you may have 10 people sharing a bedroom.

    Those examples are what comes to mind off the top of my ahead. But I have to go now. Catch you later.

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    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    dup. please delete. thanks.

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    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone View post
    A link between poverty and disease is that people living crammed together with more residents than an apartment or house was designed to hold will transmit communicable diseases at higher rates. I read once that you find leprosy these days mostly in very poor neighborhoods in parts of South America where you may have 10 people sharing a bedroom.
    My slip-up (above) in mentioning a link between disease and poverty when your thread title did not mention poverty reminds me of the pointed remark of some wise-ass humorist that you never hear people talk about "overpopulation" for a place like Manhattan. If you are rich, you just build up.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    classic population growth dynamics

    If you go back to Population 101 you will remember that animal populations go up and down in relation to the access to and abundance of food and other necessary living resources (depending on the particular species). There is a little time lag. The smooth flow may be disrupted by an epidemic of some type.

    It's not all that different in principle to how human population have gone, except that we have some additional factors - like the relatively new abilities to transport food long distance, the establishment of international emergency support services, and of course health science. At the same time we have developed sophisticated methods to wipe out large numbers of people through war.

    If environmental factors - macro and micro - change the preconditions for healthy life population growth will be affected. If new diseases crop up (and they are doing so with amazing frequency) or spread to new areas, and if pathogens develop resistance to our medicines, there will impacts. Be sure you address the spatial scale factor to deal with the macro and micro factors.

    I suggest you draw a cause-and-effect tree diagram to show the inter-relationships. A full one would cover a whole school white-board, so you should break it up into grouped sections, to deal with systematically.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    by the way...

    will you be looking at the changing population structure that comes with better health?

    And an interesting little feature in Europe: the traditional view has been that urbanisation and wealth creation will bring down populations, especially as women enter the workforce and have less time to bear and nurture children. The way it is turning out in Europe is quite different: Sweden that has the highest female participation in the labour force has also the highest birth rate, while Italy with relative low female economic participation and (theoretically) very conservative religious views on birth control, has one of the lowest birth rates.

    Which brings up another possible topic for you: The linkages between population growth, economic growth, and environment.

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