Europe of today is teeming with human beings at a level not seen over 3000 years of its history. Today the population of Europe stands at 750 million, a whopping 1500% of its historic population of about 50 million. If the European expansion into the Americas is also taken into account then the overpopulation of Europe would be almost 4000% or 40 times its historically sustainable population. The resources of Europe being sufficient for only this 50 million population, the present 15x increase in population has destroyed not only Europe but has spilt over and wrecked severe havoc on both the natural and human resources of the world.
Two thousand years ago the Roman Empire had a population of around 50 million at its peak. This included portions of North Africa and Middle East. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the population decreased to a low of 30 million by 800AD. Over the next 500 years the population increased to a rather unsustainable 80 million by 1300AD. This tripling of population lead to what historians David Herlihy and Josiah Russell called the overpopulation of Europe and even in times of good harvests it was barely able to feed its people. As a result the population of Europe drastically reduced back to 60 million over the next 200 years. This was a result of malnutrition and its attendant debilitations such as lowered disease resistance, wars for available resources and temporal variation in crop yields.
Since the 1500s, Europe began to expand outside its boundaries and unleashed a rapacious loot of resources from across the world that has since fed its population growth to the current 750 million. The devastation this has resulted in can be seen in the depopulation of native peoples of the New World in the Americas, Australia and parts of Africa, the disappearance of numerous species of plants and animals leading to reduced bio-diversity, global climate change, massively polluted ecosystems, poverty in the historically prosperous areas of Indian subcontinent, China and Africa due to colonialism and a lowering in the basic quality of social life with slavery, human trafficking and destruction of the family. It has also resulted in the dominance of a European mono-culture branded and sold as development and progress at the cost of many diverse and sustainable cultures across the world.
Europe todays feeds its overpopulation using highly polluting chemical farming techniques on its arable land which it has managed to increase to 10% of its total area by destroying forests, swamps and other natural formations. To maintain its technology centric lifestyle, Europe is one of the largest importers of products from illegal deforestation worldwide. The European population today is a major consumer and hence driver of the global trade in humans, drugs and sex.
It is only now that Europe’s population has stabilized and has even started to decrease in some countries. The sub-replacement fertility in most of the European countries is pointing to an aging and declining population and is a welcome relief for the world at large. This could be start of Europe reverting to its historic sustainable population level of 50 million though it may take another couple of centuries to get there.
This article is syndicated from Airopya Vishleshanaa Kendra (AVK)