As a result, given the relatively large younger generation, we might anticipate increasing levels of migration and urbanization, and therefore, intensified urban environmental concerns.Other aspects of population composition are also important: Income is especially relevant to environmental conditions.
Environmental pressures can be greatest at the lowest and highest income levels.
Poverty can contribute to unsustainable levels of resource use as a means of meeting short-term subsistence needs.
Much of this migration follows a rural-to-urban pattern, and, as a result, the Earth's population is also increasingly urbanized.
As recently as 1960, only one-third of the world's population lived in cities.
However, during the same period, changes in the global environment began to accelerate: pollution heightened, resource depletion continued, and the threat of rising sea levels increased.
Does the simultaneous occurrence of population growth and environmental decline over the past century indicate that more people translate into greater environmental degradation?
Across countries, the relationship between economic development and environmental pressure resembles an inverted U-shaped curve; nations with economies in the middle-development range are most likely to exert powerful pressures on the natural environment, mostly in the form of intensified resource consumption and the production of wastes.
By contrast, the least-developed nations, because of low levels of industrial activity, are likely to exert relatively lower levels of environmental pressure.
The technological changes that have most affected environmental conditions relate to energy use.
The consumption of oil, natural gas, and coal increased dramatically during the twentieth century, as seen in Figure 1.