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7 Billion and Counting

November 1, 2011

Yesterday the human population of the world reached 7,000,000,000. That’s a lot of zeros and a lot of people. For the first 50,000 years of human history, the world population remained below one billion… until 1830. It only took another 100 years to double the population to two billion. 30 years later, in 1960, we hit 3 billion. It was then that rate of population growth skyrocketed. Another billion was added in just 15 years. Another billion fourteen years later in 1989. We hit 6 billion in 1999, and now, 12 years later, we are crossing the 7 billion mark.

At the current rate of increase, we will reach 8 billion by 2025, and a whopping 14 billion (twice the current population) by the end of this century. I’m glad that I won’t live long enough to see that. The current population is unsustainable. Already, poverty and starvation kill over 18 million people each year. Great advances in technology and agriculture will have to occur in order to feed so many more people. Otherwise, the population will be limited by the amount of food we can produce and the cost of that food. Once we pass that point, people may turn to cannibalism in order to survive. We could become our own food source.

Of course, man and nature may intervene to stem population growth. The natural catastrophes that are already occurring due to climate change are reducing the habitable land mass and the amount of arable farmland. New diseases to which we have no prevention or cure could kill a billion people or more. There could be an all-out nuclear war or the eruption of one or more super-volcanos that will cause a global winter and, hence, a sixth mass extinction

This 7 billion mark is horrifying and should be a wake-up call for every Earth dweller. The ignorance of the Pope and other right-to-lifers must be put to rest. We have stacked the deck against ourselves. If we don’t control population growth now, we could be the cause of our own demise.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 2, 2011 7:21 PM

    Well gee I am in such a better mood now.

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