Happy Birthday, Number 7,000,000,000

Yes, that number with all the zeroes is seven billion, as in seven billion people.  The United Nations estimated that human number seven billion was born October 31st.  That’s a startling number, and our global population growth is barely slowing down.  Way back in 1804, we had only one billion people on Mother Earth.  It took 123 years to get to two billion (1927), but then things sped up.  We hit three billion in 1960, four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987, and six billion in 1999.  Current projects have us topping eight billion sometime in 2027.

With limits to space and resources , where will we put eight billion people (not to mention our current seven billion)?  With a population that large, are we destined for a world of increasing scarcity and conflict?  With people as ornery as they already are, it seems continued population growth will only cause more local and global strife.  I wonder how much longer we can embrace short-sighted approaches like abstinence only education (for a scholarly article go here) and the refusal to promote sensible birth control around the world.  As Pogo aptly put it, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

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About D. Thomas Minton

Writer of speculative fiction
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