Just How Many People Do You Think The Earth Will Be Able To Support???
December 18, 2009
Seriously… This is a question that many people will not even broach with me in general conversation. And whenever I ask it (which is very rarely), I do so because I am curious about what others think about the current size of the global population. I mean do they even know it? And thankfully… I am glad to say that most do. That answer of 6 – 7 billion comes right back at me. Which is pretty accurate. So when I do get a reply, I next ask if that’s a lot… OR not? But 7 billion is a big figure. And it’s hard to visualize that 7,000,000,000, let alone then allocate all of them comfortable living quarters over a visualized Earth, each with access to water, food, homes, families, among other things. And to go even further i.e. look at that chain of Interdependent Origination, and so allocate the relevant amount of food crops needed to sustain each individual, and the resulting space and resources needed for those crops to grow, must surely be even harder. In many ways it’s simply easier to ignore the question, and to start talking about the footie results from the night before… Or discuss the weather over a double mocca choca toppa in some coffee outlet… Which often happens. But it doesn’t mean that it’s any less of an important question to consider.
I’m a member of the Optimum Population Trust. And for good reason too. While I don’t believe it’s right to tell people how many children they should and shouldn’t have, I do strongly believe that over population is the cause of a lot of the world’s current issues, both climatic, political and logistical. The Earth, as vast as it may seem at times, still possess only a finite space on its spherical surface. And roughly 66% of that surface is made up of water. The remaining 34% is riddled with mountains, deserts, forests and other seemingly inhospitable places for the “modernized” masses, or agricultural endeavors. So that doesn’t leave us a lot of space in which to reside, live, grow our food in, etc…
One thing that is making all that precious space all the more scarce is the fact that more people are having babies than ever. And as modern standards of living mean that more people are dying later and later i.e. the average life expectancy of any human on Earth today is 66.7 years of age. Bearing in mind that in the early 20th century it was 35 years of age, we’ve almost managed to double it. That means that people are living for longer on the whole, and many are seeing their grand children and great grand children reach their teens. This never used to the case… Usually the steady birth rate was coupled by a healthy death date. But now that balance has been blown out of the window.
I’m not having children. I’m letting you lot do that for me. I know how hard it is to resist that urge when you fall in love, to procreate and make new little lives to carry on the cycle of mankind and start a family. But… I’m glad to say I’ve got enough will power for both of us. For me… If someone doesn’t start a strike of “genesis abstinence” soon, then the world will carry on growing. And to be fair, I can’t bring myself to populate the planet with any of my progeny when everyone else is doing such a brilliant job. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not blaming anyone. It’s just some of us will have to sacrifice certain things. And as I haven’t got any children, then why should I add to the problem of over population when I can opt out and become part of the solution?
If some of you think that my reaction is a bit of an extreme stance, then check this documentary out and ponder over what it means… As Tao Te Ching says, “Only one who dedicates themselves to the wholeness of the world is fit to tend to it.” If you care… And many of those I speak to say they do… Then you should understand these facts and figures… AND what they mean. Because it’s the meaning that is, once again, important here…
So… Here I offer a documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough, who voices his own concern over how many of us are coming into the world today… And how we perhaps should rethink/rework/curb our natural urges into ones that denote true care, compassion, love and concern.
To find out a bit more about Sir David Attenborough, please click here.