Folks, on the day I fell, kicking and screaming, onto planet Earth, I joined 3.4 billion other human beings circling around the sun.
Fifty-four years later, I’m sharing the place with 7.8 billion other inmates; of which I’m personally responsible for three… that I know of.
And, in spite of the efforts of several psychopathic megalomaniacs, plagues, famines, numerous natural and man-made disasters and large-scale wars, that figure is continuing to climb (the planet’s population, not my offspring!)
Because technology, medicine, better hygiene, education and a relatively peaceful time of prosperity and innovation have markedly increased the world’s population and the length of years we live.
In short, there have never been so many of us, consuming so much and wanting even more; obviously some much more than others.
By the way, am I bad for wanting a battery powered jet-ski?
Over-population has been labelled the elephant in the room of the environmental movement, but suggesting that the planet might be a lot happier if there was less of us on it is never going to make anyone wildly popular.
Now, it is quite possible that humanity will keep breeding like rabbits on ecstasy until Earth is completely crammed with people, and Mother Nature finds another unique and devastating way to cull our numbers, but I think this won’t happen (Note: I am not a scientist, philosopher, academic, expert or fortune teller… do not place money on my predictions; trust me on this!)
Anyway, for starters, birth rates in developed, and many developing, countries are actually falling.
There’s a number of reasons for this, including Western male sperm counts dropping faster than a school bag on a Friday afternoon, plus, the more educated a country’s women are, the less inclined they are to be turned into baby factories.
Also, fewer religious folk nowadays believe contraception is evil and their piety is being measured by the volume of offspring they can pump out.
Could all these factors point to a future with a lot less people in it in the not-too-distant future?
But I think the real problem is not so much the number of people on the planet, but the way we live.
Happily, there’s some good news here, because in spite of the Fossil Fools in power, we’re eating a lot less meat, our reliance on coal, gas and oil is falling off a cliff and more of us are taking the small, but vital, steps to lessen our carbon footprint.
Keep Going Team!
To be honest, humanity would have been better off if we’d got our act together over fifty years ago and, I might add, I’m extremely grateful my parents did.
This article first appeared in the Regrow Queensland e-zine. Check it out!