So I've just found out a pretty staggering fact. The world's population is growing at a rate of 1,000,000 people A WEEK. Let's get this straight. This isn't one million births a week. This is taking into account that hundreds of thousands of people die a day, and the population is STILL growing by a million people a week- and this is potentially permanent; it's never going to go lower (again, potentially speaking) . Let's put this is perspective. Remember the Black Death of the middle ages? It was pretty catastrophic, I'm sure we're agreed- it killed an estimated 25 million people (although let's face it, my source for this whole article is wikipedia so that number could well be completely random, but we'll use it hypothetically). So yes, complete devastation, Europe damaged beyond repair for 150 years, etc. That was in the Middle Ages.
If the Black Death struck today (not very likely, but God forbid) and killed 25,000,000 people...
It would take just six months for the world's population to be as if the plague never happened.
Now THAT is a scary thought.
So, the science-y bit:
Basically, the birth rate is growing (i.e., how many births there are a year), but both the infant mortality rate (how many children die before they're five years old) and the general mortality rate are falling. This is generally speaking and not in any specified area. I'd also point out that this isn't the case all over the world, and there are exceptions to the above, but again, this is the general consensus. Anyway, less infant deaths and a longer life in general is pretty good, you'd think. After all, it's what every human being has strived for since the dawn of... humanity - the survival of our species.
However, these factors COMBINED with a growing birth rate is adding up to a figure that our planet can't take for much longer. Overpopulation can lead to food shortages, water shortages, overcrowded conditions, practically the whole world going urban. Ugh. A concrete jungle replacing the real jungle? No thanks. Basically, once the world's population reaches a certain figure, there will be no winners in this situation- it'll be widespread misery for all.
I hate to break it to you, kids, but the solution is birth control.
Look, I'm not targeting you as such. Nor am I targeting anyone in general, for that matter. People can do whatever they like with their lives, it's really none of my business. I'm just stating a couple of facts and suggesting solutions. But you know, family planning, birth control and all that in less developed countries probably couldn't hurt - many countries in Africa and south-east Asia are actually getting pretty overpopulated pretty quickly. But I'm guessing you personally might not be able to deal with this so I won't go into too much detail. Seeing as I haven't actually done much research for this post, I won't elaborate.
(just to point out to you guys: killing a huge amount of people does NOT count as a solution. At least not morally speaking, which are the only solutions I'm willing to entertain).
We are living in an age of opportunity and temporary control.
THESE are the days where we have the possibility to control what the world looks like in the future- how people's lives will be lived, and whether we will be at one with nature's will or at war with nature's will.
This applies to everything - global warming, overpopulation, all the other environmental issues. Everything the future threatens us with. I'm not asking us to live in a timewarp where everything's exactly how it used to be in twenty years. I'm asking for our quality of life to remain the same as it is- or if not better. Surely everyone agrees.
And this is an age of choice. This is an age where we can CHOOSE how the environmental threats will be caused by or will be affecting our lives. Remember that one-kid-per-person rule they have in China to prevent overpopulation? It causes shambles- everyone wanted their one child to be a boy and therefore they aborted their baby girls- in the end there were only nine girls for every ten boys. That's one boy in EVERY TEN boys (let's keep in mind that China's population is 1.3bn) who will have lived their lives forever single. That's sad :'( But anyway, the Chinese population didn't CHOOSE for that rule to be enforced- it HAD to be enforced on their lives, and it affected both their lives and their children's lives for more than one generation. Do you really want it to come to that again? Because it might do. So it could be about taking small steps to protect our planet now by choice, rather than having a drastic step enforced upon you when you don't want it- and there could be little form of escape.
Which would YOU rather have?
Wow, this blog's been a little heavy today... ouch.
Let's brighten things up a bit by mentioning the events of last night... Earth Hour!
Thank you so much if you took part. *evil glares at you if you didn't*
Me? I had a great time sitting in the dark, glancing out of the window at my street to see which neighbours I should befriend and which would wake up to find EXCREMENT shovelled into their car exhaust pipes.
And it was great to be making a difference, which is what my blog is all about.
As always, I hope you enjoyed reading my blog, and I hope it makes you think. If you are a new reader, please read my previous blogs, and if you are a returning reader than thank you.
To visit the best website ever, go to www.wwf.org.uk
To make a difference towards a more positive future, share the link http://savingtheworldfrommykitchen.blogspot.com to your Facebook, Twitter, your own blog, or to anyone who's interested.