As I begin this blogpost Earth's population is exactly 7,762,009,632.
Great Britain's last population census was in 2011. Then our nation's population was 63.2 million. Today, in February 2020, that number has risen to 67,886,011. That's a rise of 4.6 million in nine short years. By the way, that is as many people who currently live in the US state of Louisiana.
Here in the middle of this short blogpost Earth's population is exactly 7,762,010,485. The terrible truth is that though people are dying all the time, the birth rate is considerably faster.
It seems to me that stemming this ballooning population growth is one of the most obvious ways in which we could save our planet - reducing the impact on natural resources and the world's climate. The Leader of the House of Commons is a posh, supercilious fellow called Jacob Rees-Mogg. He is the father of six children. Ursula von der Leyen is the new President of The European Union. She is the mother of seven children.
Are those in positions of influence really taking the continuing population crisis seriously? It is rarely top of the agenda when our world's future is under the microscope. And I don't see it taking centre stage when climate activists are justifiably venting their spleens.
As I end this blogpost, the planet's population has now grown to 7,762,011,155. It is now five minutes after midnight and already 1,335 babies have been born today but only 562 mostly older people have died.
It is now eight thirty in the morning - eight hours since I first published this blogpost. The world's population has now risen to 7,762,090,125. As I slept, The Earth's population increased by 80,000.
Go into the condom business! Get rich making and selling condoms...that should help solve the problem.ReplyDelete
Tell people to stop having sex!
Tell them to stop having kids...don't they know what causes having kids?? Sex! Ban sex!
At the very least, the UN and the WHO and national governments could urge parents to have no more than two children and set out the reasoning clearly too.Delete
Because we are biologically wired to reproduce. That's just the way of it. And also- the lack of education in many places prevents women from knowing how they can plan the number of children they have, not to mention the fact that methods to help them do this may be financially out of their reach, not tolerated by their partners, or simply not available where they live. Let us not forget religion's role in this- many religions encourage families to have as many children as possible. It's a complex and extremely difficult problem. Also, when we look at places like China which did indeed try to limit the number of children, we can see that many problems have arisen with tragic results.ReplyDelete
It's extremely complicated. But you are right- it is so important.
I've often wondered the same thing about population growth. Some world problems could be easily solved with a smaller population. In the 1940's Canada's population was around 10 000 000.ReplyDelete
Canada's population is now 37,742,154.Delete
I fully agree. Overpopulation is one of the biggest factors in world problems today, as far as I can see. It contributes to everything from poverty to global warming. But as Ms Moon correctly points out, there are many roadblocks to reducing population growth. One thing that can help is to help women around the world become self-sufficient, because when they no longer need to rely on a man for money to feed their families, they almost always choose to limit the number of children they have. There is a pretty big cultural dose of male ego and male power involved in contraception and its opposite.ReplyDelete
I completely agree. Overpopulation is at the heart of virtually all our problems, from environmental degradation to poverty. But discussing population control seems to have become a third rail, politically. Countries used to advocate for "family planning," even on innocuous items like postage stamps, but you never see that now. Religion and paranoid concerns about government overreach and individual freedoms have seized the conversation. When I was born (not that long ago!) world population was less than half what it is now.ReplyDelete
What this really spells is doom for the natural world. There just isn't room on this planet to maintain any kind of wilderness and diversity of species with so many humans consuming the resources.
I didn't know that about Ursula von der Leyen. And apparently her great-grandmother is from South Carolina, of all places. (I just read her Wikipedia page.) Interesting!
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I understand what you are saying and it is easy to see the problems of over population. I don't know about other countries but I believe the population of the United States has been going down in the past decade or so. In fact in 2018 it was at an 80 year low. Part of this is birth control and part the many lifestyle changes we are seeing. More women are in the work force and having fewer or no children. Also we have the baby boomer generation (of which I am part of) and that has increased the number of older adults but we are still seeing the overall population go down. Now unfortunately this does not mean we are taking better care of our earth and we still need to do that regardless of the population.ReplyDelete
Only the birth rate in the USA has gone down. The population is still rising Bonnie. In 2010, the popultion of the USA was 309,011,475. Here in 2020, the population of the USA is now 331,002,651. In ten years your population has grown by 21 million! That's about the same number of people that live in the state of Florida!Delete
As has been sad by other commenters here before me, it is a difficult and complex problem.ReplyDelete
I have consciously decided against having children when I could have had them, and have never regretted that. But I can not expect the same reasonable attitude from others. All around me, people are having babies - many of them are unhappy with their lives as a result; marriages/relationships break up because of the stress of raising kids while still wanting "everything" from nights out to three holidays a year. I observe it all the time and really wonder why people do not think things through before they start on the whole "let's have kids" busines.
Yes, religion has a lot to answer for, as has society as a whole. As someone else has written here in their comment, we are biologically wired to reproduce, like all other animals. But the thing is, we pride ourselves on being the most advance species on this planet, able to overcome our instincts, and taking decisions against the wired-in behaviour. And yet we don't do it.
I think it is scary, really scary.
PS: Germany's population has been on a downward spiral for a few decades now. Without the influx of immigrants, our healthcare and pension systems would collapse within a few years.
PS: I have just clicked back to the post with the pictures of Angkor Vat and the pastel-painted convent; there are many comments there with no reply (yet?) from you.Delete
I am not having a go at you, Librarian, still, I can't let your comment "I cannot expect the same reasonable attitude from others". If everyone had your "reasonable" attitude we'd die out - I'll leave the maths to YP as to how soon.Delete
Then you point out, rightly so, that Germany has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. So how do you square your first assertion with the latter reality?
I don't understand what you mean by squaring my first assertion with the latter - do you mean that I see folks around me having babies all the time? I can only speak for my immediate environment, and we have many little ones in the house and in the neighbourhood. Among my friends and coworkers are many young-ish couples who have had (or are having) babies in the past three years.Delete
Yes of course, if everyone had my "reasonable" attitude, we'd die out - but would that be so bad? I guess the planet as a whole would greatly benefit from our disappearance (which would be a VERY gradual thing anyway, since it won't come to a complete change of mind anytime time soon - folks are definitely not going to stop having children altogether.)
Yes, as you say, and I can't help but let the (tiny) nihilist in me smile: "... planet as a whole would greatly benefit from our disappearance".Delete
So why don't we just all lie down and die (asks the philosopher)? Of what benefit and more importantly, to whose benefit, if we disappeared? The planet, I suggest, doesn't care. It's us, humans, who care. Reminds me of the age old question, and please do let me know what you think: "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
Exactly - the planet does not need us, nor does it care about us. Therefore, it would be much better off without us. And eventually, we WILL all lie down and die - individually, not as a species, I suppose :-)Delete
In 2017, I read a work of non-fiction, a science textbook for schools originally published in 1879. Among many other facts described in a wonderfully poetic manner, it talked about sound, and how it only exists when it meets a resonating surface such as our eardrums. In other words, if there is no eardrum to meet the soundwave, then nothing can be heard. But if a tree falls in a forest, there should be many living beings around, with ears to hear the fall.
PS: I rather enjoy our discussion here, Ursula.Delete
So do I, Librarian [enjoy our discussion). Beats soundbites you so often find in blogs' comment boxes.Delete
Let's not forget which countries in the world (namely the poorest, the least educated, those with little access to birth control) inflate that figure. The likes of Rees-Mogg and van der Leyen with their large broods are, these days, rare in our Western "civilized" countries. Having said that, and to be fair and truthful, my two sisters have five and four, respectively. One of my sisters claims that, apart from one "planned" child, they are contraceptive failures. To which I call Bull Shit - as young as twelve she always wanted a large family. And that's what she got. My youngest sister? I don't know. Never asked her. The kids just kept coming.ReplyDelete
Anyway, and it makes me smile, when the birth rate in Italy (of all countries) goes downhill (what's to become of all the Mammas?) I dare say we don't need to worry too much. And even if (nihilism alert) the planet was killed by us so what? It is what it is. Dinosaurs too had their time.
On which happy note,
U (an avid recycler)
Where's Wally comes to mind!! Sorry no deep thoughts on population growth. I had 3 but No 2 son is only going to have the one so does that make us even?ReplyDelete
You missed some out of your photograph.ReplyDelete
Yes but I got you! You are there in the middle snogging that blonde bimbo. Did Mrs Dunham know?Delete
We need a good pandemic to sort out the weak from the strong! Oh.....ReplyDelete
That dark thought had occurred to me too JayCee!Delete
As Ms. Moon said, we are hard wired to procreate, as are all animals. I don't disagree with you though.ReplyDelete
There is also the problem of women who don't have access to safe and effective birth control and who don't get to choose if they have sex or not. My own mother had ten unplanned pregnancies because there was no effective birth control. My father finally had a vasectomy after mum almost died from an IUD called the dalkon shield. She hemorrhaged one night in the bath and I guess that convinced my dad that a vasectomy was the lesser of two evils.
The words written by Librarian might almost be my own.ReplyDelete
I, too, decided against having children, and have never regretted it. Neither my late husband nor I had brothers or sisters - both of us were "only ones". Even though I am now completely on my own, apart from three cousins dotted around the world - I've never regretted the fact.
It's interesting that as in Italy - Spain too has a rapidly diminishing birth rate. The second lowest in Europe if not the Western Hemisphere.
Still on the same subject - there was a programme on TV, sometime last year I think, called "21 and counting" about a couple who had 21 children. Apart from one set of twins, they had had one child each year for the last 20 years....ReplyDelete
I've done my bit by only having one offspring. I was horrified to discover at a school reunion that an old school friend had had 11 children!!ReplyDelete
Unfortunately as has been said by others it's not a simple matter at all. As medicine keep us alive longer and as people in countries such as the UK have pensions and health care if there are no youngsters coming through to be economically active then either people will have to work indefinitely or simply have no one and no state finance to look after them. Eventually society, economics , wars and so on will take care of the matter and equilibrium of a sort will be reached. However the pain will be considerable. That's assuming, of course, that the planet doesn't do the job for us one way or another.ReplyDelete
I agree with Graham - it is certainly not simple. I can't see China mentioned anywhere above? They did have a one child per family policy for quite a while, but I understand that has certainly not been a problem-free "solution" either. (Now they allow two, I think.) I have none, but that's really neither by choice nor by no-choice - just the way life turned out. For better or for worse, I'll never know!ReplyDelete
Monica, Ms. Moon has mentioned China in her comment.Delete
I always wanted five children but having to work (I was the bigger income earner) meant that I only had 2. Physically and financially I couldn't have coped with a full-time job and more children and in the end it is what it is. The up-side is that I was able to retire at 60. Had I still had younger children to educate that would have been out the window for a good few years more!ReplyDelete
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