Heading For An Overcrowded World

In Columns, World

I am beginning to think the world is becoming a little crowded. In some places, the population might as well be shoulder to shoulder. When two-thirds of this planet consists of mostly water, consequently, that leaves the last third of hard surface to accommodate all of us. With our current population at 7 billion and climbing, someone needs to tell the world to cut it out. Stop it world! Or at least slow it down a little. You’d think it was prom night all over the world.

Roughly 120 to 140 million of us are born each year. Everyone has a lot of rabbit business going on. Compare that to 50 million deaths annually, and that equates to a net gain of a hundred million. Give or take a few hundred thousand. There is some serious procreating happening. All over the world. Right now. Quick, get the water hose.

I figure that the turbo boost happened around 1800 when the world first hit the billion mark. It took about ten thousand years, but the world finally did it. Cruising in fourth gear, the planet pushed the clutch and threw it into overdrive. For the next 200 years, people did it. They did it at a furious pace. In a span of 130 years, the world doubled its population. Wait a minute. There’s more. The world set a new record for population doubling with a mark of only 47 years. Way to go, world. High five.

Doubling the world’s population is alarming enough; however, compare that to the quickness of reaching the next billion inhabitants. As stated above, it took the world a long time to reach the first billion mark. Not until 1927 or so, did the world arrive at the second billion. Over a hundred years had elapsed. With the dubious record of doubling under its belt, the world wasn’t through by a long-shot. The baby boom was well underway by this time. Helping the world to procreate another billion in 32 years! My parents were very much a part of this jolly time the world was having. Having three children in the fifties and three more in the 60′s, my parents did their part to set the next record. That’s right, the world was not done by any means. The next billion came so quickly, I would have sworn that Viagra must have been invented at this time. From 1959 to 1974, the world injected another billion people in a little less than fifteen years. Fifteen Years!

That’s enough to make your head spin. The world likes to do it, and man, one would have thought that the world was a teenager, As much as we were doing it’ the world would amass, in thirteen years, another billion in 1987. We were up to 5 billion. Was the world done? Hell no! A little over twelve years and we hit the 6,000,000,000 number causing 1999 to be the point that the world is finally getting tired. Doing it that much for so long would tire even rabbits, the champions of procreation. With the baby-boom over and the world having fooled around enough for itself, the population is getting older. Not that old people don’t do it, but they certainly don’t add to the population as the younger ones are doing. That’s just it. The younger population just are not doing like our parents did it. Not like we did it a couple of decades ago either.

My contribution happened in 1991 and 1999. I helped reach the last record the world was going to set. It is very evident that the world’s population is slowing. Forecasts predicted that the seven billion mark came around 2011-2012. 15 years since the last billion. The lustiness of the world is waning. Perhaps; because, although it is fun to do it, doing it too much can get rather boring. Or maybe it is due to global warming? Is it too hot to do it? Maybe, but with the world being 2/3 water, the population might start doing it in the water. Cooling off a current slowdown and pressing the nitrous oxide button into a population explosion that most of us will miss.

2050 predictions have population counts around ten or eleven billion on this planet. Almost a doubling from today. Which makes me imagine just what 20 million people in New York City are going to do for space. The world needs to stop doing it. Or at least slow down a little. We are going to wear ourselves out. Vitamin E anyone?

Jeff Payne

blogger, photographer, demographer

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