Monday, 14 November 2011

7 Billion People

The version of the story that appeared in the Guardian was, overall, rather gloomy. Perhaps there is reason to be. Against a backdrop of global economic woe and with limited resources, the Guardian reports that Planet Earth has become Planet Humanity

Officially, there are now 7 Billion People on Planet Earth. The growth in numbers illustrates this point. In October 2011 there were 1 billion more people than in October 1999. Humanity hit the "first billion people" mark in the early 19th century and then another 1.5 billion followed over the next 150 years. The rapid spike upwards continued over the last 60 years as the world's population grew another 4 and half billion.

To a point, the fear about over-consumption has validity, but do we exercise fairness when we talk about striking a balance? After all, the vast majority of people on the planet - whether populations are expanding or not - live with relative humbleness. The gloomy scenario is that not everyone can live like the capitalist industrialised west. True, there may be some limits both in the ability to deliver fossil-fuel power/temperature-controlled lifestyles, and the desirability of this, but surely people in the developing world have the right to strive for better - clean water, reliable transport links and overall quality of life.

We - the people - are part of the natural backdrop of this planet and as Mohandas K. Gandhi said: "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed." 

Enjoy the film:

7 Billion People graphic taken from

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