The BBC website has been running a story about how the world’s population is expected to hit seven billion in the next few weeks. They’ve provided a nifty little gadget so that you can find out where, among these seven billion you are (e.g. if you are very very very old, you’ll be around the hundreds, and if you’re very very very new, you’ll be in the high six billions).
I put in my birthdate, and not surprisingly, given my age, and how long people live, I’m round about the middle – 3.5 billionth or so. Which is already staggering. However, what I found really scary is how this population growth is accelerating. The graph shows that the world’s population has doubled in my lifetime. And not from something like one billion to two billion. Since I was born the world’s population has increased from 3.5 billion to 7 billion.
The numbers reflect what I see in the world around me. Last time I was home I noticed that what used to be separate rural villages had become one extended semi-urban area. Roads that I remember being single-lane tracks had turned into dual carriageways. I was in Barcelona last week. Last time I was there was about six years ago during the Easter holidays and it was busy. This time it was the end of October and the number of tourists was overwhelming. Ditto for Florence when I visited in September a few years ago. The city was wall to wall with people. The roads around cities are constantly jammed. Why? Obviously there are more cars on the road. Because there are more people to drive them.
How can anyone ever think this is sustainable? What are government’s doing about it? Chewy and I are doing our bit. We have no kids and no plans to have any. Apart from us, it looks like it’s only the Chinese that care.
Song of the day
I was reading about Johnny Cash yesterday. I didn’t know much about him about from a vague memory that he played in prisons. Turns out he was a remarkable musician, so here’s a bit more for you. This one’s one of his most famous tunes – Folsom Prison Blues.