Armageddon. It’s a hell of a word – for some, perhaps literally. So, how, why and when will it befall our planet?
Couldn’t say exactly, but here’s a little something to consider in those rare moments between dealing with threats that our lavish, extravagant lives are killing the planet for future generations; or being fed sensationalised hype about Global Warming and impending doom. It is true that the current generation is ruining the game for latecomers, yes; but not in the way we might have expected. Now. I will simply place before you the facts, then leave it up to you to deal with them – so put on your deciphering hats (and be sure to pull down the brim so nobody sees your shock, your alarm, or your trembling lower lip).
The year is 1850. The World population has just cracked that fabled 1 billion mark. Wow. Who could ever have foreseen that one coming?
The year is now 1930. When somebody wasn’t looking, the World’s population doubled. It is now 2 billion. Work that one out, geniuses. It took one thousand, eight hundred and fifty years to propagate one billion people, then only an additional eighty for the next billion.
The millennium clock just shifted, 2000. We now have over six billion people.
Permit me to simplify.
1850. 1,000,000,000 people – 80 years on, add another 1,000,000,000.
1930. 2,000,000,000 people – 70 years after that, this time add 4,000,000,000
2000. 6,000,000,000 plus – 60 years after that, anybody’s guess.
In fact, there has been professional speculation (that has to be an oxymoron) that by 2060, there will be around 10,000,000,000 people walking the planet… Really? That’s all? Who the hell’s doing the sums here? If, in last 70 years until 2000, the population increased four times the amount it did in the 80 years prior to that, how can they honestly assume that in the next 60, it will only go up by that same amount – 4 billion? Personally, I think someone is fudging facts.
This phenomenon is referred to as the Population J Curve. Essentially, for as long as time has been ticking, and people have been procreating, population has been exponentially growing. ‘But of course,’ I hear you saying in that pompous tone of yours, ‘that’s obvious, the more people there are, the more people there are to make more people…’ Exactly. Exponential. So, if, in 1850 they bounded through the billion threshold, then in 2000 we did the same but at six times the scale, the question becomes, for how much longer is this sustainable? Pollution, climate change; all well and pertinent – but is anybody really concerned with our inexorable population? Yes, I realise that China has implemented sanctions on child birth, and so they should, they are by far the greatest offenders – if I knew China’s population yesterday, I sure as hell have no idea of its number now.
So Global Warming. It might be the thing to nab us, what with an excess of water in the oceans; plants and life in general not handling the erratic weather patterns – but that’s not scheduled for a least 100 years. Meantime, our population is out of control. A layman could easily sit back and say: ‘No worries, more people, more workers, more being built and developed, therefore more products for consumers and all that’ – but that’s not logical. It is this planet that is our ultimate source of life; without its bountiful offerings, we could not survive.
Check that, we will not survive.