Every second worldwide, five people are born and two people die, leaving three more humans on Earth. That’s approximately 180 more people per minute or 9,000 more people per hour.https://population.org/
The growing problem of a growing population.
1975 or somewhere around that time. Birth control. It was the subject on the lips of my mum and her friends. She was a liberated woman and proud. Her doctor had given her the contraceptive pill and she was now in control. ‘But it’s really more than just that,’ she told her young daughter. ‘People can now stop having so many children. Even the Catholics’ she grinned.
This was over forty years ago and I have just read that the UK will hit a population of 70million by 2029. The world figures as of 22nd Jan 2020 is estimated at 7.763 billion. The carrying capacity for the earth as it exists is between 4-16 billion so as you can see we may have already reached over population. By 2040 it is now estimated that we will have reached 8-10.5 billion. Environmental concerns are hindered due to over population this will have a huge detrimental effect, even though we have been told to buy less and eat less, we have yet to be told to cap re-production and have less kids.
My mother could never have anticipated the real meaning of birth control as our population spirals out of control. I recently read somewhere that every time somebody dies another two are born. This is scary because we are all heading in the wrong direction. The facts and figures are out there but like every environmental issue, so many of us think that it is not our problem, but it surely is.
Do we really want to rely on plague, famine, pandemics, wars and other traditional ways of dealing with population overspill? We have to grip this problem with both hands. It is a world problem. Never before have we all been so connected as all countries are held to account through transparency thanks to the internet. We must stop blaming third world countries and work with them bringing expert advice and awareness through education. Are we not also to blame for our greed and over consumerism. The need to have stuff cheap and lots of it. Labour costs are cheap because there are so many who need jobs, fuelling our continuing and sick addiction for must haves.
I do not live in the Uk anymore, but each time I return I notice how many more people there seem to be. More people on the roads, more demands on resources and more pressure on the environment. Sometimes you have to leave a place to notice the changes.
Since working on our Daadi Project, which to me is a huge issue, it is not an isolated problem however. Everything is intrinsically linked. As a population increases, so does the demand for fast fashion. So where do we concentrate our efforts to make change and keep our planet safe for the future of mankind. Asking people to think and worry about where their t shirt comes from seems a bit pointless on the grand scale of things.
I recently met up with a scientist who runs a foundation whose primary aim is to get governments to address the population issue. Handing out contraceptive pills for women is not enough he claims. ‘This is an issue people do not want to talk,’ about he tells me. Nobody wants to be told how many children they should or should not have. In China where the one child policy has now been dropped, strangely enough people are still inclined to worry about how many kids they should have. That is a good sign.
As a society which purges forward to improve our longevity with better health and security, we do not want to hear about people dying. A lot of us are living longer lives. So, will the planet be able to feed us all and keep us safe?
Two years ago, I decided to cut down on my meat consumption after reading how much land was needed to raise livestock and was using it to grow grain for animals instead of people, that is why we are losing forests on a grand scale. I am not an expert and it is easy to get caught up in what could be fake news, but it is getting a lot of coverage. It is difficult to predict the future but I suspect our future generations will have a much larger fight on their hands. It is a problem that everyone in the world will be facing and with combined efforts between nations who are brave enough to face these issues we may just pull through. I am remaining positive.
Politicians do change their minds and good ones will listen if enough people speak up. They are there to facilitate change but they will not react without pressure from the people.
Our mind-sets must change. As we look to improved health we must take responsibility for our own wellbeing, we must of course, empower woman world-wide to take charge when it comes to their own fertility. To fight against religious restrictions that are out dated and encourage families to have lots of children. To address gender issues and bring equality. To not have more than two children, even less.
Whatever you do, however big or small, you will be one of the many who come together to make a difference.
Now start worrying about what it takes to produce that t shirt you have just purchased from a fast fashion chain and be part of the change. As I keep saying, ‘be part of the solution and not the problem