The Current Population of Planet Earth: Is it Sustainable?
Are there too many people on planet Earth? Just ask some employee working at a downtown Starbucks in Chicago during the morning coffee rush.
Almost every time I go out biking these days, a car always just misses me by a hair as it comes barreling down the road- operated by an oblivious consumer on their way, presumably, to the shopping center.
I live in a not-so-populated city when measured up against a New York or a London. I live in little old Des Moines. Yet even in Iowa, I’ve noticed a tight condensing of the population which is enough to turn my afternoon’s out in the park into a less than enjoyable situation given that I’m constantly treated to the noise of crying children, unnecessary construction work, and ambulance sirens.
The Earth’s current population is somewhere at the seven billion marker with projections putting it at about nine billion in the year 2050. The question must therefore be, are these numbers even sustainable?
My definition of “sustainability” goes something like this: If the Earth has enough living space and resources to go around- and everyone everywhere has access to the basic essentials of life- then one could generally ascribe a certain level of sustainability to our global civilization. So to answer my own question, no- the current population level of planet Earth is highly unsustainable.
A lot of the conspiracy theorists suggest that anyone who recognizes the reality of “overpopulation” is somehow secretly harboring murderous intent to annihilate whole swaths of the planet’s people. Take radio host Alex Jones for instance. Jones theorizes in his film “Endgame” that its the intent of the global elite to reduce the world’s population by about eighty percent.
While Jones may be correct that some folks beneath the tent of the ‘power elite’ actually do want to wipe us out, I really don’t think the plan flies too well for the majority of bankers and corporate oligarchs who need a surging population full of ‘stupid people’ who really serve no other purpose than to buy and consume. After all, with eighty percent of the planet’s population reduced, who would Wal-Mart sell their cheap, Chinese-made, plastic goods to?
I am not one to suggest that people should be wiped out in order to ‘save the Earth’. Killing is flat out wrong- even if such is deemed “justified” in light of a “noble cause”. I do however suggest a bit of a more productive approach in handling the issue of overpopulation. Because let’s face it, it IS an issue.
Cities on the ocean. That’s right. Its not my idea but rather something I adopted from a group known as the Venus Project. The Earth is approximately seventy-one percent ocean. Aside from the enormous empty spaces in places like America’s west or Africa’s grasslands, the ocean is a great place to “stick” people.
A city on the ocean as envisioned by Venus Project director, Jacques Fresco, would be an incredible feet of engineering that would facilitate the needs of the many in a very clean and efficient manner. You can read all about the Venus Project’s proposed ocean cities here.
The fact is that our cities are becoming grossly over-packed and that if it weren’t for people bathing daily and practicing 21st century hygienic routines, the planet’s population would be wiped out by an innumerable amount of diseases. In fact, some have suggested that the ‘Black Plague’ was a resultant cause of the mixture of overpopulation and poor hygiene.
The other possibility offered up in terms of tackling overpopulation is the establishment of settlements elsewhere in the solar system. One of my grand wishes is that overpopulation becomes such a problem that it forces new innovation in space exploration. Undoubtedly our space programs have been held back by debilitating costs and a lack of will to trek into the cosmos. Perhaps the issue of overpopulation will correct this ill and help humanity to set foot into new and uncharted territories.
Of course before we can even begin to realistically get a grip on the planet’s population- taking measures that will spread it out evenly so as to conserve resources as well as elevating everyone’s standard of living- we must come together as one people and express our collective urge to do the planet good. Perhaps the best possible way to do this would be to launch an international grass roots organization with the intent of recruiting policy makers to our side.