You are one in 7 billion

Today, apparently, will be born a child who will bring the standing crop of the human population to 7,000,000,000.  Yes, that’s a lot!

The human population reached 1 billion in 1804 and 6 billion just before the millennium – we’ve stuck an extra billion people on the planet since then and 8 billion is about 15 years away.

The UK population, at about 60,000,000 is a bit less than 1% of the global population.

The UK GDP is about 3.7% of world GDP.

UK per capita greenhouse gas emissions are about twice the world average.

So you and I are about 3.7 times as rich as the average person on the planet and about twice as polluting.  Have a nice day!

 

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9 Replies to “You are one in 7 billion”

  1. So perhaps we should consider ourselves roughly four times as responsible for our impact on the planet and act accordingly?

    Imagine you broke that down to individuals and scored their impact and 'penalised' them accordingly. But that'd be silly because it would harm growth, stifle business and innovation, create government red tape and, all sorts or terrible things such as politicians to fear their re-election and the like.

    And if you were the Greenest Government Ever you could go even further and embark on major progressive policies to encourage the move away from linear economies to more sustainable approaches that might actually address the problems at their roots.

    Or you'd just go back to emptying the bins every week, that's all the masses really want, eh?

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  2. The second most important issue in the world, after reducing our consumption, and all the green groups won't touch it. We need to re-claim it from the racists and start dealing with it, especially as it's so much more important in a high-consumption country like the UK than in the place people talk about like India. Important in those places too of course. Someone needs to say that we urgently need to reduce our population, not just stop it going up. Not that we are even doing that!

    Overall: thanks, Mark. Glad to hear someone is standing up for nature as so few people are in practice. More power to you.

    M.

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    1. M Parry - welcome and thank you! And thank you for the general comment too. i like your phrase of 're-claim it from the racists' - well put.

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  3. I'm surprised the gap between us the average is actually so low - when so many 100s of millions people live on the margins of survival. Maybe, like the highest earners, its because there is another layer, the US perhaps, above us ?

    On the population issue, there seems a very strong relationship between prosperity and stabilising/declining population. What both intrigues and scares me is whether we can elevate more of the world's poor to the level where population starts to level off without busting the planets resources - and that's where we in the 1st world probably hold the key: can we using all our technological skills reduce our impact to a level where many more people across the globe can share something approaching a 1st world lifestyle ?

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  4. Why is it that the chinese are the only nation that seems to realise there is a population problem. Their 1 child family planning policy means that in 2030 around 66% of their population will be over 65 years of age placing a great burden on the youth of the country. However in subsequent years as the old aged die in much higher numbers than babies are born, then their population should drop rapidly.
    http://www.economist.com/node/18651512
    Is it too much to ask that families worldwide have no more than 2 children in order to gradually lower the world population level and leave some space for nature.

    With present

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