7 billion

November 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Green Revolution and the improvements in the healthcare systems, are the principal factors, that have caused the number of people on Earth to more than doubled in the last 50 years and since the 31st of October this number is up to 7 billion.

Source: BBC with data from the UN Population Fund

For that reason, nowadays it is very common to hear news about the world’s overpopulation. Everyone is aware that Earth’s resources are limited and every day there are additional mouths to feed (think about the fact that the world’s population is growing by 200,000 people a day!). But we are not just talking about basic needs such us food or access to clean drinking water; while the middle class grows all over the world, the demand of new products such as cars, computers, smart phones or low-cost travel grows increasingly with them. The problem is not only the demand for natural resources needed to manufacture these products (oil, minerals, etc.) but the energy consumption associated during that process and its use over the products lifecycle. Rainforest are a prime example of natural resources being devastated as a consequence of this demand. Continuing this momentum of population, consumerism and deforestation is a dangerous path to take. It means that the emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would reach such a high level that we wouldn’t be able to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

But we have the keys to overcome these issues. We have the technology and the knowledge to do it. We know how to make the most of the renewable resources like wind or the light from the sun to produce green energy; we also know how to reduce our energy consumption; we know how to reuse the products and how to recycle them as well; and of course we know how to plant trees and protect virgin rainforest. In summary, we have the tools to reduce our impact on Earth and tackle climate change even if the world’s population does not stop growing. Thus, let’s do it now!

By Juan Mateo Perrote

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