Sunday, July 31, 2011

Seven billion and counting

I mentioned to someone at Arise last week that the year I entered high school, there were only three billion people on earth.  She found it hard to believe, given that we're on track for seven billion people this year.

In 2011, 135 million people will be born but less than half that many, 57 million, will die.

So: obviously population control is important.  We're down from the 1950 peak averaging five births to every woman to 2.5 births, but at that rate, population will continue to grow.

The other side of the coin is the need to preserve what we can of the world's resources.  Not making anywhere enough progress, here.  This year alone, we've lost more than 3 million hectares (a hectare is about 2 and a half acres) of forest, more than 4 million hectare of soil lost to erosion, and 7 million hectare of land lost to desertification.

You can watch these and other statistics unfold in real time at Worldometers.

Photo from JacobEnos' photostream at Flickr.

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