Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Seven Billion and Counting

The world's supply of fresh water, oil and edible fish seemed inexhaustible. The world's largest city by population was London, England, followed closely by New York City. Back then, Mexico City, Bombay, San Paulo, and Peking all contained fewer than one million people. Today, these four cities hold more than 20 million inhabitants each with their populations growing exponentially. Back then, the globe's total head count was just over two billion.

This is not the picture of some long distant planet at the start of the Industrial Revolution more than a century ago. It was the state of the world at the dawn of the atomic age at the end of World War II. The growth of mankind from two billion to seven billion has taken place in the course of a single lifetime, my lifetime to be specific, and if left unchecked the increase in human population threatens to make our world into a place where I, for one, would not choose to live.

Why bring this up now? Because the Catholic Church has recently re-stated it's position that birth control is a sin, evidently thinking that exponential population growth is NOT a sin, and can just go on forever. But it can't, and when something can't go on forever, it stops.


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Christina said...

How many is too many? Will the planet's diminished resources be enough? How do you farm for seven billion?
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