Things have been getting cozier here on Earth as the population balloons at exponential rates. By 2050, personal space might be a thing of the past. At the same time, we’re running out of land and burning through resources. According to Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund, “We will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000.”
John Bongaarts of the Population Council predicts that the earth will hold nine billion people in 2050, “with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia.” It’s hard to imagine the strain that this growth will place on these countries, where starvation is already rampant. At the same time, incomes are expected to rise, quintupling in developed countries. When people make more money, they tend to consume more food.
“More people, more money, more consumption,” says Clay. And the Earth isn’t getting any bigger.
It’s interesting to note that in countries such as the U.S.A., overpopulation is not a big issue, in contrast to it being a hot topic in the 70s, when the world was nearly half the size it is now. As Planned Parenthood continues to lose funding and fights to stay afloat, everything we see, on television, on billboards and on magazine covers continue to celebrate the excessive outpouring of humans, from Jon and Kate Plus 8 to 19 Kids and Counting.
Image by liz on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing