Seven billionth Observed

November 1, 2011 at 7:00 am 2 comments

An interesting yet inconsequential event took place over the weekend. Danica May Camacho was born in the Philippines. What’s interesting is that she is deemed to be the seven billionth person to currently populate the planet earth. The reason this statistic is inconsequential is that it will have no effect whatsoever on anything. Perhaps Danica (or other babies around the world who may also be deemed to be the seven billionth) will get some token gifts and a certificate of recognition but that’s about it.

What this statistic does however, is make me pause and think about our planet. I enjoy studying the world of the bible. At the time Jesus died, the population was about 200 million (about the current population of the U.S.). The world took until 1810 to reach one billion then only until 1930 to reach two billion. Then in the 1950s, things began to toll with the population exponentially increasing to the stage it is today. There’s still lots of room for people so I don’t worry about where we’re going to put them but I wonder what burden they will place on the environment.

Imagine the air Jesus breathed. There was no pollution to speak of and the air must have been crisp and clear with only 300 million noses sniffing it. That same volume of air now has seven billion noses drawing on it (or 7,000 million to give it more perspective) plus it has been polluted with all kinds of crap we have invented. Would Jesus take a breath today, sneeze and then say, “Whewwww”? And what about when we breathe out? We cast off carbon dioxide that the trees like to snort up and turn back into oxygen – but wait; we’ve cut down most of the trees. Will we run out of oxygen? I’m sure someone will invent a gas powered machine that will convert carbon dioxide to oxygen. Of course we’ll all have to buy this oxygenated air by the tank and wear it on our back with a mask feeding us the bottled air plus protect our eyes from the acrid atmosphere.

Since matter is neither created nor destroyed, I wonder where the matter for all these extra people is coming from. Are the disappearing trees and animal species making matter available for the exploding population?

While we pay lip service to protecting Mother Earth and her environment, in reality we aren’t doing much to achieve this noble goal. The earth doesn’t care. She will look after herself and go on and on. What will be missing is us. There have been great die-offs in past ages and who says some catastrophic calamity (like a comet striking earth) will not usher in the great die-off of humanity. We may even simply choke ourselves out of existence. Who knows?

So, welcome little Danica. May your life be interesting, peaceful, long and fulfilling. I predict you will shake hands with human number eight billion in your lifetime.


© David Jones/ Thunderbridge Productions 2011


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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dale Long  |  November 1, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Great perspective.
    I agree too that we, as a society, only pay lip service to saving the environment. look at our recycling system as a good example. If the governments were truely interested they would impose strict packaging rules on manufactures.

    Keep thinking my friend.

  • 2. Lisa Llamrei  |  November 1, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I’ve always found it interesting that in all this talk about the environment more concern isn’t given to the number of humans on the planet. We talk about how we’re going to feed a growing population, but nobody talks about how we should really be curtailing the population. Even without the greed of the western world, more people means less space for wildlife, driving species to extinction. It also means less land for farming exactly when we need it the most. The means we use to increase harvest yields poison the soil and strip it of vital nutrients.

    Then again, curtailing population growth would strain the economy and we can’t have that.

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