Seven billion souls on Planet Earth

To Echo Sierra : ” According to the UN Population Fund, the global population will reach 7 billion souls on the 31st of October 2011, giving concerns about the natural resources scarcity and inequalities a renewed and actual acuity.”

” According to UN estimates, world population could grow to 15 billion by the end of the century, while global economy is based on limited  – and thus craved – resources. Conditions are met for an escalation of tensions and conflictuality.” 

I personally believe that it will prove difficult to reach even nine billion people as climate gets warmer and weirder. Olivier is absolutely right in saying that we will face an escalation of tensions…

The fact that human population is climbing is a source of worry. The fact it is climbing so fast is another one alltogether.

Let’s consider the table below (via Wikipedia) :

When my grand-fathers were born 90 years ago, the human population hadn’t reached two billion yet. When my parents were born some sixty years ago, we were around 2.5 billion…

When my beloved sister and I were brought to the world, we were less than five billion…

A billion people more on the planet every twelve years means that there are 83 million mouths to feed each single year.

This is a huge problem in terms of infrastructure, but also in terms of resources – energy as Olivier mentioned – but also food, water and so on…

Let’s hope this increase of population will slow down. With a weirding climate, it well could spell DISASTER for us all…

See the articles on Grist tackling the subject.


Edouard is a sustainability and energy professional committed to bringing our societies to a carbon neutral future. He has been writing on related topics on this very blog since 2007.

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2 Responses

  1. Olivier J says:

    I did not developped this link between climate change and Wolrd population. But here are somes ideas on the fly :
    – rural flight (due to poverty or climate change) leading to overpopulated cities
    – development of “climate refugees”, emigrating to safer/wealthier areas
    – lack of safety in some overpopulated cities that are located next to a sea or an ocean or a seismic zone…
    – development of insecurity (due to inequalities and community tensions) in areas hosting refugees…

    So yes, the growing population will be the main challenge. I am no partisan of population control policies (althought in favor of education and access to contraception means), so I think we will need to focus on climate change (which you already know ^^) and global governance (learn to live together).

    I often remember of this professor who told me about the “rule of 70”: the time needed to double a value equals the division of the number 70 by the percentage growth rate ( Scary…

  2. Edouard says:

    Hope you will get some traffic from my article 🙂

    Your comment reminds me of a serious concern : rising sea levels. I had blogged in the early years about this very topic. Here are the various posts on it :

    The major threat of rising sea levels : the science
    The major threat of rising sea levels : the consequences (1/2)
    The major threat of rising sea levels : the consequences (2/2)

    There is some really scary figures…

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