6,999,999,998 … 6,999,999,999 … 7 billion people … 7,000,000,001 …

Apparently we are counting down (up?) to person-number-seven-billion expected to be born on 31 October.

Our population has increased at a phenomenal rate. We reached:

3 billion in 1960,

4 billion in 1974,

5 billion in 1987, and

6 billion in 1999.

And now – 2011 – we shall reach 7 billion.

Just how many people can this little planet of ours support? As John Feeney succinctly put it growth is madness. Why we should countdown as if it is a celebration is beyond me. And if the above pattern is anything to go by we should reach 8 billion by 2022.

Will we be counting down then again? Will we be thinking this is a momentous occasion?

3 thoughts on “6,999,999,998 … 6,999,999,999 … 7 billion people … 7,000,000,001 …”

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