7 Billion

graph of world population growth over the past 2000 years

In 2011 the world population will reach 7 billion.  To put this into perspective; around 8000 BC at the dawn of agriculture, the Earth’s population was only 5 million. At the beginning of our calendar (0 AD) this had increased to around 200 million. During the Industrial Revolution the world population began a steady and speedy growth reaching 1,6 billion at the beginning of the 20th century. In the 20th century alone, over people were added to that total.

Additionally most people are heavier and taller than ever before in history, putting another strain on the world’s resources. Every pound we increase needs food, water, clothes, transport etc. On average a 20% increase in size represents a 73% increase in food, water and many other resources needed. Perhaps it’s time to seriously start thinking about shrinking. If all 7 billion people were only 50 centimeters tall overpopulation wouldn’t even be an issue. According to our calculations they’d only need around 2% of what we’re consuming now.

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