Monday, October 31, 2011
Trick or treat? 7 billion and counting
It seems like only yesterday that the world population was 4 billion.
Of course, that was eons ago, in 1974.
Thanks to industrial, technological and scientific advancements, the world population has jumped in 200 years from 1 billion to 7 billion.
Not even the stock market can beat that rate of return.
During this unprecedented population explosion, the pace of change dwarfed all other periods in human history, combined.
Many great things exist today from electricity to antibiotics to fresh strawberries in January.
Of course, a few bad things also plague us, not that you would hear any of it on Faux News.
We have new ways to kill millions of people instantly through nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
We have dramatic climate change due, in no small part, to the activities of 6 billion more people on this planet in a relatively short span of time. Even a well-known climate change-denier, backed by Koch money, has finally seen the blinding light.
With the population expected to jump to 10 billion by 2083, we can expect more climate change, more degradation of our environment and, of course, more conflicts over the available resources that remain.
Right now, we're in the midst of the Petroleum Wars.
These conflicts will seem like petty skirmishes when the Water Wars flood the planet.
The Northwest, with its abundant rain and snowfall, could be the Saudi Arabia of America. California and other southwestern states could be buying our pure water by the barrel. Or, more likely, they'll just come up and take it. Watch out, Canada.
Since we've developed so many chemicals to make our plants and animals grow faster and "healthier," we've polluted the soil from which these plants sprout up and the animals that sustain us.
Unhealthy air still plagues our big cities, but here, as in so many other areas, China is No. 1. And, the Chinese like being No. 1.
This irks Republicans because if we didn't have the Environmental Protection Agency, they say, we would definitely be No. 1 in air pollution, not to mention, water and soil pollution.
And, if we elect Rick Perry next year, we could all experience the Texas "miracle" by becoming like Houston.
But hey, things could be worse.
At the rate we're going, they will be.