Monday, October 31, 2011
In 1999 I got in trouble with my then twelve year old daughter, Emily, because I blabbed to the congregation that she had sat on my knee and watched with me as the population of the planet reached six billion. It was a very uncool thing for the dad of a twelve year old to do! It is estimated that today the population will reach seven billion, a staggering almost incomprehensible number of human being consuming all manner of goods and living longer than ever to boot. For some of us 1999 was just a blink ago so the increase in population is all the more sobering.
Someone commented to me not long ago that it seems that natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes seem to be affecting populated areas more than they could recall in the past. My response was that it really makes sense. There are fewer and fewer places on Earth where we humans aren't, so these scary events that go bump in the night are going to affect us, particularly in the countries where people take the risk of living along coastlines.
When I was born in October of 1954 I was the two billionth, seven hundred and third five millionth person (approx.) alive at that moment. I am not a mathematician but doesn't that mean the human population has increased by more than one hundred and fifty percent since then? Calculate for yourself at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-15391515
There are a number of writers who suggest that not only is living simply an imperative for people of faith but voluntarily choosing smaller families is as well. This ethical discussion is something that the biblical writers just couldn't have anticipated, but perhaps loving our neighbour includes our own efforts not to crowd the neighbourhood. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/7-billion
What are your thoughts on this mind-boggling subject?