Eight Billion People and Counting

I read that the world population of human beings reached eight billion yesterday. It’s on track to reach about ten billion a few decades from now before tapering off. A helpful interactive feature in the report I was reading informed me that there were only two and a half billion people in the world when I was born, in 1931, and that 100% of the people in the world are younger than I am. I’m not kidding —- that’s what it said. After doing a bit of math and with the aid of other data they supplied, I calculated that only 99.95% of the people in the world are younger than I am.

So many people! “Keep Earth Habitable!” would be my campaign slogan if I were running for office. Slowing the rate of population growth is one of the critical requirements for the survival of our species. If human beings were rational and everyone was a person of good will, we would have long ago collectively acted to end the climate crisis. One thing we would have done would have been to make free birth control and abortion services available to every woman in the world.