Are you sick of everyone? As the population grows, so do the stressors on the earth and one another.
We all know that stress is increasing in our lives and that stress makes us sick. According to Woodson Merrell, M.D., one of the world’s experts on stress, “Up to 80 percent of all illnesses are stress induced.” But one of the main stressors in our lives often goes unnoticed. It’s population increase. We know population is increasing and the world is getting more crowded. But how much more crowded?
When I was growing up in southern California I remember being surrounded by open space. Orange County really had miles and miles of orange groves. When I was seven years old in 1950, the world population was about 2.5 billion. Seven years later when I was getting seriously interested in girls it had grown to 2.9 billion. When I got married at age 23, world population had grown to 3.4 billion and when our first child was born it was 3.6 billion. Today we’re looking at a population over 7 billion. When I visit southern California, all the orange groves are gone and it’s wall-to-wall people, cars, and pollution. No wonder I’m feeling the stress of overcrowding.
Every year I have a birthday party, but I rarely think about the birthday party that the planet is having. Each year 70 million people are born. Every day I wake up, rub my eyes and roll out of bed, and the world is hosting an additional 200,000 people.
According to the organization World Population Balance, “Massive social and environmental problems including political instability, loss of freedoms, vanishing species, rain forest destruction, desertification, garbage, urban sprawl, water shortages, traffic jams, toxic waste, oil spills, air and water pollution, increasing violence and crime, continue to worsen as our numbers increase.”
I believe over-population is a stress it’s time to address. Are you ready? Here is a list of resources recommended by World Population Balance:
In this classic video, Al Bartlett demonstrates clearly the ramifications of constant (percentage) growth over time. A must-see!
This compelling video seminar describes the interdependence of our economy, environment, and energy systems, and the limits of our present economic model of infinite growth on a planet with finite resources.
Lester Brown’s organization is “dedicated to providing a vision of an environmentally sustainable economy—an eco-economy—as well as a roadmap of how to get from here to there.”
Using video and social communications to inspire people to take positive action leading to a sustainable future—worldwide.
Calculate how much land is required to sustain your lifestyle on this Web site, and learn more about your ecological footprint.
This beautifully crafted site helps readers visualize numbers as large as a quintillion by representing them as stacks of pennies. It’s a great teaching tool!
Plan B 4.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble by Lester R. Brown
This bestseller calls for a worldwide mobilization to stabilize population and climate before they spiral out of control. It provides a plan for sustaining economic progress worldwide. The entire book is available for reading online as well as for purchase on paper.
This U.S. Census Bureau page provides two of the more authoritative population counters on the Web, one for the world’s population and one for the U.S. You’ll also find links to population projections for the near past and near future.
This page shows the U.S. Census Bureau’s best estimates of the current world birth rate, death rate, and population growth rate, shown per year, month, day, hour, minute, and second.
Read more on The Good Life.
Image of crowd on the edge of a cliff courtesy of Shutterstock