We see the headlines all the time – record unemployment, increasing
hunger and poverty, environmental disasters, etc. Despite what some
might tell you, none of these things are caused by gay marriage or
abortion. In fact, couples and single mothers who don’t or can’t have
children are the absolute least of our problems, in a very specific
way. The rate at which people are procreating is staggering, and a
bigger problem than anyone realizes, mainly due to evolutionary
technology that constantly brings us closer together while
simultaneously making the world seem smaller.
It’s anything but…
The world’s population hit the one billion mark in 1804. It took from
the dawn of time, not matter how many years you consider that to be,
until 1804 for the world’s living human population to reach one
billion. We added our 2nd billion in 1927, right around the time of
the market crash that forced the Great Depression. So, for those of
you playing at home, it took us from the dawn of time until 1804 to
achieve one billion inhabitants, and only 123 years to achieve the 2nd
billion. My grandfather would be born 5 years later in 1932.
We jump forward to 1956, the birth of both my mother and my father,
just 4 years before the world population would hit the three billion
mark. So far, the last 150 years going back from this point had netted
a world population growth of 200%. However, it was only at this point,
starting just 53 years ago from the present day, that our growth
really began to explode. Keep in mind it took us 123 years to add the
2nd billion, but only 33 years to add the 3rd billion.
We added the 4th billion just 14 years later, in 1974, the year my
parents graduated from high school. I would be born three years later,
and the population would have already grown by a quarter of a billion
in those three short years. 1987 would bring the 5th billion, just 13
years since the last milestone.
We celebrated 6,000,000,000 Day on October 12, 1999, 12 years since
the five billion mark. Seven billion came 11 years later, in 2011. We
currently sit at approximately 7.2 billion souls as of this writing.
With advances in medicine, forged through advances in technology,
predominantly electricity, our world has grown by 620% in the last 209
years. Whether you believe the world is 6,000 years old or billions,
the growth we’ve experienced over the last two centuries is nothing
short of astounding.
Crunching the numbers, you find something startling about the world
you are living in. Just in my own lifetime of 36 years, the world
population has increased by 69%. Going back to 1956, my father has
seen the world’s population increase by 153%. My grandfather has
witnessed a 234% increase.
Looking at all this, there are some amazing comparisons you can make
through history. For one, the current U.S. population is 60% larger
than the world’s population was at the time of Christ’s supposed
birth. But, the area where we should really look, of course, is from
the present day back to 1960 – the last 53 years, the bulk of my
From 1960 – 2000, the population doubled, from three billion to 6
billion, in just 40 years. It was also during this time that our
monetary and economic systems underwent their most impactful changes,
particularly the United States. It was during this time where our
economic focus shifted from the American worker to the American
investor. Whereas those doing the actual work made the bulk of the
money, today we have shifted to a world where those who are already
financially secure are often the only ones to become moreso.
When you combine these two entities, an exploding population and an
economic system that rewards the very few, is it any wonder that the
world has changed so much for me, my father, and my grandfather? Is it
any wonder that it’s harder and harder to find a job or maintain a
business when there are 234% more people vying to make a living since
my grandfather was born? Is it any wonder that our environment is in
turmoil since there are 153% more resources being consumed and waste
being created since my father was born? Is it any wonder that we have
trouble paying for things like education when there are 69% more
people who need education just since I was born?
When you consider that our economic system shifted in parallel with
our population grown, we are now suffering the consequences of
unmitigated population growth without the creation of enough economic
outlets. With the shift in econmics, we don’t produce much anymore
that is of true value to the rest of the world. Our main export has
become pop culture. We’ve created a fraudulant casino called Wall
Street, where money is conjured virtually from thin air, without
having to produce a single product or employ a single worker. This
has lead to increased populations and fewer jobs. As these disparity
between these two numbers increases, our entire economy and society
are stretched more and more thin.
Unfortunately, we figured out how to reproduce before we figured out
how to produce.
Thus, the prospects for future generations look even more grim. Sorry
parents, but the problems your children will face won’t be paying for
healthcare or our national deficit. It will be fighting for space and
resources in a world that is expanding faster than it can handle. The
population growth is slowing down, but it may be too late. We are
still adding 80 million each year.
By 2024, the population is projected to be eight billion. We will hit
nine billion in 2040, and 50 years into our future, we will hit ten
billion. That’s an increase of roughly 39% for kids born today by the
time they are 50. That’s 39% more waste created, 39% more clean water
and food consumed, 39% more people looking for jobs, 39% more traffic
on our roads, 39% more classrooms needed, and so on and so forth.
And that is the way we have to look at all this to realize why our
world is so dramatically different and why it’s becoming harder and
harder to build what society has told us is a successful, fulfilling
life. All waste and consumption has increased right along with the
population. The world today has to contend with the waste produced by
roughly five billion more people than it did when my grandfather was
born 81 years ago. There are an additional 4.35 billion people
consuming ever-increasing amounts of precious resources, like food and
water, since my father was born 57 years ago. There are an additional
three billion people looking for jobs than there were when I was born
36 years ago.
Our basic problem seems to be that there’s just too damn many of us.