Before reading Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’ (if you haven’t already read this book I highly recommend it, it’s absolutely brilliant https://www.readanybook.com/online/565107#356867 ), I had never considered population growth to be a contributing factor to climate change and environmental welfare. The plot focuses on a peculiar man who feels that the world’s sustainable population numbers have already peaked (in fact they peaked at 4 billion) and he attempts to find a method to reduce the population growth (I won’t spoil it by giving away the ending) – but more to the point it really got me thinking… what is a sustainable number for the world’s population? As it stands at around 7.5 billion, have we seriously overstepped the mark; I personally feel we have enough resources but when looking at third world countries where people are literally starving, it does make you question things. There has always been famine in the world so this may just be a natural process of elimination and population control. But what about the strain on resources that population growth has an effect on; will the world’s population just continue to grow until we physically run out of resources and more and more people just starve to death? Perhaps, if this does occur it will be at this point that our Earth’s population will begin to level out. More to the point however, what affects is this having on the environment? We are currently in an age of technology and convenience, everyone knows that the planet is being polluted by cars, planes, factories, nuclear waste and excessive agriculture due to such a high demand on the food industry… maybe Dan Brown’s character was right, maybe we did peak at 4 billion.
When looking at a world population graph (see above) and using the website www.worldometers.info/world-population – it states that the world’s population didn’t reach 1 billion until around 1800… it is now at almost 8 billion. You have to ask yourself; how is it that for thousands of years the population seemed to be fairly low never increasing by a large amount and then all of a sudden within the space of 200 years it has risen by over 700%? It’s interesting that the world’s population began to suddenly rise at the same time that the industrial revolution began, and I will be looking in to this in further detail over the next week. But for now I will allow you to ponder, as a reader, how we as an intelligent and evolved species have arrived at this position of potential overpopulation and indefinite rapid climate change.