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November 11, 2006
3:57 pm
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Hi all

check out the "world population clock" at
http://www.ibiblio.org/lunarbin/worldpop

Note the estimated world population, and leave the site up on your computer while you go do something else. (Make a cup of tea, wash dishes, whatever.)

Come back and note how much the world population has increased by in the few minutes you were away. Imagine that many babies have just popped into existence in your house...

Bookmark the site and check in every now and then. The last time I wrote down the population estimate was in late July... today, 3 and a half months later, there are 457,606 more people in the world. (That's the net increase, not how many have been born.)

Half a million more people in 3 months... and there will be another half million in the next 3 months. Of course they're not all going to enjoy the material standard of living that I enjoy.

I wonder if or when our species is going to get a grip on controlling our numbers. I think if we don't, Mother Nature is going to do it for us. What do you think?

November 11, 2006
4:23 pm
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Whoops... gee, there were another 28 million people there I forgot to count.

And when you do this experiment, do the math better than I did.

Here are the numbers I didn't crunch quite right:

July 26 at 8:35 a.m. the population was 6,635,180,562

Nov. 11 at noon the population was 6,663,638,168

Difference of 28,457,606

Almost the population of Canada. Hey, another Canada in 3 months. That's a lot of housing, health care and food to provide....

November 11, 2006
5:36 pm
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Wow! Just imagine how many 'nookies' are being had around the world at any given instant. Rivers of sperm must be flowing entoto. πŸ™‚

November 11, 2006
5:40 pm
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Hey this is cool.

Before I die of old age, the world population is going to double.

the United States is gaining somebody every 13 seconds.

Well, Kroika, I don't think the have the power to destroy mother earth. Life finds a way.

People are starving to death in the world as we speak. what to do about overpopulation is a dilemma, as we do believe humans have the right to govern their own reproductive systems.

Soon, we won't have unpolluted water and land and oceans.

Bye-bye humans, the cancer of the earth.

Kind of morbid.

free

November 11, 2006
7:23 pm
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readyforachange
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kroika...fascinating. I think mother nature will take care of it for us.

War, flood, disease, earthquake, hurricane. All of the above.

Seems to me that there's much more of this in the world than 20 years ago...or am I just more aware of it?

She'll send us the message though...if we're smart enough to get it.

November 12, 2006
3:50 am
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nah, we're not smart enough to get it. We live for today.

My oldest daughter (tree hugger whale lover babe) informed me that in 30 years the metal (tiranium?) that we use for light bulbs will be gone. completely gone from our planet.

I live on the West coast. Not supposed to eat fish more than once a week because of mercury. When I was little we used to got to the beach and the water was known to cure acne, cuts, abrasions- almost overnight. Not anymore. Now you get "surfer rash", usually an infection kuz the water has too much raw sewage pouring into it in mexico and the current brings it up. Sposed to have neosporin with ya when ya go to the beach for any cuts you have.

I have post cards from my grandpa. The area right where I live was a water shed with Redwoods and ferns. he fished for steelhead on the river by us. the river is now dammed- no more steelhead. The redwoods are gone and it's all desert with scrub oak and brush. No more watershed.

when I was growing up I used to ride my horse all around this area (I still live where I grew up). Stables are gone- houses are up. No more riding trails in this area.

We used to go hiking in the chapparal around our house here and collect minnows and frogs and tadpoles in the water drainage ditches. The cemented the ditches so now there's no more of life there.

the valley I live in has some of the most fertile soil in the entire world. Used to be flower fields everywhere. When not flowers, vegetables. Developers came. Farmers can't resist a few million dollars for their land- it's more than they'll ever make farming. So now- houses and apartments and condos and cemented drainage ditches.

The world, just the little world around me, has changed so much in only 30 years.

Wilderness, it's expendable.

Resources, they're consumable.

Oh, i got on a rant.

I love the wilderness and nature. Used to hike the High Sierra Nevada when I was little- Dad was a boy scout master- first 50 miler was when I was 11. The water was pristine and delicious. Giardia is now in these waters- a bacteria that causes severe diahrrea and in many animals, death.

Even in the High Sierra Nevada, our waters are polluted.

In my early twenties, somebody mentioned to me that man is the cancer of this planet.

he consumes, alters, destroys, multiplies, and ultimately kills.

Cancer.

free

November 12, 2006
2:41 pm
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Kroika -

Awesome thread~~~~~ I've always been SCARED of the number of newly born babies, and some people even tho they can't afford it still have more or more than they can handle or afford them with quality life. Alas for those babies.

I come from a big family myself, and I can say it is NOT FUN. You cannot relax or have your own space or even basic needs met, you don't feel special too not to mention when at least 1 parent is unaffectionate.

I think, as you & Ready has wisely said; mother nature will take care of this if people are not wise/smart enough to plan their life. Wars, volcanos, famines, poverty, lack of resources, hurricanes etc. If only people are a lil wiser.

I believe it is specially the responsibility of the wife more than the husband since she's the one who gets pregnant.

GREAT thread Kroika!!!!

~Ras~

November 12, 2006
4:25 pm
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β€œThe Earth is not dying - it is being killed. And the people who are killing it have names and addresses.” β€”U. Utah Phillips

Global Response organizes international letter-writing campaigns to help communities prevent environmental destruction.

http://www.globalresponse.org/

You don't have to join i.e. send money to be a part of this group's campaigns. If you just sign up for e-mail alerts, they'll send you what you need to sign and send to support their activism.

There are so many little things we can do. plastic is BAD. Use paper whenever possible. period. Avoid aerosals whenever possible- usually things like hair spray are available in pump form. Use 40W light bulbs.

Learn the backpacker's code of ethics before you go to the woods or the beach. "Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints." In other words, do not alter in any way the landscape with your presence unless of course it's to pick up litter, etc. Human waste is extremely TOXIC to our environment- use the bathroom, not the underbrush. If you can't, you have to dig and bury it.

I used to spend so much time trying to reach people. I'm telling ya, it just seems to fall on deaf ears. People don't like inconvenience, and will opt for the cheapest, easiest, and quickest route, almost every single time. That's why this group says that capitalism is destroying our earth. I disagree with that, though- it's people and our self-centered ways. I'm guilty of it- just trying my best to be better, every day, every minute. And it's work.

free

November 12, 2006
5:12 pm
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I was just thinking how much I, as just one person on this planet, consume. Every week I load up on gasoline. Gas heats my home, elecricity runs something all the time. I throw away several plastic bags of garbage every week along with a bin of recyclables, plus yard stuff most weeks. When I go out to eat, there are often styrofoam and plastic items that are used. There is the pollution my vehicles make.

And, I am someone who makes an effort to recycle and do the right thing. But, it sure is a lot of stuff. Then, the stuff used at work and school and thrown away. It just goes on and on.

And, much of it is so wasteful. I just bought a new computer mouse from Target, and it just amazed me that I had to practically perform surgery to get the mouse out of the two plastic containers it was sealed in, not to mention the cardboard surrounding it.

Just one person. We are a very wasteful nation in general, and it seems that the rest of the world is following suit with our bad habits.

November 14, 2006
1:15 pm
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Thanks all for your responses.

It's not quite 3 whole days since I checked the clock...

Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. (PST) the population was 6,664,403,908

Nov. 11 at noon (PST) the population was 6,663,638,168

increase....... 765,740 additional people sharing the planet's resources since Saturday.

Free, thanks for the website, and for the vivid description of how your own corner of the world has changed in the last 30 years. I too sometimes feel that humans are like this voracious plague of parasites on the earth... main difference being those big brains of ours and the fact that we are aware of what we are doing. But will we be like the Easter Ilanders on a big scale, who cut down every single tree on their island because they believed their gods wanted them to... and then died out?

Ready, I think many are getting the message from Mother Nature and attempting to respond appropriately... but nowhere near the majority. Yet?

Ras, thanks for the honest description of what it feels like to grow up in a big family. So often large families are idealized ("Yours, Mine and Ours") and at one time they had survival value for the members. It's deeply ingrained in us to 'be fruitful and multiply', but it's getting to be counterproductive (or overproductive). It's interesting that you think birth control should be up to the woman. I was upset to learn how many countries have laws against women controlling their fertility.... laws made by men. Which speaks to some of the huge cultural issues embedded in the question of reproduction.

Gracenotes, I'm with you on trying to be eco-friendly... and yet realizing that just by virtue of being a North American who lives in a city, I'm plugged into an infrastructure that sucks up many times the resources of my counterpart in many other countries. I'm ashamed of how low my country (Canada) ranks in energy efficiency and recycling compared to other northern countries such as Sweden, Norway and even Britain. We have the know-how to do a lot better than we're doing; we just don't have the political will. Yet.

Tez... ah, yes, the rivers of sperm. Maybe one case in which damming a river would be good for the environment. But oh, right - the Pope says people who use condoms will go to hell. (Not that Catholics are the only group whose religious leader(s) prohibit birth control.)

More later.... falling asleep at the keyboard....

November 14, 2006
1:22 pm
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Damn, that font came out the wrong colour. Well, here's an update then:

Nov. 14 at 10:19 a.m. (PST) the population was 6,664,407,119
Nov. 11 at 12:00 p.m. (PST) the population was 6,663,638,168
increase....... 768,951 additional people sharing the planet's resources since Saturday.

November 14, 2006
6:40 pm
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WOW Kroik...amazingly worrying statistics. And anyway what is so great about a large family; like I said before ...I thought I was creating the Waltons but ended up with the Borgias....

I agree about the hypocrisy of religions and the whole birth control thing but I guess the impact of us all living so much longer is really taking a toll too.

And gracenotes...re the packaging thing....couldnt agree more. Here in the Uk I was listening to the radio yesterday and they were interviewing one of the members of parliament about the work he was doing with supermarkets trying to reduce the ridiculous excessive way we parcel our goods...very worrying and demonstrative of how we will struggle to meet our targets for reducing emissions and increasing recycling

all very scary

November 14, 2006
9:12 pm
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Hi Kroika,

Yikes.

Of course, I have had that clock running in my head since my senior year in college when I took the "hard" ecology classes.

A reasonable person would worry about this one.

November 14, 2006
11:08 pm
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Hi sleepless and WD,

I think a lot of reasonable people *are* worrying about this one. It's not like it is some potential threat like accidental nuclear war (all those nukes sitting in silos, vulnerable to mistakes of various kinds). It's happening every second... tick, tick, tick.

And sleepless, you are right about the point that existing people living longer adds to the 'human burden' on the planet as well. I was just listening to the 2006 Massey Lectures on CBC radio last week. This year the speaker was Margaret Somerville, on the topic of developing a shared ethics that people can subscribe to regardless of their religious faith or lack thereof. One point she made about current efforts to lengthen the human lifespan is that up until now, throughout all human history, there has been one generation running things, one generation "up-and-coming", and one generation of 'elders' on the way out. Now we are already seeing tension between baby boomers clogging up the workforce and the bitterness of Generation Xers who are stuck in entryj-level jobs; not to mention aged folk living on pensions for 30+ years when in the past they might have done so for 10 or 20 at most.

Many ethical quandaries ensue.

Meanwhile, tick...tick...tick

November 14, 2006
11:44 pm
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I read that if the whole world was in the population density of New york, all of the population can fit in Texas, with room to spare.

November 14, 2006
11:45 pm
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Yes G_,

It's big here.

November 14, 2006
11:57 pm
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hi guest

Do you mean the population density of New York state or New York City? And what about the 'ecological footprint' of that city? How much surrounding land is required to produce the food, textiles, building materials etc. etc. etc. that are consumed by the people in that city?

Okay, so assuming you could fit all 7 billion humans into Texas (after you moved them there), in high-rise apartment buildings, and leave every other space in the world "empty" for agriculture or whatever.... what kind of quality of life do you think they would have?

Just looking at how much room in square feet one human takes up.... is not looking at much at all. Which I'm sure you know. But thanks for pointing out that little "factoid" that many people may cling to as an excuse for continuing to consume the way they currently consume.

I've heard it said that we would need 2 more Earths *now* if every human on the planet was to consume resources the way North Americans consume them.

free said it well, if I may quote:

Wilderness, it's expendable.

Resources, they're consumable.

November 15, 2006
10:00 am
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how do we know though though really !!!!! Imagine the babies being born that we dont know about in the middle of the Amazon or other little hidden away places!! People die to and just think all the good some people are actually doing one of those kids could be like superman well not superman but you catch my drift find a cure to cancer or aids, I dunno but what I heard is lots of people are becoming infertile the worlds crazy man isnt!!!!!! heehee and I think im going crazy with it. I am getting completely off track because my head is buzzing with things. We should definitely adopt more but we dont wanna be communist do we? some places they are trying to curb are we allowed to talk politics?

November 15, 2006
12:10 pm
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Hello dereka,

I haven't met you before. To answer your question yes, we are allowed to talk politics. What are you thinking?

November 15, 2006
1:27 pm
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Hello Kroika

Its my first time today.I was thinking about people having children and how many people are being born and how in some countries communism starts! You know the whole thing in some parts of China where they are only allowed to have one child. Yet some places people have children and they get them taken into care and how society is able and wants to dominate how we live!I dunno I dont believe in Communism or anyhting but to a certain point us humans are always trying to fix and improve our world. It just got me thinking before how we will be living in so many years DEMOLITION MAN!!!! Have you seen it?

November 22, 2006
12:17 pm
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Demolition Man... no, I haven't seen it. will have to check it out.

So, today's update:
9:00 a.m. PST Nov. 22, population 6,666,501,990

Nov. 11 at noon the population was 6,663,638,168

increase in 11 days: 2,863,822

That's enough to populate a large city, in a week and a half. I expect to see some major social changes in my lifetime in how we look at family planning.....

November 23, 2006
2:23 pm
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Kroika

What is occurring in the united States? That's all we really have control over, Kroika. We can't tell other countries to manage their populations, especially those who do not believe in birth control.

free

November 23, 2006
4:40 pm
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free,

That is a good point. Part of *my* point is that we in North America consume many more resources per person than those in "less developed" countries. So when comparing populations, we should multiply ours by at least a factor of ten to get some idea of the burden *our* population is putting on the earth. I would say that we are not managing *our* population very well.

And are you so sure that "we" believe in birth control? We continue to perpetuate the idea that is is "our" God-given "right" to have as many children as we want. And then when we have those children, look at the consumer products we drown them in... and ourselves as well.

As for not being able to influence other countries, well, of course we do that all the time. Sometimes through official foreign policy, sometimes through less official means. Trade and aid are two big ways. We can support family planning in other countries as well as our own, or we can block it. The governments we elect will promote some policies and not others. So we can think about the effect that the governments we elect are going to have on the world. My government (Canada) is being an idiot over our responsibilities to the Kyoto Protocol. And your government (US) does not even recognize the Kyoto Protocol - although I understand that many state and city governments are taking it on themselves to enact legislation and regulations that are in line with Kyoto. So yes, what we do in our own countries has huge influence on the rest of the world.

To go back to your point that "we can't tell other countries to manage their populations"... no, but we can help them and we can lead by example.

So I post the rising population figures as a reminder that while we indulge in our gluttonous lifestyle, the clock is ticking. That's the big picture that I see my small life taking place within.

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