The world population is the total number of living humans on Earth. As of 2013, it is estimated at 7.176 billion by the United States Census Bureau (USCB). The USCB estimates that the world population exceeded 7 billion on March 12, 2012.According to a separate estimate by the United Nations Population Fund, it reached this milestone on October 31, 2011.
The world population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine and the Black Death in 1350, when it was near 370 million. The highest growth rates – global population increases above 1.8% per year – occurred briefly during the 1950s, and for longer during the 1960s and 1970s. The global growth rate peaked at 2.2% in 1963, and has declined to below 1.1% as of 2012. Total annual births were highest in the late 1980s at about 138 million, and are now expected to remain essentially constant at their 2011 level of 134 million, while deaths number 56 million per year, and are expected to increase to 80 million per year by 2040.
Current UN projections show a continued increase in population in the near future with a steady decline in population growth rate; global population is expected to reach between 8.3 and 10.9 billion by 2050. UN Population Division estimates for the year 2150 range between 3.2 and 24.8 billion; one of many independent mathematical models supports the lower estimate. Some analysts have questioned the sustainability of further world population growth, highlighting the growing pressures on the environment, global food supplies, and energy resources
While everyone in the world could fit into a small chunk of America if they all lived in the density of New York, the world wouldn’t survive at all if everyone in the world decided to consume like those New Yorkers (or any Americans). While those of us in the U.S. consume enough resources to take up 4.1 Earth’s worth of resources, the only reason we haven’t eaten through everything is that the rest of the world is balancing us out by using far more reasonable percentages of the Earth.
Even if Asians were to restrict themselves to lower European levels of energy usage they would still consume eight to nine times as much power as America does today.
Spend a week in China and you’ll see why. Here’s a Shanghai Daily headline from Sept. 7, 2012: “City Warned of Water Resource Shortage.” The article said: “Shanghai may face a shortage of water resources if the population continues to soar. … The current capacity of the city’s water supply was about 16 million tons per day, which is able to cover the demand of 26 million people. However, once the population reaches 30 million, the demand would rise to 18 million tons per day, exceeding the current capacity.” Shanghai will hit 30 million in about seven years!
“Success in the ‘American Dream,’ ” notes Peggy Liu, the founder of the Joint U.S.-China Collaboration on Clean Energy, or Juccce, “used to just mean a house, a family of four, and two cars, but now it’s escalated to conspicuous consumption as epitomized by Kim Kardashian. China simply cannot follow that path — or the planet will be stripped bare of natural resources to make all that the Chinese consumers want to consume.”
However we look at it, the world cannot expect to see its energy usage grow by such an extent. Conventional forms of power generation will produce carbon in such volumes that our planet will be condemned to unmanageable climate change, while the alternatives — even nuclear power — are simply not viable within the time frames mentioned.
Or take cars. Estimates suggest that if China, India and other developing countries reach Western levels of car ownership, there could be 3 billion cars in the world, four times the current total, within four decades. Where will the fuel come from for these vehicles, and what about their environmental impact?
Similar calculations can be made for everything from chickens to iPads. Quite simply, this world just does not have enough for two more consumption-driven Americas.
Politicians, economists and businessmen remain in denial, using the crutch of technology, free markets and finance to spin messages about innovation and hope. But hope is not a plan.
This is misleading. She didn’t say she thought Obama’s government would pay for her gas and her mortgage. She said she wouldn’t have to “worry” about them anymore, probably meaning she hoped that she’d have enough income to cover those things. And she expected an increase in income due to some grand policy she mistakenly thought Obama would institute. The guy brings her ruby slippers before they met and she would later go on to compare Obama to the Wizard of Oz. Probably a preset script.