World Meters – Population

Its simple mathematics (part 1): subject – multiplication & the population

Direct from Ecoprofit Management newsletter: Recently I had cause to travel from my home in the Blue Mountains (west of Sydney) to Perth on the other side of Australia. It was the trains, planes and shuttle bus thing. On the way back passengers have the option to catch the redeye flight, an overnight flight. I chose that option.

While I waited in the Perth Airport terminal I had time to kill. Out came the laptop. For some odd reason I decided to look up the estimated world population at that time on At 7pm (Perth time) the website showed the total as 7,223,729,300 people. After that I did the emails response/catch-up thing and before I knew it, it was time to board my flight.

Observing the passengers as they waited at the baggage return once we arrived in Sydney, I was able to confirm that the person who came up with the nickname redeye wasn’t a creative genius. No doubt too, others were looking at me and going, wow that guy needs a sleep bad.

Anyhow, I was so glad to get home to my family and before I knew it, it was Saturday. At 10pm on that night I had a sudden thought: its 72 hours since I looked up the world population at the Perth airport terminal. Why don’t I look up how much it is now? I was shocked. The number of people on the earth, after allowing for deaths was 7,224,384,300.

That’s a 655,000 net increase in human beings in three days.

My first thoughts were: how many people are aware of the rate of increase in the human population? It works out to an 80 million per annum increase.

This thought reminded me of Paul and Anne Ehlich’s 1968 book The Population Bomb that predicted mass starvation events in the 1970’s and 80’s as a result of the inability of agricultural output to match the predicted population explosion. The book content was essentially an extension on Malthusian Theory.

The Ehlichs were incorrect in the timing of their forecast, but their prediction has every chance of coming true, with the population expected to rise to 10 billion by 2062, and especially when the spectre of the fall-out from global warming is thrown into the mix.


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