Seven billion humans in one world

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By Joanna Cosper / Opinions Editor

(Illustration by Dylan Slusser)

By Joanna Cosper / Opinions Editor

The world welcomed a very special visitor in the Philippines capitol of Manila on Oct. 30.

Danica May Camacho, is estimated to be the 7 billionth baby to have been delivered in the history of mankind.

Camacho was delivered just before midnight on a Sunday in a packed government-run hospital.

By Monday, she had become a symbol for humanity’s feat for reaching 7 billion in its population rate and the United Nations chose to represent her birth with a string of festivities worldwide.

Is this something that should be celebrated so profusely? Not in the very least.

Her birth comes with one dire warning that should not be ignored: our world is becoming overpopulated.

Dr. Eric Tayag of the Phillipines’ Department of Health said that this birth should not be treated as blessing in this kind of manner. “Seven billion is a number we need to think about deeply,” he said.

As the world’s population grows, one concern that arises is the risk of depleting several of our natural resources continues to grow much more dire with passing time.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, for example, is predicting that 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity.

The BP Statistical Review of World Energy released information in June that stated the world has enough oil to last us on 46.2 years, should global production remain at the current rate. The review also mentioned that there is only 58.6 years of using natural gas left.

Scientists from the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative have discovered that, lest something is done to either halt or tremendously slow down the global production of phosphorus, the demand could finally outstrip the supply and we could run out of the element in the next 50 to 100 years if new reserves are not found.

With these statistics in mind, it’s a shame that there isn’t a bigger push to solve the crisis of overpopulating the world. Instead, the United Nation celebrates it as if it were an accomplishment made by mankind.

That must not be the case, however.

Amidst the inconsistent number of deaths and births that occur each year, the United States Census Bureau has found it difficult to pinpoint the exact date in which each billionth mark was reached worldwide, so instead, they are forced rely on estimated calculations.

According to their approximations, the world’s population rate has skyrocketed in the past two centuries. In 1805, it reached the 1 billion mark, 2 billion in 1927, 3 billion in 1956, 4 billion in 1976, 5 billion in 1987, and finally, 6 billion by 1998.

The United Nation predicts that the 8 billionth baby with grace the world with their presence by 2025 where No. 9 billion will arrive by 2050. Baby No. 10 should be born approximately 2100.

This information should not be easy to keep in mind. If anything, it should come across as frightening, considering the ramifications of overpopulation, such as mass extinction within the animal and plant kingdoms and the rapid depletion of natural resources.

Based upon current trends in the world’s development, most of this growth will occur in high-fertility countries such as the Sub-Sahara Africa, Mexico and India.

When compared to most of Asia, Europe, and North America, each of which will experience shrinkage in their population rate, there is no argument something must be done to spread the word of slowing the progress of our growth and it must be done soon.

However, this subject acts as a double-edged sword. Despite the ringing warning bells in regard to our dwindling natural resources, medical advances has made it easier for people to live much longer and an increased life expectancy decreases the likelihood of death, thus forestalling the death rate from increasing.

Although there is no viable solution to have surfaced just yet, the only path this situation must take is to keep from celebrating such feats. Reaching the 7 billionth mark in our world’s population rate is by no means a revolutionary act, nor is it an accomplishment.

This event comes with a warning tag: slow down, world. Slow down or face the consequences.

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