Are We Too Many? A ‘World Population Day’ Special Read

Published on by Green Initiatives

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Can you believe 4 babies have just been born worldwide in the past second?

The current world population is almost 7.7 billion!

In fact, the sum of China and India's population today is already larger than the entire world's population in 1950 (when the world population was around 2.6 billion).

In 1989, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recommended that 11th of July would be marked as World Population Day -- "a day to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues".

The day was marked one year after the UNDP announced that the earth's population reached 5 billion when a baby from the former Yugoslavia was born on July 11.

You must be wondering why we are talking about this.

International days are marked to educate the public, and organise political and corporate efforts & resources to addressglobal issues.

This year, the UN intends to bring attention to the “unfinished business of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development" and call for leaders, policy makers and grassroots organizations to take action on projects that address this issue.

Today, it is clear that the Earth’s carrying capacity is overwhelmed - our global footprint requires 1.5 Earths to sustain the world’s current population.

However, humans are complex, for better and for good.

Our lifestyle and the way we consume natural resources are not uniform. If our consumption and population growth trends remain the same we will reach the need for 3 Earths by the year of 2050.

What can be done?

Only if we change the way we live, we may be able to come to a point where we could sustain a larger number of people without jeopardising our planet.

The UN states that countries must implement actions to respect our Earth’s capacity. Here are one of the biggest ways of reducing the growth of our population:

  • Improving gender equality
  • Access to voluntary reproductive health care
  • Access to education

Project Drawdown states that “the more education a woman attains, the fewer children she has.”

The UNPD has made clear that access to voluntary reproductive health care could result in 1 billion people less in the world by 2050 and this is pointed as the most manageable way of controlling population growth.

However, the subject of population growth and overpopulation is controversial.

Controlling our population is definitely important, however changing the way we consume Earths’s resources is also crucial to create a sustainable world for all.

Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce your consumption, starting with energy saving:

1. Shutdown your computer: computers are some of the biggest energy users in office buildings.

2. Choose the right light: LED bulbs are the most energy efficient lighting option that use 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs.

3. Eliminate vampire power: unplug idle electronics : in the US, the total electricity consumed by idle electronics equals the annual output of 12 power plants (EPA).

4. Use power strips to reduce your plug load: turn all devices off at once and prevent phantom energy loss.

5. Turn off the lights : just one switch and it can even save you a fortune.