This week I saw a new statistic from the World Wildlife Fund – on average, species across the world have declined 68% in the past 40 years.
Meanwhile, in the same time, that is since Ronald Reagan was elected in the USA in 1980, ushering in the great new age of Money First, we have gone from approx 4.5 billion human beings to 7,814 731,895 this afternoon, according to the World Population Clock (www.worldometer.info). The numbers vary a bit depending which site you choose.
So we are now not far off doubling our population in those 40 years, which, of course is the reason why all the other species are going down, many going extinct altogether.
But the media are instead mostly focused on Covid 19, the virus that, as agent of Mother Nature, is trying to do something about this human population that is crowding other species off the planet.
I don’t mean to play down the suffering and loss to families caused by the virus, including the stress on healthcare workers across the world. That’s real and I don’t think it’s wrong to put on our masks, social distance, etc. We aren’t wrong to try to protect ourselves and our families.
But we could show a little more perspective about what is happening.
So far, Covid 19 has killed 1,000,555 people as of today, (www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/) Now, some will say that’s likely inaccurate. Among poor people, and people in remote areas, there are many deaths going unrecorded. I agree. So, let’s say there have really been ten times as many deaths, or 10 million people.
Ten million is 1/780th of the world population, or about 0.13%.
People aren’t only dying from Covid. According to the World Death Clock put out by Med India (www.medindia.net) about 153, 000 people die each day around the world. On the same average day, (now a UN statistic – www.worldcounts.com) approx 385,000 babies are born. Subtracting the deaths from the births the world is adding 232,000 people per day.
Subtract the Covid 19 deaths (based on 10 million in nine months, not just one million, or 37,000 deaths per day) and the increase per day is 195,000. In other words, Covid 19 has produced no reduction in the population at all, only a slight slowdown in the increase.
When I was born, the population of the world was approx 2 billion people. Nevertheless they had just completed a 5 year world war, the most destructive war in history, primarily because of population pressures. Now we are almost 8 billion. Why are so few people troubled by this? Population growth has disturbed me since I was a boy.
But, I realize that for some, especially many in the financial industry, the prospect of the human race replacing everything else alive on the planet (other than the plants and animals we need to eat, etc.) looks like progress. The sooner the better, according to that way of seeing the world.