When I was born in 1969, I was one of about 3.56 billion people in the World.
Today, I am one of 7.7 billion people.
If you are a climate sceptic, what more do you need to know?
Rather than getting stuck in the deductive proof how much the sea levels will rise – or not; rather than discussing the deductive proof of global warming – or not; just leave all the deductives aside for a moment and think about this in an inductive way.
If everything is constant then no change occurs. If there is cyclic change, then change occurs in cycles. But it there is an escalating factor of change, then you will probably have an escalating change. And humans are probably such factor:
- It has taken all of human history until around 1800 for world population to reach one billion.
- the second billion was achieved in only 130 years (1930),
- the third billion in 30 years (1960),
- the fourth billion in 15 years (1974),
- the fifth billion in 13 years (1987),
- the sixth billion in 12 years (1999),
- the seventh billion in 12 years (2011/2012).
We will reach eight billion in another 12 years, around 2023. After that, the population expansion prognoses give slower rates. But there will be more people. By 2100, we will be around 11 billion people on the planet.
A way of living affects the environment near, through food and housing, through work and travel: and in very distant places, where resources have to be mined and farmed. And if we are 7.7 billion people and increasing: the notion that we are not affecting anything seems strange.
By inductive reasoning, then, we can grasp that we – by our mere existence, by our lives themselves – probably are changing the way the Earth works.
And not in a good way.
And it is escalating.
And it is a question beyond the left/right political scale.
I give to you that this God’s green Earth probably is slow to change because of inertia, the sheer volume of things that has to be shifted, one piece at a time. But make no mistake: for every new person that consumes resources and leaves waste, the world probably shifts one bit.
With the population expansion that we have seen in the 20th century and will see in this century, there are an awful lot of bits that has shifted already and there is constantly an increase of shifting bits.
Please forgive me, but you have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to realize there is dangerous days ahead, even if you live by the antiquated notion that everything is OK today.
We, the billions of people who live here, have to change in order to lessen the imprint we make on earth, because the imprint of our parents and our grandparents are massing upp together with what we do today.
And if one teenage girl states the mindbogglingly obvious and gets world leaders to listen, why won’t you?