I was talking to a friend last week about the population on the earth. It is a pet subject for him. There is no question in his mind that the earth is overpopulated, and that ideally it should be a factor of 1000 less. So for example here in Germany, instead of 80 million, there would just be 80,000 people.
Aside from the fact that it is very likely that neither he nor I would be among the 80,000, we had some fun debating what else would be different in the world if this was the case.
Thinking about it in relation to a post on inequality, some other thoughts occur to me:
Would the world be more equal if the population was not so great?
Would there be less of a gap between the rich and the poor?
Would women be respected as equal to men in every country in the world?
Would fewer be exploited in the world if there were not so many of us?
It is an interesting thought. In so many countries where the populus is filling the cities to breaking point, life does not seem to have much value.
People die every day, victims of crimes brought about by desperation or greed.
Women are treated as second class citizens or worse, and children are kidnapped and pressed into slavery, lost to their parents, lost to life.
In a world with a population 1000 times smaller than now, that would mean that there would be very few children, and those that there were would be therefore be precious.
Women and Men would work equally together, for there would not be as many people to do the work, but the work that would be done, would be more meaningfull. Children would learn from the community and via the internet in virtual schools. Robots would do the repetitive work.
Would there still be wars? Wars are generally about controlling resources, so maybe with the resources being enjoyed by fewer people it would not be necessary to wage war on others. There would not be enough people to form armies in any case, so any war would have to be using technology.
No wars means no more women and girls raped as spoils of war, no more young girls forced to marry older men, or forced into sexual slavery.
No wars means no more young men forced into fighting.
But the population is not 1000 times smaller than now, and it never will be. Ebola and HIV and similar diseases make only the smallest dent in population growth.
So how about if we all acted as if life is precious? How about if we all acted as if each person is worthy of respect, be their black or white, male or female, young or old?
What if we really worked together to eradicate the inequalities in our societies?
Then maybe we would achieve the same. And that is not impossible.
It seems to me that people have been fighting inequality for decades now, even centuries. Every decade now, the young rile against the capitalists and the bankers, and yet nothing seems to change.
But things are changing, the internet is joining us together as a global village. Now news spreads quickly around the world, people can start petitions and cause changes to happen. The internet allows organisations to open our eyes to what is happening in the world.
I still believe in the good of mankind, and believe that when people have their eyes opened, then generally they will do the right thing.
here are just a few random facts that i gathered using the internet related to inequality in our world today.
1 Almost half of the Worlds wealth is owned by 1% of the population.
2. The 85 richest people on the planet own more than the 3.5 billion poorest (source: oxfam)
3. More than 7 billion people currently inhabit the planet, compared to only 3 billion in 1967. Every year about 135 million people are born and 55 million people die, adding 80 million to our global population. That’s about one United States every 4 years, or 1 billion more every 12 years. Almost half of the global population is under the age of 25 and their decisions during their reproductive years will determine whether we have 6 billion or 14 billion people by 2100.
Each person uses far more land than the few feet they actually occupy. We use cropland to grow food, grazing land for meat and dairy, oceans for fishing and oxygen generation, forests for lumber and carbon sequestration, and developed land for habitation, transportation and commerce. This is our Global Footprint. For an average European or American lifestyle, it is 10-20 acres per person. (source: howmany.org)
According to the global slavery index from Walk free.org there are 29.8 million people living in slavery at present. 76% of them in just 10 countries- http://www.globalslaveryindex.org
The figures are big and scary, but it is possible for mankind to change the way things are. We can each of us raise our voice against exploitation, against corruption, against injustice.
We can support iniatives to increase access to education or healthcare.
We can stop accepting things the way they are, and seek to do our small piece for right.
So my challenge to you is: