Population Growth – thoughts for the day

3 September, 2010

One: the current population of Ethiopia is 85 million.  In 1985, when we all gave so generously to Band Aid and Live Aid to help deal with widespread famine, the population was about 40 million.   By the year 2050, according to Population Reference Bureau estimates,  Ethiopia’s population will increase to about 169 million people.  Some 14 million Ethiopians already have difficulty finding enough to eat, including, according to UNICEF, 62,000 children under the age of five.

Two: the population of Pakistan is currently estimated at 185 million.  At current fertility rates, and all else being equal (admittedly that’s quite a big qualifier, as recent flood deaths show), it will rise to 460 million by 2050 (source: UN demographic projection).

As far as quality of life on earth is concerned, we are watching a slow-motion car crash.  And fundamentalists from the political left and the political right, and from most religions, are blocking any sensible discussion of the problem.

This is a monstrous Tragedy of the Commons, which will have a profound effect on the lives of our children.

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