A Reality Check: Taking What We Haven't Got
Ellie Skelton | 27 March 2017

In 2011 the world population reached 7billion. Just 240 years ago the population was 1billion. In 2014 a single person will be responsible for emitting 4.49 tonnes of CO2 per year. 7 billion people multiplied by 4.49 tonnes is converted to a number that fails to fit my calculator screen. Do you see the problem?


From these figures, and providing the absence of absolute world destruction or alien invasion on the grounds that we’ve sailed another space satellite through their homeland, one can estimate that in another 240 years the population will be, at the very minimum, 13billion, but the possibility for it to be much, much larger is utterly likely and perhaps, absolutely certain. Granted you and I will not be alive in 240 years, hopefully, to see the world population reach more than 13billion, but still, the idea is more than frightening if you think about the CO2 emission in 2253.


The solution for overpopulation? There are many, which have been used in the planet’s merciless history and are continuing to be used today, with perhaps the most tame being marriage restriction and birth control. On the other end of the spectrum sees abortion and genocide put into play with the aim being to sterilize undesirables, or those with undesirable traits. Overpopulation arguably brought about an age when an individual human life is easily disregarded and a sense of community and united race vanished into the crowds of obese men and women, which consume our western countries.


But the problems don’t stop there. Leaving land and starting to swim we meet 300,000 cargo ships transporting 90% of world’s trade. Every year these monster ships produce more CO2 emission than all the cars in America, and the whole of Germany. Without these ships, however, the world would cease to function. Without this incomprehensible amount of CO2 emitted, our world, which we wake up to everyday, would stop. We ask ourselves, does humanity rely on carbon dioxide as much as oxygen?


And so we trek on. Humanity marches and stumbles and grows, though typhoons, through hurricanes, through earthquakes and through days when Wi-Fi is only one bar. Every minute another tonne of CO2 is emitted; every month science understands the universe a little bit more and every year Sky TV becomes cheaper.


Our planet is constantly changing, every second is altered as our wonderful world turns and squirms on its axis, and everyday the weight of our population becomes heavier. Humanity cultivates; we become overcrowded, the value of each individual life decreases and yet the faithful axes keep spinning, faster and sooner, round and round the blazing sun. Our exhausted planet has been spinning for 4.54 billion years. When will it stop?

James Routledge 2016