I was thinking about the population of the world the other day and decided to find out exactly what it was. After a quick Google search, I came up with this site. Oh cool, I thought at first glance. Then I saw how fast the numbers were turning over and went into a state of shock. This visual took the heady notion of overpopulation and socked me in the gut with it. We’re nearing capacity when it comes to earth’s resources and I know – because I listen to NPR and my brother – that not procreating is one of the best things you can do for the environment. The problem is that here in America it’s easy to feel completely removed from the problem. After all, three kids is the new two. Even among ecologists. No one wants to be told that they shouldn’t (or god forbid, can’t) have another child. And then there’s the argument that if so-and-so in some far off land can have 18 kids, why I can’t I have my four?
I want a second child. I want my daughter to have a sibling. But this ticking time bomb of a clock was enough to make me take a step back from myself and think about it all over again. Do I need to give birth again? I’ve always been open to adoption. Can we afford to adopt? Can we afford another child at all? Can the world afford another child? Is that my problem or should I point the finger of blame elsewhere, as so many of us here do. We like to be ostriches when it comes to this. Many of us would do just about anything for the environment except seriously consider this. I think it strikes at the very core of who we are. When we have children, we get to live forever. But in having those children, are we doing irreparable harm? Will the world even be inhabitable for them?
My head starts to spin with questions: Does my not having one child make up for those who don’t use birth control at all? If abortions are outlawed, what happens to those unwanted children when there are already so many who live without enough money, enough food, enough love? How do we stop ourselves from completely destroying everything that we depend on to live? I have no answers at this point and much to think about.
If you want some other fascinating visuals, check this page out – it’s mind blowing. http://www.worldometers.info/