Biology Magazine


By Mesapiens

This year we celebrated the crossing of our population count into brand new shiny domain that starts with a 7 and is followed by 9 zeros. Not that 6.9 billion was so much different from 7, but we humans like to give significance to nice round numbers. It’s fun, it calls for celebration. But this year’s event was more like a declaration of regret than a celebration: 7 billion is a number that frightens any sane economist and for good reason. All these mouths need to be fed, to do that they all need jobs, and with an economy that is already limping based on natural resources that are running out and a natural environment that is about to cave in, the outlook is not bright.

There are too many of us. We are constantly faced with this statement in all sorts of information channels: scientific, political or economical, yet we often miss an aspect of this statement which only sometimes is highlighted, that there are too many of us, considering the way we live. This slight nuance is often overlook or given little importance, the emphasis always being the number: 7 billion. It is indeed big but size is relative and if we put this number and the given statement in context, we will see that it is not the number that weighs more in the balance, it the part that is being overlooked. We might even see that if we could change that part of our existence, the number would gain a positive twist.

Earth is big. Very, very big. Even compared to the staggering 7 billion is still very, very big. Needless to say, it is an astronomical body, an object with dimensions that we can’t really relate to. We understand big, within the realm of human dimensions, like a truck, a ship, a  business building, a mountain, but beyond that, big fades into something obscure, something out there with no clear shape or limits.

Number Fun

to be continued….

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