People are living longer, but is it throwing the world off-balance?

The world population will soon reach seven billion. The actual count as of today, Oct. 30, is 6,971,706,828, but of course, that is just an educated guess.

When that milestone will occur is fuzzy; according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the seven billionth child is not supposed to be born until next year, but according to an article in the online news source, The Independent, will happen in the next day or so.

The article, World population: Seven billion people – and counting, by David Randall and Emily Dugan, reports statistics of what life is like in the rest of the world.

“Nearly 30 years ago, about 25 per cent of US foreign aid went to agriculture. It is now one percent. To feed the two billion more mouths predicted by 2050, says the UN, food production will have to increase by 70 percent.”

They also stated that water usage has grown at more than twice the rate of the population in the past century. Today more than two billion people still do not have access to adequate sanitation, and in four decades, 6.3 billion people will be living in cities.

The world faces quite a problem. On one hand, more is being done to save more lives, bring more food and water to desolate parts of the world, and medical breakthroughs are being discovered every day; but in our quest to save the world, are we actually throwing the world off-balance?

I’m not suggesting we let those in need fend for themselves, but if the world population will only increase in the future, as stated in the U.S. Census Bureau statistics, we are going to have to find ways to accommodate more Earth inhabitants.

Obviously, scientists have been working on this problem for many years, even suggesting years ago that we begin to look for another planet that would sustain life (or was that just an episode from Star Trek?).

But is that enough? Recycling, going green, cleaner energy, new energy, no energy, composting; these are all really good things. And all the good people in the world wanting to help those who can’t help themselves is very uplifting and heartwarming. But what do we do about the growing number of people on our planet?

Birth control comes to mind. I know some people love babies and big families, but if they can’t afford them, why have them? I imagine that the world population is not on the minds of some people as they are contemplating a family, but it should be.  The future of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will be in jeopardy if we don’t look at the situation seriously.

I know I won’t be here in 100 years, but I would hate to see the state of the world if we don’t do something about it now.