The ever expanding world population arises the greater question of how the planet’s limited resources will be used among so many people. We already know that resources are not distributed equally.
The wealthy populations in the West use far more oil based resources than the combined people of developing nations, despite their greater numbers. Will an ever increasing population mean less resources to go around and a fight to get them, or will it mean a rethinking of how societies use precious limited resources such as water, soil, air, food, and oil and act as an incentive for the world population to adapt to principles of sustainability to help preserve the resources for future generations? The debate is fierce and the future unknown. What we do have a clear picture of is just how many people are in the world, and not so clearly what that number means to our planet.
According to the World Bank, and their population clock, in 2010 there were 6,840,507,000 people in the world. A new milestone was reached on July 11st, 2019 the world population reached 7.58 billion people. When you are asked, how many people are on the planet, you can say with accuracy, around 7.8 billion people (2020).
Basic human needs are good health, a holistic indicator that is supported by access to healthy food, clean water, shelter and a fulfilling existence. At this time, resources are inequitably divided and more humans coming into such a scenario suggests that at this time the planet is experiencing an overpopulation, or too many people to support due to current social structures.
Will the growing world population lead to a collapse of societies, where resources simply cannot support human needs? Or will a growing population lead to innovative and sustainable methods of building communities around resources and shared access to them in new social structures? While the latter is quite utopian considering humans historical track records between human clans fighting each other for resources, it is possible to support such a gigantic population on this blue marble planet.
There is enough land mass to go around for each person, for each family and enough resources if managed in a sustainable fashion where their use is for people and planet’s health, and not the profit and greater accumulation of resources for a small, select population. -BEN TERRINGTON