At EML we look at life’s big changes – the ones that affect us all. Often, however, these big changes are the ones that creep up unnoticed. One of the biggest – the ‘elephant is the room’ if you pardon the expression – is the increasing global population.
Life first started developing on earth around 4.5 billion years ago and it took all that time – up until 1804 – for the global human population to reach one billion. After just another 123 years this doubled to 2 billion. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Having taken 4.5 billion years to reach 1 billion, in the next 300 years the world population is predicted to grow to 10 billion. Sound ridiculous? Today we have already reached a population of 7.5 billion and concerns now are that we may overshoot the 10 billion projection.
How can this be? In practice we are simply not very good at monitoring these ‘bigger changes’, they happen too slowly to register on our annual calendar where the year on year growth doesn’t look dramatic. However, viewed from an evolutionary perspective the change is dramatic and almost instantaneous. In addition, population growth is only one of a raft of changes affecting us all.
While the prospect of a ‘brave new world’ may seem daunting to some, the more we understand about these changes, the better equipped we will be to deal with the consequences.