This Halloween (that is, today, October 31, 2011) is the estimated birthday, according to the U.N.‘s Population Fund, of the world’s 7 billionth person.
I love babies, and a lot of the news stories on this subject has shown some very cute ones (as well as some slightly less cute red squiggly ones.) Even so, the number is kind of frightening. It is a number that is significantly more than twice the world population in the year of my birth. (And, though I often feel antediluvian, I’m not truly.)
There are some (particular those who oppose birth control) who feel that those who are concerned about these escalating numbers are selfish, anti-human, anti-life.
In my view, the opposite is true. Yes, I admit that I do like the notion of a world that still contains empty spaces, that still allows people the possibility of moments of solitude, that does not use all its resources in energy and food production, that is not cut up into little tiny squares.
But I am also worried (as I think many are) that if humans don’t try to exert some kindly control over population, natural forces will exert more drastic controls–famine, disaster, war, disease.
It’s all just kind of scary.