08 September 2011


Imagine that the current world population of 6.9 billion people lived with the same density as a real city ~ how much area would we take up? Tim DeChant has worked out six visuals, showing the area occupied if we lived at the same densities as Paris, San Francisco, New York, London, Singapore, or Houston. A chilling thought, but one we should not dismiss as idle speculation. Our numbers began to experience exponential growth starting in the mid-1900s (see graph above, click to enlarge), when the population stood at 2.5 billion. Imagine ~ a 276 % increase in just six decades, my lifetime.

Amid all our worry and debate over the economy, climate change, unemployment, war, health care, and politics, it's easy to forget that human overpopulation lies at the root of every single problem we as a species face. As the Arctic ice sheet melts, people die of starvation, social minorities are persecuted, and the vast majority of citizens control only between 1-5 % of the nation's wealth, it is useful to recall that, oh yeah, we're doing it to ourselves.

And how we do it to ourselves is often quite devious. Zinnia Jones confronts one of the ways in which we mistreat each other (and ultimately, ourselves) ~ xenophobia. In Yep, You're a Bigot! she delivers a scathing analysis of anti-gay bias, but you could readily substitute any prejudice you care to name, be it by race, gender, religion, or nationality. Her oral delivery is a bit monotone, but her facts are on fire.

We are not born prejudiced. We learn our hatreds, fears, and biases from our parents, from adults while growing up, and from peers whose minds have been poisoned. Hateful values are a choice, and every day represents a new opportunity to make a different choice. Starting today.

No comments:

Post a Comment