8 Ways to Look at 7 Billion

Oct 19th, 2011 | By | Category: Economics and GDP, Energy and Carbon Emissions, Family Planning, Food and Hunger/Agriculture, Water Issues


We came across this post by Kathy Zhang for the Earth Institute at Columbia College:


Children wait in line for medical care
Children wait in a line to receive medical treatment from the UN Stabilization Mission in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Dec. 25, 2008. UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Post written by Kathy Zhang

Interested in learning more about the world’s population? Here are some recent articles about the history, context and implications of 7 billion people living on earth.

The United Nations projects the world will reach a population of 7 billion on Oct. 31.

Eight sources for information about the world’s population:

A Quick Trip to 7 Billion
An informative timeline traces the major historical events that have impacted population growth.

Countdown to 7 billion people on Earth (Oct. 14, 2011)
An historical overview looks at population growth from 1 billion to 7 billion.

As global population nears 7 billion, UN capitalizes on new opportunities (Sept. 14, 2011)
The United Nations will use the 7 billion population milestone to launch 7 Billion Actions, “bringing together governments, businesses, the media and individuals to confront the challenges and seize the opportunities offered by the milestone.”

Revisiting Population Growth: The Impact of Ecological Limits (Oct. 13, 2011)
“Nearly all population forecasts… implicitly assume that population growth will occur in a neutral zone without negative economic or environmental feedback.” – A necessary look at the intersection of population growth, environmental challenges and increasing resource consumption.

Half the World: Perspectives on Women as World Population Reaches 7 Billion (Sept. 15, 2011)
“It’s not about space. It’s about equity, justice and social distribution.” – A look at how educating and empowering women can greatly improve development

Can The Earth Support 7 Billion People? (April 28, 2011)
In this interview, journalist and author Andrew Revkin looks at the population explosion an on “imbalanced” earth. “There’s every chance the next 30-year period will be one of great innovation and collaboration around the world,” says Revkin.  “It just takes a little bit of focus to get you engaged in the conversations and the actions that are needed for brighter outcome.”

What happens if the population forecasts are wrong? (Sept. 9, 2011)
Uncertainty in key assumptions regarding fertility and demographic transition demands a closer examination of current population projections.

7 Billion, National Geographic Magazine (Dec. 27, 2010)
This animated video looks at growth in population and consumption with facts and projections.

Kathy Zhang is an intern at the Earth Institute and studying sustainable development at Columbia College.


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