In April this year we came across a measure system that was updating world statistics in real time format. Since then some colleagues have been tracking the change which is quite staggering.
For example when look at the meters running now compared to the snapshot we took in April, the population growth year to date is now a staggering near 60 million. Annualized in percentage terms you could say that 1% is not that much of the total 6.9 billion. But consider also in that time that the planet has reduced in livable area by more 1% too as have deserts increase by nearly 2m hectares.
To make matters worse we also see the frightening Cancer and Aids statistics of nearly 10 million and an unacceptably staggering malnourished ongoing in disastrous and impoverished zones in total effecting over 4i million people, On the opposite side not tabled are all the well to do oldies all now living way longer now. This means the net increase of Newbies will have less room to play while we demand to be taken care of from their taxes. In China especially now we need to just watch this space as a faster developing middle class there become petrol heads and use more of the resources.
A snapshot of the World clock numbers as at Oct 8 2010 means we are now able to compare these to the April snap as follows:
It certainly shows the planet is warner, thanks to the 21 Billion tons of C02 being pumped upstairs to keep the heat inside. It is worrisome as well to see the oil reserves have continued to further decreased as has the exhaustion timer.
Depletion of the Oil reserves was of course accelerated by wanton waste and massive ecological damage caused by pumping of 23 billion barrel of crude straight in into the sea. BP Oil in the gulf of Mexico being the majority although Nigeria has been pumping into the hinterland for years.
On the issue of population and space for us all to live I am reminded of some years back, of a theory I had when flying in and out of places like Los Angeles, London and New York. Counting the staggering number of planes coming and going saw my theory, accepted at least in humor circles, when making the point about sustainability innovation. I argued we could count as useable living space seats on planes being constantly in use and travelling.
My useless counting by the way helped kill the boredom of what were most often a long take off queues. And in my overnight stays near the airports, like counting sheep, I found was a good trick to overcome jetlag and get to sleep. I did note however a constant 24 hour stream of planes on the glide path all landing within minutes of each other in those places. And my mind would rattle as I tried to compute the fuel burn and the likely number people in the air at any one time. Around the time also World Trade fiasco saw everyone grounded and put paid to my theory as the opposite perspective took hold and the skies were then totally empty.
But even then my estimate of having 500,000 people always airborne was a drop in the bucket to solve the issue. My guess I later found out, was way off when someone told me a Discovery Channel program had estimated 260 000 people is in the air at the same time. So I revert now to repeat the comment made in April as sensible to continue to make the sustainability point.
This earth clock shows incredible depletion rates that are actually frightening. When you see them presented in this interactive update page, yearly, monthly, weekly figures are one thing but what really makes you think is the daily depletion rate changing before your eyes.
Tolling on our minds as well is the fact that deserts of the world have now increased to over one-third of Earth’s land surface. And this has occurred as the populations expand and resources get burned.
That encroaching fact has troubled even early years school children for decades but what is making this increasingly trouble-some now is the rate of tropical deforestation, which at the current rate will see the world’s remaining tropical rainforests will vanish in just 30 years.
Deforestation in the tropical areas of the world is following a course similar to the earlier clearing of the forests in Europe and North America, only advancing more rapidly.
In a paper I found entitled The Future of the Rainforests, it quoted scientist estimates that 10,000 years ago, the world had 6 billion acres of ttropical rainforests. By 1950, we had a little less half of that left which is now being cut down at the rate of about 10 to 15 million acres per year, so we have only 1/4 left now being 1.5 billion acres. The message is crystal clear. We must protect the world’s remaining rainforests and their rich biological resources.
Perhaps once glimmer of hope is the increase in forests replanting, as shown on the clock figures, giving us perhaps a sense of hoe that something can be be done. But all that does not even go close to the mark to compensate since April.the nearly 53 million new faces who now have to feed, The outlook for them may be there will soon be no space for them to sit at the table to eat.
The big questions are how can we stop this and who will do it? For sure, without the resolve of business and governments globally to work collectively and enforce excesses reductions to stave of certain oblivion it will be unachievable. More to the point what are you doing about it?
I have bookmarked this page to check back later to update the clock.
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