By 2030, 1.1 billion more people will live on Earth — bringing the total to about 8.5 billion. Most of them will arrive in dense Asian and African cities, exacerbating pollution and resource shortages1. Urban expansion alters a city’s ‘big seven’: natural vegetation; agricultural land; clean water; jobs; housing; transport; and communities. Rapidly growing cities such as Kano, Niamey, Sikasso and Bobo-Dioulasso in sub-Saharan West Africa, for example, are already converting woodlands into irrigated farmland to feed their rising populations2.
When you look at the troubles in Africa and Asia it’s overwhelming to include consideration of booming populations. And in Muslim populations they’re strongly encouraged to strongly continue their procreation. It’s only now that the Pope is coming around to understanding that procreation is no longer critical to the survival of the religion. We are already in the midst of peak everything (see previous post wrt food) so exactly how is this going to play out?
Sometimes I’m reminded of this brilliant quote from The Matrix:
Agent Smith: I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.