Lesson 1 of 5
In Progress

1. Dwindling Resources And A Growing Population

Graham Soper 7 January 2021
  • If Earth’s history could be compared to a calendar year, then humans have only existed on the planet for the last 12 hours or so.  Using the same scale, the civilization, from the earliest known example, would exist only for the last minutes of our year, and yet, alarmingly, one third of Earth’s natural resources would have been consumed in only the final couple of seconds (or less).   
  • Our consumption of Earth’s natural resources has more than trebled since 1970 and that usage is expected to continue growing and to more than double over the next 30 years or so. 
  • According to NASA, the world’s rainforests will be gone by 2100 if the current rate of destruction continues, and if current behaviour continues, we will have emptied the world’s oceans for seafood by 2050. 
  • And yet, with its resources dwindling, the Earth’s is gaining human inhabitants at about 77 million people a year, and the global population is about 215,000 people larger today than it was yesterday. 
  • In fact, the growth in the global population between 1990 and 2020 is greater than was the actual total world population in 1950.  
  • And yet, if all life on Earth was put on a scale, the human population would only make up about one ten-thousandth of the total weight of life on Earth. 
  • In fact, even the combined weight of all ants on the planet makes them heavier than all human beings. The world boasts of over 7 billion people, while the number of ants is 100 trillion. And interestingly, the total combined weights of the 100 trillion ants, is greater than that of human beings.