Thursday, October 27, 2011

So, I'm the Ultimate Answer, Right?

The world is expected to hit SEVEN BILLION in the next few weeks, and I'm kind of scared and horrified. Considering that in 1900 there was only 1.6 Billion people, we've done some insane growing. Is it good? Is it bad? I don't know. But I do know that this BBC "What's Your Number?" thing is pretty cool.

As for me -- being born on September 30, 1983 makes me ...

the 4,715,318,382nd person alive on Earth 
the 79,459,287,777th person to have lived since history began

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but if you add up all the digits of what number person alive I am on earth, it adds up to 42, which, according to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life. So that makes me the answer, right? 

Even more scary? These facts. 

What's next? The global population will continue to increase during your lifetime and beyond, reaching 10 billion by 2083. However, the rate of growth is expected to slow. Little of the current growth is happening in developed countries like yours. 
[So when I turn 100, the world population will have increased 20 fold since 1500. *Shiver.*]

Longer lives: In your area, women can expect to have one or two children. People are also living longer. This means people of working age like you will be supporting increasing numbers of older people. By 2050, there will be just 2.2 working-age people supporting every person 65 or older. In Europe, this will drop to two. 
[Awesome! So ... I really should start saving now.]

Battle for resources: It is estimated that your group of the richest countries consumes double the resources used by the rest of the world. The UN estimates that if current population and consumption trends continue, by the 2030s we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us. [
NASA better hurry up and find us some more planets to destroy ...]

Did you know? By mid-century, the world's urban population is likely to be the same size as the global population was in 2004. 
[This scares me more than the stat that the amount of bandwidth used by YouTube is equivalent to the bandwdith used by the entire internet in 2000.]

850 people: the amount the population has grown while you've been on this site
[I wonder how many were conceived ....]

Should this make me not want to have babies? Or to contribute to world growth so that we'll adopt some other planets and stop killing this one? It kind of also makes me want to do more to be green, recycle, and stop spending money. 

We'll see if any of that happens.