Hello seven billion people
The news that the Earth now fosters 7 billion people, 1 billion added during the last 10 years, is indeed alarming and depressing.
Until the year 1800, the earth population was 1 billion. The second billion was reached about 130 years later and the third was added around 1960 and another billion around 1975.
Before the dawn of our modern civilization, large families were encouraged because manpower was needed to work the farmland and a large percentage of children died early in life due to starvation and various diseases.
At the current rate of population growth, the natural world cannot sustain more people, or even the present ones, without causing mounting, complex challenges that are increasingly out of control and unsolvable.
The runaway population explosion is a blueprint for poverty and starvation, especially in some parts of Africa and Asia. In addition, current population growth increases air pollution that in turn causes pulmonary diseases, mental stress that causes people to act irrational and shortages of water that in many cases is polluted and not fit to drink due to the presence of pesticides.
The need for space to build homes causes the destruction of our beautiful forests and open spaces, that are also needed to regenerate clean air and to provide recreation places where people can go to relieve their stress.
Pristine farmland is now covered with slabs of cement needed for new homes, and the underground is filled with sewer pipes and gas lines. Overcrowded and congested roads, and even local streets, slow traffic while they put pedestrians at ever-greater risk of being run over or killed by fast moving vehicles.
No less important is the enormous problem of unemployment caused by our modern scientific inventions that reduce the need for unskilled workers. Lack of income to feed one’s family may cause irrational, even violent behavior and insanity.
Our wild animals, that for millions of years roamed the earth and give us beauty and pleasure, are fast disappearing from the wild and, in some cases, may be found only at some selected zoos or in a poster hung on the wall of a room.
Most of us taxpayers are tired of supporting a government that encourages large families and subsidizes them with our money, with no end to our problems and no light at the end of the depressing tunnel.
Do you know that the state of California currently has 60,000 foster youth under the age of 18 waiting to be adopted by you or me?
In my humble belief, the human race has now crossed the threshold of responsibility, moderation and reason. Our immense problems will not be solved any time soon by throwing gas into an already burning fire.
This earth belongs to all of us and we must learn to protect and respect whatever natural resources are left for us that we have inherited, and are intended to be passed on to the children, and their children, with pride and honor, not regret and disgrace.
Let no man say to your shame, that once upon a time this Earth was beautiful until you came to destroy the natural beauty that took billions of years to create for you and me.
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Maria Biasetto is a resident of Sonoma.