Quinte, On. real estate agent: Welcome Aboard!!!

Welcome Aboard!!!

Well, it happened today.

By the time you read this, the world's human population will have exceeded 7 billion people. Of course, we don't know for sure where that baby was born, but in all liklihood it will have been born in India, the country that is currently producing the most human beings. India's population is growing at the staggering rate of one person every second. China has a larger poulation at the moment, but has a much steadier birth rate,

The seven billion number is quite eye opening, the planet only reached one billion humans in 1804, and it wasn't until 1927 until we hit two billion. Those who are quick at extrapolation can grasp the significance.

I got this little graphic earlier today from the site worldometers.info. You can head on over there and see where we stand right now.

Quite often I get into conversations with people who will argue that folks in poorer nations should just stop having babies and overpopulating this planet. They see this overcrowding in developing nations as a threat because it is overtaxing the world's resources. They worry that the rainforests will be over run by logging and mining, and that we are on the verge of descending into some sort of Malthusian catastrophe. Quite often these same people are very self righteous, and I do get quite a bit of pleasure pointing out that no matter how green they think they are, chances are that their carbon footprint on this planet is still most likely about 35 times as great as someone living in a developing nation.

I also find their stance very hypocritical, and very often, just thinly veiled bigotry. Look at us in North America. We get to sit in the comforts of our heated and air conditioned homes that are in communities that were built a couple of hundred years ago on land that was stripped bare during the most intense phase of human expansion. In just a few short centuries we took a continent away from its indigenous people, cut it down, used its resources to our advantage, and now we sit on top of the heap fretting that other people might do the same thing. Just two generations ago it wasn't uncommon for North Americans to have large families with six or seven children, and now we think we can sit and tut-tut at other people who still do that. Our wealth was built on that, yet we feel we are morally superior to others who are following the same path.

Famine does not occur because the world doesn't have enough resources, it occurs because we lack the will to distribute the resources properly. One of the most vital resources is education. Look at a country like Brazil, a nation that is partly developed yet still has crushing poverty. The wealthier segment of the Brazilian population has a fertility rate that is very similar to Western nations, whereas the poorer segment of the population has a fertility rate that is more in line with the poorest nations on Earth. Education is the key to getting larger numbers of people to move from the poorer demographic into the wealthier one. It makes economic sense allocate our resources in a more thoughtful manner, and to ensure that children all over this planet have an inalienable right to go to school.

I'm afraid that the population on our little pale blue dot in space will increase tremendously before we start to see a plateau, and at times, it may stretch our resources, and we are going to face many stiff challenges. However, we will face these challenges as they come.

In the meantime, we can just welcome the 7th billion little human being into our fold today, and maybe remind ourselves that where ever he or she may be born, in whatever circumstances he or she may be born into, that baby has every bit as much right to be here as you or I do.  Oh, and don't forget, you are unique, just like the other 7 billion of us are on this planet. 


Comment balloon 12 commentsMalcolm Johnston • October 31 2011 11:31AM


Malcolm, wow 7 billion!  I agree with a lot of what you say in this post, education is key.  Thank you for sharing as I had no idea we were hitting 7 billion.  --Krystal

Posted by Krystal Knott, Breckenridge CO Real Estate & All Summit County CO (LIV Sotheby's International Realty) almost 8 years ago

Malcolm- I read a quick headline on that but didn't have time to read further so I'm glad you wrote this.  Yes.. to go to 7billion from 2 billion in less than 100 years is mind boggling.   

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) almost 8 years ago

Hi Krystal, yeah, it doesn't seem all that long ago when we were amazed that we hit 6 billion. And yes, education truly is the key to change, it's been proven time and time again.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) almost 8 years ago

Kathy, it is mind boggling, but unfortunately, the speed at which our population will increase will be even more mind boggling.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) almost 8 years ago

Malcolm, I have seen some great TV on Discovery and other Science Channels lately, and a few have discussed many sudden changes in climate and mass extinctions that have ocurred over the lifetime of our planet.

We need to conserve resources for our continuing existence, the earth, is very safe and will be reborn after humans become extinct, if we continue on the path we are on

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 8 years ago

Good afternoon Malcolm.

It is hard for me to understand how they are counting...

How are we going to feed all of them...?

Posted by Joshua Zargari, MJ Decorators Workshop (MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating) almost 8 years ago


The news has been making a big deal about this for the last few days.

It seems that most of the population is in India and is going to be in India.


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) almost 8 years ago

Hi Malcolm. I've decided if I'm going to be just a number I want to be 999,999,999

Posted by E H (None) almost 8 years ago

Malcolm, just as long as they leave room for any future grandchildren I may have LOL.

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) almost 8 years ago

Chris, I'm not terribly worried about Earth's existance, it can handle anything we throw at it, I'm more worried about human kind's continued existance on the planet.

Joshua, I don't know how they are counting either, I'm guessing it's not an exact science, it's more symbollic.

Brian, I agree, India will be the country most affected in the near future.

Sorry Evan, Wayne Gretzky already has dibs on that number.

Janice, no worries, there will be plenty of room for a long time to come, especially in Canada.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) almost 8 years ago

Malcolm, reading your post made me think of a well-loved blurb by George Carlin, how "arrogant" people can be to think that they can change the earth. I completely agree. :)


P.S. Here's a link to that video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/eScDfYzMEEw

Posted by Bob & Leilani Souza, Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments (Souza Realty 916.408.5500) almost 8 years ago

wow... thanks for that very informative info.. hard to believe... 7 BILLION!!

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) almost 8 years ago