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Seven Billion People: Can A Continued Rise In The Global Population Be Sustained

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Message Michael Curtin

                       ANOTHER MOUTH TO FEED


On October 31, as most people were out and about masquerading, a milestone was reached that undoubtedly flew beneath most of the revelers radar: The seven billionth person- this figure is an actual projection according to Gerhard Heilig, chief of the population estimates and projections section of the United Nations Population Division- was born into the world.

This number, though, does not masquerade the fact that attached to it are very serious consequences on an economic, environmental, and social scale.

To put this figure in some perspective, consider that it took one hundred and twenty-three years (1804-1927) for the world's population to increase from one billion to two billion people; it has taken twelve years for the global population to increase from six billion to seven billion.

Since 1960, we have added approximately one billion people to the planet every twelve years or so. At this rate, according to U.N. estimates, the world population will be about ten billion people by the year 2050.




In a world with a finite amount of resources it is incumbent upon the global community of nations, acting as partners under the auspices of the U.N., to develop sustainably responsible solutions to help stabilize the exponential growth in the global population; failure to do so would be otherwise irresponsible. This is why the issue of continued U.N. funding by the United States is vital. These solutions will require substantial financial resources.

The height of irresponsibility is being carried out before the House Foreign Affairs Committee where its Chairwoman, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, threatens to cut off U.S. funding to the U.N. The congressional representative and her colleagues who support her on this issue are very misguided. Why? Because the critical matter of population control is linked to funding, as are many of the important issues before the global body. Without it, attempts to develop sustainably fall by the wayside. It is quite clear that a select few on the Hill just do not "get it".

A burgeoning population places an enormous stress on an already fragile global economy. A significant portion of this growing population- including much of China, most of India and sub-Saharan Africa- lives on $2 a day. It is estimated that nine hundred million people are chronically hungry or undernourished. These are important facts congressional legislators fail to recognize when they consider cutting funding to the U.N.

The issue of continued U.S. funding to the U.N. is critical if the world body and its affiliate departments that are involved in mitigating the effects of population growth are to move forward with the important work it does.




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Michael Curtin was an editor and researcher for over 20 years in the information services industry where he serviced the needs of Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and public relations firms. Currently a Freelance Writer, he has authored a (more...)
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