Gasp for air,
flung too far
seven billion points of light
fanning spark-less smoke
Chance that flicker turns to flame
high like stars above.
Shadorma for dVerse Poets Pub.
According to the U.N., our world population may have surpassed the seven billion milestone yesterday. But unlike a child’s developmental milestone, this number may not be worth celebrating as it exacerbates some of the big challenges we face today. Approximately a billion (1 in 7) go hungry each day, about 3 out of 4 people in India and 1 out of 3 in China live on less than $2 a day, and too many of us sadly are not able to thrive past the early childhood years.
With over-population come many problems such as the strain on our resources, disparate distribution of wealth, food, water (already an issue in some states in the U.S.) medicine, power to name a few. Many of these problems, created by us or by those who’ve come before us, will only get worse if we don’t do something now.
And many are taking action now — many are creating scalable solutions, some of which have scientifically proven effectiveness. In countries like Malawi where 40% of the population live on less than $1 a day, farmers are gaining access to better farming tools, better irrigation system and better skills training in order to sustain their crops that feed them, bring them income and create carbon offsets vital to fighting climate change. In some countries, waste is already being processed and utilized to power household appliances that normally require electricity. A group of large cities around the world have joined together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and share best practices in the areas of transportation, waste management and urban development among others.
With our ever-growing population, we could cause ourselves distress over the worsening state of our future. Or, we could remind ourselves that we are not alone and we have one another to lean on, to count on, to work with in order to create a more just and sustainable reality.