What changed? World Population

When we work together, we have power to take problems head on
and make a huge difference in our life and in the lives of others around us. 

David DeNotaris 

One thing is that certainly has changed is that the world's human population has rapidly increased.

According to Worldometers, world populations have gone from 1 billion in 1804 (over 200 years ago) to 8 billion at the end of 2022.  It is expected to keep rising for some time.  

People have needs and there are implications to those needs: 

  • Food, all too often regardless of seasonal availability and without thought of what it goes through to get to us meaning it's transported sometimes from huge distances
  • Fresh water
  • Somewhere to live which is heated, lit, with for many of us, all the mod cons & technology
  • Transport - cars, rail, aircraft, ships, motorboats, motorbikes
  • Clothing
  • We all produce human waste which has to go somewhere. 
  • Education 
  • Over-population of people
  • Destruction of wildlife habitat for human need e.g. rainforest cleared for agriculture for cattle ranching and palm oil
  • Health care - this can have a detrimental effect on species such as rhinos and elephants and tigers due to misbeliefs about the benefits of animal parts in medicine
  • Somewhere to put man-made waste/rubbish e.g. plastic, polluted materials
  • Aspirations and wants which varies - nice holidays, a car, a certain lifestyle, leisure, cruises, the latest technology e.g. mobile phone, the latest fashions, a holiday home, convenience, we want things to happen right now, all the year round, thrill seeking opportunities
  • An over-riding wish for a short term gain and win at the expense of many other things

Clearly, the standard of living and expectations are higher in some countries than in others.  In many countries, people have no clean water to drink, no electricity etc.  This makes for a stark contrast to many people in wealthier countries where things are rather different. 

In addition, a really worrying trend is that so many people now feel no or little connection to nature and the natural world.  Many cannot see its relevance to them or appreciate how important it is to us all.  

You often see this is in the media - for instance, in the latest news of fires in Australia, "three people have died" - there is no mention of the absolutely horrible impact on koalas and the death rate there.  It's as if the koalas don't exist. 

So where does this leave wildlife?

World Population Growth
Year Billion
2015 7.3 
1927 2
1804 1