What changed? World Population
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The world population has rapidly increased.
According to Worldometers.com, world populations have gone from 1 billion in 1804 (over 200 years ago) to 7.3 billion in 2015. It is expected to keep rising for some time.
People have needs:
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.