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Living in a 10 billion plus world

A UN press release dated May 3, 2011 says: "The current world population of close to 7 billion is projected to reach 10.1 billion in the next ninety years, reaching 9.3 billion by the middle of this century, according to the medium variant of the 2010 Revision of World Population Prospects, the official United Nations population projections prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs..." 

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We officially touched the 7 billion mark yesterday (31/10/2011), and likely to touch 10 billion mark as predicted. In this context, a thought comes to my mind is: “What will be the greatest challenge before the 22nd century people?"

I think that living among ten billion plus population will be the greatest challenge before 22nd cy people. Therefore, it is high time we started to teach ourselves and our children to live in large crowds. Because it will take at least two generations’ time for such skills to become habits of individuals. It should start from revitalising the basic ethics of social life - which is being lost dangerously - such as perseverance, self restraint etc. If the capacity to acquire higher amount of luxuries is the indication of one’s wealth today, in the days to come, the ability to sacrifice luxuries intelligently would be the indication of one’s capacity to survive.Similarly, when the equations between demand and capacity to supply starts to crumble down one by one, ability to devise intelligent prioritization would become crucial in both individual and social lives.

In the same way all the systems of a rocket is being tested before its launch to ensure that it can withstand the friction and gravitational forces, it might become necessary for us to test all our social systems including the most basic ones such as health care, education, transportation etc to ensure that they are competent for a ten billion+ world. We should also realize that there is possibility for the effects of environmental issues (like climate change) and the effects of population explosion might get amplified by each other.

I anticipate, in the days to come, we might see vibrant discussions and hectic activities on the topic ‘skills and technologies for  a ten billion+ world’. Yes, it is the way how the man take up challenges, and stands on the earth with millions of years’ history!

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Living in a 10 billion plus world by Anil Prasad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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