Sustainability: is it all in the numbers?

15 Feb

While at home over Christmas I stumbled across an old social studies exercise book from my primary school days.

Apart from a cover page emblazoned with a hand-drawn, bright red boom box (and quoting that iconic cinematic masterpiece – Electric Boogaloo) I was struck by this population chart…

population chart liz franzmann

Image courtesy of the author's parentally managed archives

It shows that, even in the mid-eighties, we had fairly accurately predicted our global population would exceed six billion by the new millenium.

And if a little kid in a small South-East Queensland town knew about it, it’s fairly certain a lot of other people did too. The environmental impact of our growing global population is a hotly debated topic, with many perspectives.

But it does appear this exponential chart is intimately connected to many of the sustainability challenges we face today.

As Motu, our sustainability wombat, explains in under 60 seconds – we live on one planet and everything’s connected. So a major shift in one area is bound to impact on other parts of our world.

This post is simply reflecting on the fact that there are a lot of us on the planet; a lot more than in the eighties anyway.

And it seems more certain we will have to ride waves of change together, rather than apart…

 

 

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