Is our World Running out of Space?

How is it possible that earth still has space, space for human bodies, space for buildings, space for vehicles, and space for our junk?

Well, on the human side of the equation, we are born and we die, so it would seem that we keep a balance.  Or do we?

As for our buildings, vehicles and the copious amounts of rubbish we accumulate, I believe that is the biggest dilemma.

We are 7.3 billion in humans on this planet, and the actuaries have predicted that by 2030 we will be at 8.4.  Another scarier fact is that by 2050 that will rise to 9.7 and further on by 2070, 11.2, clearly showing us that compound maths is not rocket science.

But, how will be accommodate all these people?  Our planet doesn’t change; the land space doesn’t grow; yet we as a race keep multiplying.

Yes, we are finding new and innovative ways to store our stuff, such as timber shelving, cute little boxes, and under-bed drawers, but we are just moving things around, aren’t we?

Could it be equated to that of inflation growth and that most of our salaries don’t increase on an even scale?  Will our earth just heave and groan its way forward, whilst we laden it with more and more bodies, more and more structures, and more and more stuff?  Will it just simply ‘manage’?

This makes us think that perhaps we need to start looking for another planet.  Oh, wait, they are already doing this, but according to our cosmetologists and astrology the nearest planet with life-giving features is 40 light years away.  Great!  So, unless a really large bunch of our kids travel to this planet right now, we are nowhere near moving house.

What about putting in place laws like the Chinese have?  Limiting everyone to one child.  Okay, they have increased that to two now, I believe.  I do wonder why they did, because I don’t believe we are in a better place, space-wise, than we were before.

Another stat shows that most of our population growth will come from the large continent of Africa.  I am sure it can be narrowed down to which countries are the major culprits too.  But, that stat in itself is ironic, because Africa is seen as a Third World continent and by all obvious reasons cannot afford to increase their population.  Yet, there they are, doing just that.

Then this makes me think that Africa has quite a lot of vast amounts of open, unused lands.  Let us take the deserts for instance.  We could expand our living areas into the deserts.  I can just see it, bedouin tents and teepees spread over miles and miles of sandy dunes.   Okay, that doesn’t sound great.  But, we could build there.  Who does the desert belong to anyway?  Good question.

Let us chat about our water shortage across this beautiful world.  It is a very real problem, one that affects every living creature and plant life.  We cannot live without fresh water, and many countries are applying rules as to how you should manage your water, coming right down to not being able to use it at all for certain periods of time.

My thoughts turn to natural disasters and Noah.  Are the powers that be doing their best to keep our population down by sending natural disasters our way?  Yes, much like it happened so many years ago with Noah and his clan.  Perhaps we needn’t worry.  Perhaps we needn’t do anything at all.  We simply need to wait, wait for a storm, or a tsunami, or perhaps a volcano to erupt. Then the overflow will be eradicated.  Yes, that could work.  But, no one likes to think about that happening, especially if it happens to your people, your country, or your family.

In any case, we have become so accustomed to the natural disasters that we have prepared for them.  Sure, many die. Sure, many buildings are torn down. Sure, much land space is destroyed beyond habitation.  And, in there lies the issue.  We, as humans, will overcome the disaster and many more lives will be saved because we are that smart, but we haven’t worked out how to save our pressure lands from Mother Nature.

An interesting fact, that makes me think that we are definitely not utilising all our land, is that around 3% of earth’s land space supports half of our population.  That, given the amount of water that takes up our earth, and unused land, isn’t, I suppose, such a far-fetched piece of information.  But, it makes me realise that we could be utilising more of our land then for living purposes.

Cities under the sea?

Towns taking over lands that haven’t been used for plant growth.

And, for the extreme, if some of the lands are inhabitable, then let us go underground, creating entire villages under the soil.

A very important and integral part of taking over a bigger portion of our earth’s land is that we have to keep space for the trees.  Without them, as we all know, we cannot breath, and last time I checked, we need to breath to stay alive.

So, there you have it.  From finding other planets to raping our land, to making room for our ever-growing human race, we are, in fact, nowhere near finding a solution.

Sad but true, timber shelving storage and underground bunkers aside, that is the bold and ugly truth.

Although, I say sending our kids to another planet is a great idea.  (sorry pumpkin, I do love you though)

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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