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Daniel Gray

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7 Billion and Counting: The Rise of Global Population

National Geographic Magazine has dedicated the year 2011 to the issue of an increasing global population - set to surpass 7 billion within the next few months...

Each month a feature article investigates the effects of an increased anthropogenic footprint on the landscape; the contact points between mankind and an increasingly stressed environment, as well as the ways in which communities around the globe are currently dealing with existing pressures of population.

Urban settings are especially feeling the pinch as more people are squeezed into cities; slums expand daily, with thousands desperately competing for basic shelter, food and sustenance. Meanwhile vulnerable rural populations face natural environmental pressures daily.

With precious resources like water, cheap energy and other natural products already under strain the debate is out on how best to adapt and mitigate the pressures of a vast population, both in urban and rural environments.

What do you think are the best ways to deal with population growth, especially in developing contexts where both fertility and birth rates remain high?

Do developed nations have a particular obligation to 'aid and assist' less-developed countries? In particular with regard to vulnerability to climate-change induced events, such as flooding, drought and famine?

Where do civil, social and political boundaries lie, in dealing with population challenges? Surely national boundaries cannot stop forced migration, wars over resources or contested reserves....

Which civil-social programs would best prepare nations for the rise of their population? Or should we alternatively encourage cutting growth rates altogether?

Economic, social and political pressures are bound to mount as the issue of providing for 7 billion individuals advances. Are we adequately prepared??

Please share your experiences, opinions, and expertise.

Links:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/7-billion
http://collaboratory.dupont.com

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    Apr 19 2011: So what are our choices? Drastic change or a mass die off.
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      Apr 19 2011: Undoubtedly some people may pay the ultimate price, but additionally this population boom may just prolong the suffering of the so-called 'bottom billion'...The rich will be able to cope, as a large portion of resources is under their control and ownership...

      The subsistence (and raising up) of millions of people below the poverty line will be critical. Bangladesh has made drastic improvements in health care, education and have shown an incredible resilence throughout entire communities.

      The mobility of their people semms to be essential in facing the challenges of constant flooding, tropical cyclones, salt intrusions into fields and a population density of immense proportions (more people than Russia!).

      See the recent National Geographic Feature on their site, an excellent insight into these remarkable people..

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