For the first time ever, more than half of the worldâ€™s population now lives in cities. July 11 marks World Population Day and the focus is on South Asia, where the biggest cities in the world are growing quickly. Dhaka, Bangladesh, could be home to 20 million people in 10 years, according to the World Bank. This years theme is “men at work”, in which men are encouraged to help their wives and daughters gain a better life.
The global population has tripled in the last century. In 1988, the earthâ€™s population was five-billion, in 2000 it was 6.06 billion and since then, it has been increasing steadily at the rate of 78 million per year. It is predicted that 7.3 billion to 10.7 billion people will be crammed onto the planet by the year 2050. It is estimated that 90% of this growth will be in developing nations. Nations that already have a hard time feeding and providing services to their populations. By 2030, towns and cities will be home to five billion people. The urban population of Asia and Africa will double in a generation.
I admit it, I am in love with the TED talks website. The idea of getting some of the smartest and most interesting people in the world together in one place to talk to very influential and rich people (the ones who often have the money to make big things happen fast) really appeals to me. If I had the time and money I would love to attend one of these things one day. But as it is now I am overjoyed that they just give away these talks for free on the site. Here are two that I think go very well together. The idea of dangerous viral ideas, and the blight of the suburbs (in its own right a dangerous idea, that we should kill).
Dan Dennett talks about Memes, and how the spread.
James Howard Kunstler talks about creating spaces worth caring about (some foul language, but used appropriately).
I especially like the idea of memes as positive carriers of change. Come up with an idea that is so appealing that people will have no choice but to be enchanted by it. A world powered by renewable energy, a world with blue skies and clean water. A world in which people can be free, happy, and live rewarding lives. Craft that idea well enough, and watch it spread. What is your idea for a better future, how will you create a place worth caring about?
There are some days when I don’t think we are going to make it. I focus on positive things, I work towards positive things, but when you look at the whole picture you can’t help but be downtrodden some times. John Doerr (a very rich venture capitalist), thinks that we might not make it. He is concerned that all the eco-miracles that we have preformed so far, are just a drop in the bucket. He worries about the future for his children. He has the capital and the wherewithal to do something about it. His investment group is going to be spending hundreds of millions of dollars to deal with global warming. While the government (our government) is spending a paltry sum (less than Exxon makes in a day).
If this video did anything it should spur you to act, contact your elected representative now and let them know that you are scared about global warming, and that you want them to make policy to fight it. You don’t need hundreds of millions of dollars to make a difference, in fact the power of a well organized group of poor people is just as mighty as one or two really rich lobbyists. It’s our planet, lets fight for it.