They grow so fast. I remember when mine were that small. Time goes by too quickly. When you’re pregnant or a mom of young ones, those are the kinds of comments you hear periodically from strangers, friends and family. I’m convinced that parenthood simply makes clock hands move more quickly. It seems like yesterday, okay maybe a little bit more than that, that I sat in a crowded lecture hall listening to a brilliant professor spew talk about the sustainable impact and ecological consequences of a “6 billion” planet. For months, I’ve watched a geeky world population app on one of my tech gadgets tick away, well past 6 billion.
And, here we are now at 7 Billion. Today the U.N. is symbolically marking the arrival of the ‘7-billionth’ baby.
But what are the environmental impacts of a 7 billion world population? Funny, this is the same question posed in that lecture hall years ago about 6 billion. With a population of this size–and one so quickly growing–are we in touch with environmental sustainability and patterns of consumption, and do our global behaviors mesh with supporting a population of this size? Does what we do in our individual lives, in our own communities, which may not even seem at all very populated matter? Should we even care? And, is there enough time to do anything to make a difference–let’s say, before we hit the 8 billionth mark. After all, time goes so fast.
I’m thinking, yes. We should care. What we do in small town U.S.A. does make a difference. Buying local, eating local, supporting local farmers, growing gardens, living off the land, consciously living, bucking consumerism, buying thoughtfully. What we do and the decisions we make as individuals, everyday, even when those days pass so fast, matters, to today’s 7billion babies–and to tomorrow’s billionths.