For those times when you just have to know a statistic…check out Worldometer, for every important number you want to know about or didn’t think you needed to know. No matter how arcane it might be, this website displays a variety of statistics. World population and government expenditures whirr by so fast you could get vertigo. Other stats – land lost to soil erosion this year – are sobering. Check out public healthcare expenditures, military expenditures, books published, money spent on video-games, emails sent… Real time numbers, which is terrifying, especially when you watch the ticker for world population and money spent on weight loss treatment and obesity remedies.

The population of the world has doubled in 40 years from 1959 (3 billion) to 1999 (6 billion); is currently growing at a rate of around 1.14 % per year; growth rate reached its peak in the late 1960s, when it was at 2%; growth rate is currently declining and is projected to continue to decline in the coming years.

The thing is, there is no comfort in the population decline because the majority of that will come from famine, pestilence, war and maternal and infant mortality. While we in the western world continue to consume more than we contribute, become over-fat and strew the globe with our garbage, there are countries that may never see peace. Others, like Syria, Egypt and Ukraine, continue to experience political turmoil. Why, in 2014, is there still war? Why is so much money still being spent on weapons instead of agriculture and health care for those who need it most? I have no answers. Some days, I despair at the future of the human race.

And then, there are what the wags call “First World Problems” or FWP. Here’s a sharp-toned video that gave me food for thought.

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