According to this worldometer website in April 2017 we are now 7.5 billion humans on Spaceship Earth. Here is an extract from the rich source of demographic data:
World Population Milestones
10 Billion (2056)
The United Nations projects world population to reach 10 billion in the year 2056.
8 Billion (2023)
World population is expected to reach 8 billion people in 2023 according to the United Nations (in 2026 according to the U.S. Census Bureau).
7.5 Billion (2017)
The current world population is 7.5 billion as of April 2017  according to the most recent United Nations estimates elaborated by Worldometers. The term “World Population” refers to the human population (the total number of humans currently living) of the world.
This article from Yale Climate Connections provides several comprehensive graphs and maps that indicate no lessening in the effects of global warming across the planet with worrying trends continuing for the first quarter of this year in surface temperature anomalies, ice loss in both Arctic and Antarctic and the bleaching of coral reefs. Why is this not an urgent matter for world leaders? Why do I not see this widely reported in the mainstream media?
Mauna Loa is the observatory in the mid-Pacific where the first readings of CO2 concentrations were established by Keeling. The latest recorded reading of 410 ppm was the highest ever and 10 points above last year’s level. The UN goal is to keep CO2 concentratins wo rldwide to a limit of 400 ppm and the environmentalist organisation led by Bill Kibben is 350.org. The latter movement’s ambition for a 350 ppm limit is now far surpassed.
This article from Common Dreams reports and links the climatic measurement to the Marches for Scientists and for Climate that follow in quick succession and the Trump administration withdraws support for action to ameliorate climate disruption due to human activity.
If you enter CO2 in the search option of this blog, you will find links to several recent articles that reinforce the news of rapid progression in the unpreceented rise of GHGs (green house gases)
Chomsky and Krauss in conversation in this two-part video about the responsibility of intellectuals to use reason and science to confront the manifold injustices brought about by the misuse of power. Actions have consequences. You do not have to be an intellectual to see how the vested interests in perpetuating the use of fossil fuels and debt-driven economic activity impact on a sustainable future. Similarly the illusion of powerful states that they have the unique right to dictate the destiny of other states, e.g. American & British exceptionalism, needs to be exposed by those capable of critical analysis of the consequences. We live in an age where power and political ambition creates the “truths” that distort reality and work against social justice, universal human rights and the planet’s capacity to sustain a future for our grandchildren. This CASE website is just one modest attempt to disseminate the ideas of those who speak truth to power. But, like Chomsky and Krauss, I feel compelled to do my own modest best as my life approaches its final years.
This short article from ‘Conversations’, the outlet for academic journalists, draws on the attempts of dissidents to throw light on the current manipulation of ‘fake news’ by those in power during the communist era of distorting propaganda. The situation today, as in the earlier era, requires us to ‘speak truth to power’. Solzhenitsyn, Havel and Sakharov feature in the account.
Kate Raworth has now produced a book outlining her ‘doughnut economics’ prescription for re-casting growth neoliberal economics to take account of the damaging environmental and social impact of current economic practice. This article summarises the main points of the doughnut economics model – “Seven ways to think like a 21st century economist”.
The challenge now is to create local to global economies that ensure that no one falls short on life’s essentials – from food and housing to healthcare and political voice – while safeguarding Earth’s life-giving systems, from a stable climate and fertile soils to healthy oceans and a protective ozone layer.
Here is Jeremy Williams’ review of “Doughnut Economics” which he claims will become an important challenge to conventional economic assumptions about the efficacy of infinite growth. Raworth assumes an ‘agnostic about growth’ stance. George Monbiot here has speculated that it could be that the doughnut model will eventually rival the impact of Keynes’ economic thinking.
Bill Scott here expresses reservations about the concept of ‘boundaries’ used by Raworth in the doughnut model. Planetary boundaries are physical and arise from natural laws whereas economic indicators such as the definition of poverty are essentially socially constructed and thus more subjective.
This article from the Huffington Post was sent to me by Charles Goodman with the note:
“For now, the ice sheet is still safe,” he said. “Its tipping point hasn’t been crossed yet. But if warming continues, it’s very likely that it will be crossed.”
If the entire Greenland ice sheet were to melt, it would cause a global sea level rise of more than 20 feet.