United States Population tops 300,000,000!

So, what does this mean sociological, economically, and ecologically? Economically, it means there are more potential buyers of my books 🙂 For the environment, well the meaning of this momentus event is up for debate. Sociologically, hitting the 300 million mark is of no real consequence unless we make it so. The country is not significantly more diverse today than yesterday. Cultural and economic opportunities have not expanded greatly in the past 24 hours. The change, if there was any, probably would have been the same even if the population slipped by 0.034% in the past 24 hours?

Hmmm, so what is the percentage difference in the country’s population compared with yesterday at this time (8:22)?

The mass media: Well, they have to talk about something don’t they? This symbolic but not important event gave the networks a little something to fill the airwaves for awhile.

The environmental impact of a large, growing, and rich population is something worth talking about. And I did read about the subject in Washington Post Express yesterday. The environmental significance of this population milestone is negligible. But if our population keeps growing, and buying SUVs and houses in the ‘burbs, things could get pretty bad.

Maybe they could get pretty bad. I’m not entirely convinced. Scientists seem to think that global climate change is real, and is really fueled by human activity. If so, our high level of fossil fuel use can’t continue. With the population growing and the standard of living steady or increasing for many people increased fossil fuel use seems inevitable. 

Anyway, our impact on the environment will depend more on lifestyle choices and policies than on sheer numbers. Maybe we can eat fewer imported foods, consume less meat, walk more, live in condos or apartment buildings, and that sort of "green" stuff. I should hope so! I’d love to buy a condo in a super green building. I’m not interested in giving up meat though.

Population growth also means the country is getting more crowded. They just aren’t making land anymore, and gobbling up one’s weak neighbors to get more land is socially unacceptable these days. We’ll just have to accept the increasingly crowded malls, highways, and supermarkets. But the United States isn’t densely populated compared with most of Western Europe, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Israel, Gaza, and China.

So much for the idea of a population crisis in the United States!

Next Time: How Can People Create a Pedestrian Traffic Jam?

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~ by chetdavis on October 17, 2006.

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