The original version of this article, by Roger-Mark De Souza, appeared on
RH Reality Check.
“Are we going to talk about sex again?!” screamed my 12-year old son, Nick, as he ran down the stairs, away from me. That was five years ago and I had just sat down with him to have one of our father-son talks, this time about sex and sustainability.
Now Nick, a rising senior, is preparing for college at the same time as the global community is preparing for an important landmark of its own: the United Nations predicts that by October 31, world population will reach 7 billion.
The confluence of these two events gives me reason to think about the world Nick is inheriting from my generation, and makes me consider what I can say to him as he heads off to college.
This World of 7 Billion
I try to get my head around it. It’s a world of 7 billion people. With greater connectivity than I could have ever dreamed possible. A world of widening disparities and growing environmental degradation. A world with a changing climate. A world of crashing economic markets and changing debt ceilings.
It’s also a world of finite resources and growing demand.
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Photo Credit: David Hawxhurst/Wilson Center.