The Six Billionth Person

Yesterday the 6 billionth person was born in Sarajevo. Well, not exactly the 6 billionth. It’s all symbolic. The UN declared October 12, 1999 as the day the human population would surpass the 6 billion mark. They picked the first baby born that day in the city where the current secretary general of the UN was born. Okay, very symbolic.

Another interesting fact is that of those 6 billion people, 16% of them consume 80% of the world’s natural resources. That 16% is the most affluent countries in the world: the United States, Japan, and most of Europe. For the most part, that’s us. Not only that, but the United States is home to one third of the automobiles in the world.

That doesn’t seem like a very sustainable system. You can’t turn the faucet and magically get water forever. You can’t always put your trash on the curb before the landfill starts to creep into your backyard. You can’t drive your cars forever without turning the sky black with pollution. I don’t mean to preach apocalyptic doom, and rain down on your happy day, but it’s a reality we may soon need to accept. God made us stewards of this planet. I can’t help but wonder if some day he’s going to come home, find the place trashed, and we’re going to have some explaining to do.

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