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Remember the Six Billion

For millennia we have raged against the dying of the light. Can science save us from that good night?
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Between now and the year 2123 a tragedy of Brobdingnagian proportions will befall humanity, causing the death of more than six billion people. I’m serious.

According to Carl Haub, a demographer at the Population Reference Bureau in Washington, D.C., between 50,000 B.C. and A.D. 2002, about 106 billion people were born. Earth’s population is currently around 6.3 billion. Of the approximately 100 billion people born before us, every one has died. To the extent that the past is the key to the future, that means that within the next 120 years (today’s maximum life span), more than six billion humans will suffer the same fate. And there is not a damn thing we can do about it. Or is there? (continue reading…)

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