Wednesday 2 November 2011


That’s me that is. On this glorious planet on which we blog, tweet and snipe on Birdforum, I am the 4 billionth, 54 millionth, four-hundred and fifty-eight thousandth and forty-seventh person to have been born. Whoa. How s about that for mind-boggling thought eh? Hope you were sitting down. How do I know this? It was on the BBC website, so it must be true. You can play too:
The reason that this little gem of a stat exists is that the population of planet earth recently passed the seven billion mark. That is a serious number of people, imagine the queue at the post office, it would go on for ever and ever. I mean when I get up in the morning and catch the tube, I think that’s a lot of people, but seven billion! They wouldn’t even fit in an extra-long train!  Seven billion is like, loads. The other interesting stat is that, in the history of the universe and space, there have been 78,404,690,760 sentient human beings. And then add some birders. With seven billion alive (if not all well, necessarily) that means a lot of dead people. 71 billion to be imprecise. Where did they all go? Jeez. I’m alive though, one of the seven billion, and able to blog, tweet, and post inanities on Birdforum. Talking of which, I’m actually having a little love-in with Lee Evans on there at the moment, or rather he is, as for some reason he believes me to be on his side. I’m not on his side, nor am I on the opposing Lee-bashing side, but it didn’t prevent him declaring his adoring and eternal gratitude for something he perceived me to have done. Had there been a “hugs” emoticon thing, I would have used it in reply. Except emoticons are a load of crap, and I refuse to use them; they are a poor substitute for intelligent writing, and only exist so that stupid people can grasp simple sentences and get a vague understanding of their likely meaning. I didn’t reply, I couldn’t think of anything both cutting, witty, and genuinely inoffensive.
This bird is largely responsible for global warning. I hope it goes south via Malta.
Er, where was I? Oh yes, over-population. Not quite as important as which UK twitchers have seen the most birds and which grown men hate which other grown men, but worthy of mention nonetheless.  I read somewhere that by 2050 – this could be wrong, I refuse to actually conduct research - we will need two earths to feed the population, which by that time will be ten billion people. The trouble is we don’t have two earths, we only have one. Better hope somebody thinks of something, and fast. The good news is that by 2050 I’ll be on the way out, so won’t have to worry too much about, except perhaps over where to get buried alongside 71 billion other people, but it will be a genuine problem for my kids and my kid’s kids. I mean, what if they have to knock down Waitrose and grow turmips there instead? Where will they buy their imported green beans in December, or their Malaysian jumbo king tiger prawns? Like I said, genuine problems. Forget about where they might live, that’s blindingly obvious. They’re all going to be living with me and Mrs L until their early forties, possibly beyond. We will make weekly attempts to throw them out of course, but ultimately with starter houses by then costing a million quid, and starter salaries remaining exactly as they are today, and perhaps even less, what choice are they really going to have? I'm already resigned to it, but I suppose it will be nice to be looked after in my old age.
Seriously worrying statistics though, the cost of the weekly shop is only going in one direction. That said, it is a very clear case of SEP (someone else's problem), and I don't expect anyone reading the BBC website to do a damn thing except moan about the increasing cost of bread. In case you were wondering my preferred loaf has risen from £1.65 to £2.09. Yet another interesting stat. I am sure I can find more. Sorry this hasn't been about birds. I was going to go on the patch at the weekend and get the blog back on track, but instead I'm going to be planting spuds in the front garden and stocking up on canned food.

1 comment:

  1. The figure (someone else's by the way) of 71 billion is possibly wrong. It is generally accepted that there are more people alive today than have existed in the whole of Human history.