Before the Portland March for Science began at 11 AM on Earth Day 2017, this was the question in my mind. Because it was Earth Day and the March was happening in hundreds of cities worldwide, I decided to think about it in a context broader than just Portland or the United States. Here’s what I came up with.
There are more than seven billion humans on planet Earth right now, which is an objectively spectacular number. As writer David Quammen puts it in his book Spillover: “We’re unique in this history of vertebrates. The fossil record shows that no other species of large-bodied beast — above the size of an ant — has ever achieved anything like such abundance as the abundance of humans on Earth right now.”
And we’re not done achieving abundance. We will probably hit 9 billion in the next two decades. Read more