Check out the compelling video from National Geographic highlighting the prediction that the earth's population will reach seven-billion people before the end of 2011.
There are some interesting facts in the video, especially the growth rate over the past 200 years (in 1800, there were only one-billion people on earth), as well as the idea that while seven-billion is a huge number, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, we would all fit in the city of Los Angeles. The video ends with the somewhat controversial claim that our goal as human beings should be finding balance for all people to live and thrive, which stands in contrast to population control proponents who claim the earth is not large enough to support such massive numbers. This called to mind Pope Benedict's writing on population and the enviroment.
In Caritas in veritate, the Pope writes,
This responsibility is a global one, for it is concerned not just with energy but with the whole of creation, which must not be bequeathed to future generations depleted of its resources. Human beings legitimately exercise a responsible stewardship over nature, in order to protect it, to enjoy its fruits and to cultivate it in new ways, with the assistance of advanced technologies, so that it can worthily accommodate and feed the world's population. On this earth there is room for everyone: here the entire human family must find the resources to live with dignity, through the help of nature itself — God's gift to his children — and through hard work and creativity.