Sex, Population and Happiness

There are some amazing statistics doing the rounds at the moment. The human race yesterday topped the seven billion mark, wow! That means that every hour 15,347 people are born and 6,418 people die. So the human race increases by 149 people every minute of every day. The doorbell just rang. In the time it took me sort that out, six minutes, and I sat down again, the population has increased by 894. Obviously, the precursor to birth is sex and these statistics show that a lot of people are doing “it”.

Unlike other beings on the planet, we are able to achieve satisfaction from sexual interactions that go beyond reproduction. The fact that many human beings enjoy an active sex life for many years with no thought of reproduction suggests that we get quite a lot from sexuality that does not equal babies, though in the end, sex and population increase go together.

An idea that a poor family goes to bed early to save candles and has more children has always been the economics of poverty. The statistics show that the greatest rates of increase are in the poorest countries and, for many, this suggests future problems as those in most need of the world’s resources cannot access them or afford them. This comes with warnings of social unrest as those in need migrate to the more affluent areas. The doomsayers predict famine and war. But there is an alternative: it is called sharing.

Accepting that there is a finite resource on this planet, we have a great capacity and ingenuity that can maximise the resource available to us. We have both the knowledge and the resources to solve our potential problems. At one end there is education and birth control and at the other is food production and water distribution.

On a planet where the main surface area is water, there is enough for all, we just need to use environmentally-friendly forms of desalination. We are now much better at using solar, wind, and wave power, and this knowledge will increase. The big crunch for many people is that we will probably need to become vegetarians because the amount of energy, land and water that is needed to create a kilo of meat is too great; if we cut out the middle man and eat the vegetables directly, we can use our land and resources more efficiently.

It seems inevitable that people will continue to enjoy sex, it is not inevitable that population will increase. In my world, the word we need to embrace is “Mindfulness”, that is, living our lives in our present, being aware of the consequences of our actions and acting in ways that improve the world around us.

If we can work together then we will survive; if not it will be business as usual: conflict, war and perhaps extinction. Hey Ho.

Take care,

Sean x

My name is Sean Orford. I am a therapist based in the UK, working for a variety of public and private organisations. I am also a speaker, writer and published author. I hope you enjoy my weekly blog. If you'd like to know more then please do get in touch.

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