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Dorian de Wind

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Will Halloween 2050 Be Trick or Treat for the World's 9 Billionth Child?

Posted: 10/30/11 07:42 PM ET

If Halloween by itself wasn't frightening enough, this Oct. 31 has been set by U.N. demographers as the official day when the 7 billionth person will be born, as TIME says, "on a planet already strapped for resources."

No one knows where this 7 billionth person will "officially" be born, but TIME says he or she may be born in India, "which will be the world's most populous nation by 2030."

Halloween might be the appropriate day for this "sobering" event to happen, "a reminder of our planet's predicament," where, according to TIME, "there's a distinct whiff of panic and fear" around this event, especially since our population is increasing by 10,000 an hour and the U.N. median forecast is that we will have 9.3 billion people by 2050.

In an interview with TIME, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, answering a question on how the world can support -- environmentally and economically -- a population of 7 billion, 8 billion, 9 billion, notes that he suspects that the 7 billionth citizen will be born "into a world of contradiction."

After reading TIME's excellent yet foreboding spread of articles on this topic, I would hasten to add that the 7 billionth, the 8 billionth and especially the 9 billionth child will be born into a world of frightening uncertainty.

Perhaps the only thing we can say with certainty is that the 9 billionth child -- and I am not trying to be sardonic here -- will be a boy or a girl, unless the world community in earnest addresses "[c]limate change, food-security issues, energy shortages, water scarcities, disease, health issues and gender empowerment," in an integrated way, as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urges.

Let's try to make Halloween 2050 a "treat" for the 9 billionth child.

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