It is often said that there are more people alive today than have ever lived - and this "fact" has raised its head again since the UN announcement about the planet's population reaching a new high.
The idea helps fuel fears that the population is expanding too fast.
It is true that if you delve back into the mists of time, the population of Earth was tiny in comparison to today and logically it might seem plausible that the living outnumber the dead.
So what are the figures? There are currently seven billion people alive today and the Population Reference Bureau estimates that about 107 billion people have ever lived.
This means that we are nowhere near close to having more alive than dead. In fact, there are 15 dead people for every person living. We surpassed seven billion dead way back between 8000BC and AD1.
"Could we imagine a carrying capacity of the Earth of 100-150 billion? I find that quite unimaginable."
This is such a bizarre article, it seems like they were trying to argue that population growth isn't a problem because some crazy people cite a fact which is obviously the opposite of true. At least that is what I get from the beginning. But it ends with an "Earth can't support that many people" statement. Is this them trying to argue that overpopulation is not a problem, but trying to be Fair and Balanced about it?
It is good to know the Earth can't possibly support an army capable of fighting off all the dead, we know the odds are against us. Rather than zombies, the BBC is clearly more worried about ghosts, they even bring up the Arthur C. Clarke quote. So we're making progress, at least for this generation. I guess what I've learned is that if the ghost uprising doesn't happen soon, we all need to be sure to have at least 3 or 4 kids. And make sure they know how to use their proton packs.