I had a weird dream last night. I remember next to nothing about it, other than two parts. #1 – It was really weird and #2 – I had the power to rid the world of all disease. Not sure where the power came from, or what I did with it, just that I had it.
When I woke up I thought “that would be cool”. Then I started to wonder – but would it? Most of us (probably all of us), have been affected by some disease – whether it’s cancer, diabetes, MS, MD, Aids, ALS, or any one of the countless disease out there – so on the surface, curing everything seems like a great idea.
But is it? Is it really? Earth is suffering from a horrible virus called humans. We’re killing this planet – sort of. In the long run, Earth will survive long after humans are gone, but we’re not doing it any favors. Perhaps disease is simply Earth’s way, to try and fight this horrible human virus. But let’s forget about that for a moment, what about what’s best for us?
Humans as a whole are dealing with overpopulation, and in many areas there simply isn’t enough food or clean water to keep us going – so how would riding disease help – I’m not sure it would – ridding disease would mean an even faster population growth on this planet, and more people without food and water.
As of November 2008, the world population was an estimated 6.72 billion. By 2050 it’s predicted that we will be closing in on 9 billion people (according to a page on Wikipedia).
To see if curing all disease would be a good thing, I wanted to know how many people die each year as a result of disease alone. Good luck finding that statistic! I did find a stat that noted roughly 56,000,000 people die each year. I couldn’t find any figures however, on how that number breaks down…
So here we go – I am not a scientist, the numbers represented in this blog are not official in any way – I am going to take a totally rough guess as to what percentage I think that number may represent in terms of death by disease. Lets say… hmm… 25%. Too low? Too High? I dunno. It’s a guess. Leave me a comment if you think I’m way off – I’m listening.
Let’s assume for a moment that my figure is correct, cause, well, it probably is perfect, after all I chose it. That would mean that roughly 14,000,000 people die each year from disease. If we go 42 years into the future, and assume that this rate stays the same – that means that between now and 2050, the population could be 588 million people denser (assuming none of these people die of old age)
Hmm… In some super rare off-chance that my figures are 100% perfect, that’s really not that big of a difference – I suspected the figure to be in the billions before I wrote this blog post. This of course doesn’t factor in the natural death of old age, or other tragic accidents, nor does it factor in a lot of other stuff – its just an incredibly rough, uneducated guess, but if in fact my numbers are even remotely close to anything representing reality, then I guess, curing all disease, wouldn’t really be a bad thing for humanity after all.
If disease is nature’s penicillin to rid the world of humans, then it needs to get a stronger dose, assuming that my figures are even in the ball park (which they may very well not be).