Tuesday, 1 November 2011


The United Nations used yesterday to symbolically announce the birth of the 7 billionth human. The celebrations began in the Philippines, where baby Danica May Camacho* was born just before midnight on the 30th October.

Danica (which means Morning star) joins the rest of us on a planet which is quickly becoming overcrowded and devastated by mankind. The “celebrations” inspired me to write this poem;

(* in Photo from MSN Today News)

7 Billion

They say the world’s population
hit seven billion people today.
That’s a seven with nine noughts on the end,
And some say hip hip hip hooray!

I think that this is a tragedy,
for mankind is the scourge of the earth,
the fact that our population’s soaring
is hardly a reason for mirth.

We devour the planet’s resources
and pollute the streams and the air
the oceans are full of our garbage;
truth be known we don’t care

Oh, we pretend to be concerned
about the damage we do to the earth
but as soon as the price increases
we scream blue murder, and worse.

We allow our leaders to stagger
from one treaty to the next
and as soon as things get a bit tricky
all good intentions are vexed.

Our numbers will increase further,
They say a billion a decade or more.
We’ll end up fighting for water
like we’ve fought for oil before.

What a sorry state of affairs it is,
that our numbers have soured so high
without learning to share resources
and cherish all under the sky.

John Carré Buchanan
31 October 2011


  1. I saw your comment on Lindsey's blog on the Falklands and thought I would visit. I have read several of your poems and enjoyed them.
    This last one on the "population bomb" and the damage to the environment touch me very much.
    This I think is the World's greatest problem.
    It dismays me that politician do not tackle this problem in a way that is necessary to alleviate it.

  2. Hi, Thank you for your kind comment on my poems, I am glad you like them. You are right about the population bomb, I guess that most politicians know that if they make the decisions that are required then they won’t be voted in next time. The real issue is mankind’s desire to have more for less, ultimately greed is our undoing. Rudyard Kipling wrote;

    “These are the four that are never content: that have never been filled since the dew began-
    Jacala's mouth, and the glut of the kite, and the hands of the ape, and the eyes of Man.”

    in the Jungle Books. His comment on man was spot on.

  3. This is a very nice poem I really like this part:

    We allow our leaders to stagger
    from one treaty to the next
    and as soon as things get a bit tricky
    all good intentions are vexed.

    Our numbers will increase further,
    They say a billion a decade or more.
    We’ll end up fighting for water
    like we’ve fought for oil before.

    It is sad but in the end who knows what it will happen.

  4. Alex, Thank you. Whilst I hope I am wrong, I believe that water and food wars will become an issue within the next few decades.The sad thing is that there are enough resources in the world to go around, they are just not in the right place and those that have them tend to prefer to waste the excess rather than share it.


I really appreciate constructive feedback. If you are able to comment it would be most grateful.


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