By the time you’ve read this post, the net growth of this planet’s population has increased by about one thousand human beings. That’s right. One thousand, in the course of a few minutes. That’s 1.5 million more people every week. The planet and its resources don’t expand. Human population does, at a frightening pace. This has consequences for each and everyone of us. A new book Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot (OVER) is an impressive piece of art crystallizing the ecological and social tragedies of humanity’s ballooning numbers and consumption. At the heart of the book are powerful and evocative photographs, urban landscapes mostly, illustrating the many challenges caused by human population that by now has reached a size of 7.3 billion people. At the dawn of the 20th century, four times less people lived on earth.
How do you raise awareness about population explosion? By means of visualization. With photographs. One group thought that the simplest way would be to show people what ticking bomb we’re sitting on. We’re not talking about imminent collapse of the world, but a creeping loss of unrecoverable life quality. Raising awareness about these issues is a project by Population Speak Out, a group uniting world-class scientists, academicians, opinion leaders and thousands of lay environmentalists and concerned citizens to help bring international attention to the crises posed by overdevelopment and human population size and growth.
Have a look at a population to get an idea at what speed the human population is growing while useable land decreases. The U.S. Census Bureau‘s site with real-time figures is actually pretty impressive, and at the same time depressing. Each second, nearly three humans are born worldwide, that’s about 150 each minute, nearly a thousand every five minutes, while the number of deaths is roughly half of population growth.
What to do? Well, being aware of the problem is the first step. Doesn’t mean we all should adopt children from now on and squeeze families into a single bedroom flat. But making better use of resources, living more aware and abstaining from what’s not really necessary are certainly a step into the right direction to lessen the overall burden our beautiful planet has to shoulder. Each and everyone of us can make a difference, however tiny it may be. In the end it’s nothing but droplets that form the mighty ocean.
The coffee table book Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot (OVER) features more than 300 pages of stunning, full-spread photography that’s relentless and compelling. The real star of the book is the photography, meticulously paired with lyrical captions. OVER is a large format book, weighing nearly three kilograms, and the production and photographic quality are plain impressive. The scenes depicted throughout much of the book are woven together to create an experience perhaps better described as disturbing. The powerful imagery in this book won’t fail to inspire and make an impact on anyone who takes a little bit of time to dare to see what’s really going on around us.