After discovering the latest omen of the world’s coming demise, the Clog encourages Berkeley students to put down their books and enjoy their short-lived time on Earth.

Even for those of us who place a relatively low value on our personal space, death by overcrowding sounds rather unpleasant. It’s disconcerting, then, to hear that said phenomenon might not be so farfetched — or far in the future — as we’d like to think.

According to an article authored by Malcolm Potts (of UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health) and Martha Campbell (president of Venture Strategies for Health and Development), the United Nations’ projections for global population growth are more than a little distressing. Whereas the Population Division previously placed the planet’s denizens at 9 billion and stabilizing by 2050, they now predict that the numbers will balloon, hitting as high as 10.6 billion in 40 years and only continuing to grow.

One of the predominant contributing factors is limited access for many women around the world to family planning; additionally, everyone apparently thought more people would be dying of HIV/AIDS. Lamenting this mistaken prediction seems a little messed up. Then again, the fact that “Uganda — with one of the highest numbers of AIDS cases in sub-Saharan Africa — is projected to almost triple its population by 2050″ is somewhat astonishing, and not in the best of ways.

Maybe if we’re lucky, the apocalypse will come quite a bit sooner, and we can enjoy our remaining days with just enough elbow room to spare.

School house Rock – Elbow Room [YouTube]
Foreign Policy: Without Birth Control, Planet Doomed [NPR]
Earlier: “What Is Oozing out of Our Ground??”

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