Thursday, May 30, 2002

A plug for Lynn Unleashed

Lynn from Lynn Unleashed sent me a note a few weeks back complimenting me on Brain Squeezings, so I added her to my list of daily blog visits. Over time I've been well impressed with her level-headed approach to life (and of course a wide and deep interest in classical music is always a plus), and I guess I wanted to make sure that others knew about her site.

Lynn and I dovetail nicely on several points of view; a recent point she made about forecasters of doom over the past decades echoes my thoughts. Check her out! :-)

...And in a similar vein...

One of my pet peeves is people who claim that we're destroying the planet, that there's rampant overcrowding, that humanity is a fundamentally destructive force, that the planet is in any way fragile.

I heard a while back (the source is Rush Limbaugh, of all people) that all the people in the world, if living at the population density of New York City, could fit into an area the size of the state of Texas. This sounded suspicious to me, so I did some research, and tried the math.

NYC's year-2000 population density in people per square mile: 26,500. [link]
The world's population as of today: 6.25 billion (a little less, but hey). [link]

(6.25 x 10^9 ppl) / (26,500 ppl/sq-mi) = 235,849 square miles.

Area of Texas in square miles: 267,277. [link]

Looks like the figure is true. Heck, if we use the population density of Toyko (33,200 ppl/mi^2), we get an area of 188,253 square miles, or a little bigger than California at 155,959.

For the record, Texas accounts for 0.46% of the world's land area (57,308,738 square miles [link]). Put another way, all the continents of the world taken together represent an area 214.42 times the area of Texas.

The planet is a much vaster place than we give it credit for. We're a lot less significant in its business than we think we are.


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