7 billion people
Despite fears over the population and the earth's resources, there is plenty to celebrate about a world that has produced its seven billionth person in the face of the threat of nuclear warfare.
The design team at Planet Earth Plc gathered this weekend to launch the 7,000,000,000th new product in its 4.5 billion year history of innovative designs for its enduringly popular Homo Sapiens range.
Is any one of the (nearly) seven billion of us getting on right now? Whether you follow the money markets, keep an eye on Westminster, or just disagree with your other half over whether X Factor is better or worse this year, disagreements have been high on the agenda over the past seven days. For David Cameron at least, the week didn't get off to the best of starts with his backbenchers in revolt over Europe - even if he finally got the vote he needed to stave off that referendum decision for another day.
By now, we've all heard about the 7 billionth person being born on the planet this month. If we can get beyond all the headlines, though, we have an opportunity to reflect on the complex interconnectedness of global future challenges.
Around the world, 200 million children's growth is stunted. That is one-third of all children in the world under the age
Population has become a dirty word. It is a word that many of my predecessors and counterparts have, some might say understandably, steered clear of for decades. That's because it is normally followed by words like 'control' and 'explosion'. It conjures images of forced euthanasia and sterilisation at one extreme or famine, poverty, disease and war at the other. But as the world's population reaches seven billion - with the number of babies born each month equal to the population of Portugal - now is the time to start talking about it.
Global meat consumption is projected to double by 2050 - a frightening prospect, considering the factory-farming nightmare required to raise and slaughter more than 55 billion animals and meat production's impact on nearly all environmental problems.
There is about a 20 percent chance the world's 7,000,000,000th human inhabitant will be born in India - by far the highest chance for any individual country. If so, let's hope for a girl, although that chance would be less than 50 per cent...