In 1968 John Brunner, a British novelist, worked out that the entire
world’s population of 3.5 billion could stand shoulder to should on an island
the size of the Isle of Man (572 km²). In 1950 the earth’s 2.5 billion people
could have squeezed on to the Isle of Wight (381 km²). He prophesised that by
2010 there would be 7 billion people, and they would fit on an island the size
of Zanzibar (1,554 km²).
The result was his novel Stand
on Zanzibar which centred on the consequences of overpopulation. His
societal predictions were not fulfilled, but he was only a year out in working
out when the earth would welcome
And what happens next to the world’s population? The
UN has predicted that by 2050 there will be 9.3 billion. This future world
would need an island the size of Tenerife (Spain) or Maui (Hawaii, USA) to fit
its burgeoning populations.