What if humans could live only to 40?
Hang on…I don’t have long left!
I’m not that old, but 40 is perilously close! I don’t feel old. I don’t think it’s fair. *Be quiet myself - this is a thought experiment. You’re not going to be snatched from this Earth the moment you hit the big 4-0.* 40 seems like nothing through your modern, healthy, well-fed eyes (funky face fact - eyes actually breathe oxygen by absorbing air and don’t get it from your lungs). This is all down to perspective and if you search through the dusty, torn pages of history or the sparkling pages of science books, you’ll find that humans barely made it past 40 for most of human history. Just a review of a main idea from a lot of Jool books - HISTORY WAS ABSOLUTELY AWFUL. An ancient Greek or Roman would be lucky to make it to 30, never mind 40. So much stuff could ELIMINATE you that you would laugh at now. We take it for granted that we have enough nutrition, fabulous access to doctors and donkeys and dentists, and live in societies with enough dosh (money, money, money) to protect us. Savour that, young ones. The Romans suffered hugely.
36.91% - that’s the percentage of the world’s population that is over 40 = 2,925,000,000 people. Almost 3 billion people if we want to make it easy on ourselves with the maths. 3 billion people is a staggering amount of HOOOMANS roaming around on this planet scratching their bums and eating chickens. An immediate change would therefore be that the resources required to sustain those 3 billion peeps would vanish. Though an imperfect calculation, 50 billion chickens are consumed every year by humans, so (36.91%) of those chickens could theoretically not be consumed. That’s almost 18.5 billion chickens. Those birds would not require any feed to keep them clucking, nor workers to fatten them up. The coop to put them in would be unneeded, and so would the material (wood or metal) that was utilised to manufacture it. Those resources would remain unused and would not be taken from the Earth. In addition, there would be far less chicken poop everywhere and a lot fewer KFCs.
The Earth is saved for 15 minutes
So, if 36.91% of the world vanishes and their consumption of resources along with it, we may well celebrate the end of the climate crisis! Then, we will quickly realise that the population of the Earth under 40 is growing far more rapidly. Also, the damage to the climate is almost irrevocable and permanent at this point *cough*. Therefore, this doesn’t really change anything much in terms of the climate fight, but it does offer one drastic change. Most of the world is divided by hierarchical groups where the elders are usually in charge of governments. Younger people tend to be more open to change and more willing to live differently. Have you ever seen your dad looking at a smartphone game made for YOU? We elders don’t understand modifications to what we’ve always done because we’ve always done it. Electric cars are superior to petrol cars, but older citizens tend to be suspicious of radical changes. A new, young population on Earth would offer a chance - ONE CHANCE - to do something differently and save ourselves from … OURSELVES. However, why do we need to imagine a world without oldies to save ourselves. Young people are still the future and YOU are here now. YOU are the architect of our future and YOU can make the change now. Out with the old and in with the new doesn’t mean deleting the actual old.