Humanity as a whole hit a new milestone Tuesday as the United Nations confirmed that the world now has 8 billion people. Many Twitter users reacted hilariously to the news, while others opted for a more serious approach as they sought to bring attention to issues such as poverty and climate change.
“On 15 November 2022, the world’s population is projected to reach 8 billion people, a milestone in human development,” the UN said on the “Day of 8 Billion” page, which is dedicated to the said occurrence.
The UN has projected that the population will hit 8.5 billion in 2030.
“The milestone is an occasion to celebrate diversity and advancements while considering humanity’s shared responsibility for the planet,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.
The UN also projected that there will be a slowdown in reaching the 9-billion milestone as it will take “approximately 15 years” before the population adds another billion. Previously, it took 12 years to grow from 7 to 8 billion people.
Executive director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Natalia Kanem, told reporters last month that there have been concerns about the world being overpopulated, Axios reported. “I am here to say clearly, that the sheer number of human lives is not a cause for fear,” Kanem explained.
Meanwhile, Twitter users have taken to the social media platform to express their thoughts about the population milestone, with many making hilarious remarks about their relationship status.
Founder of digital marketing firm Tallie Media, Tallie Dar, said he’s “still single” even as the world reached the 8-billion mark.
One user congratulated TV host Nick Cannon who has fathered 11 kids, with another on the way.
Speaking about Japanese manga artist Eiichiro Oda, one user pointed out that not one of the 8 billion people on the planet can make a manga “better” than the creator of the immensely popular “One Piece” series.
One user asked Durex for an “intervention” amid the news.
While many Twitter users laughed the population numbers off, some opted to approach the matter on a more serious note.
“Maybe not a day for celebration,” one user commented. “Too many to feed, too many who pollute… too many children growing up in poverty.”
Another said billionaires should be stopped from spending their money and have funds “directed towards anti-poverty.”
Actress and environmental activist Daryl Hannah alluded to the impact of population growth on “climate crisis & our life support systems.”
Activist platform Just Collapse pointed out that even if 8 billion people are unaware of what’s happening, “the well has nearly run dry. The bounty built up over millions of [years] has been used and abused.”
Guterres wrote ahead of the milestone that while the population grows, the division has also expanded. “Unless we bridge the yawning chasm between the global haves and have-nots, we are setting ourselves up for an 8-billion-strong world filled with tensions and mistrust, crisis and conflict,” Guterres said.