134 trillion = one humungous number
I was pretty useless with Maths at school. All those boring numbers and equations. History was far more interesting – full of rich, colourful stories of people living in a time long ago and long forgotten. But recently I’ve been getting into figures and numbers – not because I’m making up for lost time but because the future of humanity may depend on a certain number. And that number is 134 trillion. I can’t even imagine such a whopping big number. Does the world even have a trillionaire?…let me check…does Google recognise the term? Is it Bill Gates?
So….apparently, Wired magazine predicted in 1999 that Bill Gates would be a trillionaire by 2005. But that prediction was bombed by the dot.com meltdown. Okay, so could it be de facto Prez, Dick Cheney with his fingers in the “golden oil fields of Iraq” pot? Is it those two smart dudes who came up with the whole Google algorithm thing? Or is it some rich sultan or sheik in some Middle Eastern country? Or is it Queen Elizabeth II?
A little sleuth work…. the combined wealth of the Rockefeller family in 1998 was approximately $US11 trillion and the Rothschilds $US 100 trillion – but I’m looking for a single, extremely wealthy person, not a family. Actually, there does seem to be a very mysterious bunch of dudes, the Global Elite – families with wealth beyond our wildest dreams and who make Buffet and Gates look like small change. But that’s another blog post.
Back to finding my trillionaire. I searched Wikipedia for “trillionaire” and it took me to the “billionaire” page where I found some very rich dudes like Anil Ambani (only worth US$45 billion) and Mukesh Ambani (older bro of Anil and only worth US$20.1 billion). Mmmm….if I combine 45 and 20.1 billion I still don’t get to one trillion (which is 1,000 billion, although remember I flunked Maths) and what’s in the water in India I ask that they have so many rich dudes?
Continuing my search for the world’s elusive trillionaire. Could it be Guy Cramer? Who you ask? In 1993, Cramer discovered a number of algorithms that accurately forecast stock market indexes. In case you’re seriously brainy, you can check them out here because Cramer has very kindly made these algorithms free. He’s not the world’s first trillionaire because, as a Christian, he felt it morally wrong to keep the secret of the algorithms to himself. Now, if I could just work out what the heck all the tables and numbers mean, I could become a trillionaire!
Didn’t end up finding a definitive answer as to who is the world’s first trillionaire if in fact there is one (although I suspect it’s some very shadowy person who is part of that Global Elite mob). But I did find out that 134,000,000,000,000 (wow, check out how many zeros) is a serious, scary number. According to The Optimum Population Trust, if the global population keeps growing at its current rate, it will reach 134 trillion by 2300 (and this is despite Europe’s population decline). World population is expected to reach 6.66 billion in April 2008 (anything in that number: 666?!).
Can you imagine? 134 trillion sweaty bodies trying to hustle and bustle around our cities. I can’t even navigate Pitt Street Mall in my lunch hour without bumping into people or having to avoid idiots who refuse to get out of your way. Forget global warming: population growth could be THE most serious threat to the human species’ continuing existence.
Of course, some global epidemic could wipe a large proportion of us out or we’ll snuff ourselves out with ongoing violence and stupidity. But the UN predicts the world’s population will stabilize at 10 billion in 2200. That’s a whole lot less that 134 trillion. Even so, can you imagine all the food necessary to feed this amount of people? The cattle that will need to be raised to provide meat and the forests that will need to be chopped down to make way for cattle and so on.
Now, before those neo-Nazis I recently had an email tussle with say “let’s revisit eugenics”, let me say I’m not suggesting we should mandate one child families, enforced contraception or that we should all turn to vegetarianism to avoid 33% of the world’s grain being fed to cattle (although there’s a good idea). But it does seem that population growth is going to be a significant future issue. And how many of the 134 trillion (should it come to that) will be poor I wonder? And to what extent will we see a huge gaping divide between those who can spend, spend, spend in our materialistic society and those who will struggle just to feed themselves on a planet over-burdened by the heaving mass of 134 trillion people?
And if you’re wondering how on earth you could spend one trillion dollars, here’s a fascinating fact for you:
- if you spent a million dollars a day, it would take you 2,737.8 years to spend your one trillion (assuming you earned no interest). That’d make an awful lot of lip gloss I’d have to buy 🙂