June and I are delighted to announce the birth of Natalie June Seat on February 16. Natalie is the daughter of Ken and Mina Takazaki Seat and our seventh, and probably last, grandchild. We are very happy to welcome this new member into the Seat family and into the world.
There is a strong possibility that little Natalie will live to see the year 2100—and that is also possible for her big sister, Naomi, who was born in 2004. After all, Natalie had three great-grandparents to live past 90, and her only living great-grandparent will likely live that long. And what with medical advances and all, we should be able to expect children born in 2010 to live longer than people born in the 1910s. Or should we?
I have no doubt that the earth will still be here in 2100, but what about the human race? Will there be a U.S. presidential election that year? Will the Summer Olympics be held? Will there be as much resemblance between 2100 and 2000 as there was between 2000 and 1900?
While there is not, at present, a strong threat of a nuclear war, such as was the underlying fear of so many people a half-century ago, there are other ominous signs that make me uneasy about human society in 2100. I guess my three main concerns are the possibility of massive changes on earth due to global warming, the likelihood of enormous problems due to the depletion of water resources in much of the world, and the constant increase in the population of the world.
When I was born in 1938, the world population was under 2.3 billion. This year there will likely be exactly three times that number of persons on earth. Even though the growth rate has slowed greatly, the population of the world may reach nine billion several years before 2050, and who knows what it will be by 2100.
Population growth is one of several reasons why the world’s supply of clean, fresh water is steadily decreasing. Water demand already exceeds supply in many parts of the world. In my lifetime, let alone in Natalie’s, we may see major warfare over water. And who can say what dire effects of global warming may be seen in the coming thirty, sixty, or ninety years.
All I know is that there are great problems that all people of goodwill need to be concerned about and working diligently to solve. I want to keep doing what I can to work for a just and sustainable society, for the sake of Natalie and my other grandchildren and as well as for the sake of all the children of the world.