On the World front:
Wednesday, May 23, 2007, represents a major demographic shift, according to scientists from North Carolina State University and the University of Georgia: For the first time in human history, the earth’s population will be more urban than rural
As a comparison, urbanites surpassed ruralites in the US around the end of World War I (though Maine, Mississippi, Vermont, and West Virginia are still majority rural).
In addition to having a highly disproportionate share of the world’s poverty, rural areas also get the urban garbage. In exchange for usable natural resources produced by rural people for urban dwellers, rural places receive the waste products – polluted air, contaminated water, and solid and hazardous wastes – discharged by those in cities..
.. “So far, cities are getting whatever resource needs that can be had from rural areas,” [Dr. Ron Wimberley, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at NC State] said. “But given global rural impoverishment, the rural-urban question for the future is not just what rural people and places can do for the world’s new urban majority. Rather, what can the urban majority do for poor rural people and the resources upon which cities depend for existence? The sustainable future of the new urban world may well depend upon the answer.”
Nevertheless, the researchers couldn't help making a joke (or was that an accidental pun?):
Wimberley says that May 23, 2007, marks a “mayday” call for all concerned citizens of the world.
har har har.