Friday, May 11, 2007

Isn’t Overpopulation a Problem?

Various interest groups still insist that overpopulation is not a problem, are they waiting for cheap kalashnikovs for a speedy resolution?

By: May Anne UY

In 2006, ecologists around the world reached a consensus that the current human population has an “ecological footprint” equivalent to 1.2 Earths. This means that we need another fifth of planet Earth in order for each and every one of us humans to live comfortably and prosper. Population/birth control programs are tried and true (i.e. most humane) methods of controlling our numbers but religious zealots seem to continue to have increasing clout over legitimate governments in our supposedly rational 21st Century.

Back in 1798, the English cleric Thomas Malthus influenced public thought on population and food supply via an essay that still exerts controversy till this day. Malthus predicted that people would always multiply faster than their food supply/means of production and populations would be “kept equal to the means of subsistence by misery and vice.” In modern terms, the restrictive factors at work are – primarily – the starvation and pestilence that threaten underdeveloped nations. But advanced nations, benefiting from developments Malthus did not appreciate, such as birth control and farm technology, produce more food that they can use.

Ah birth control, a very humane and effective solution against food shortage and environmental destruction. Except that in poor and depressed parts of our planet, the Catholic Church seem to be the be-all end-all policymaker/clout-meister when it comes to family planning / birth control. Your Holiness, its 2007 not 1407. You hide behind the Crimen Solitationis law like an American Soldier uses the Posse Comitatus law to justify half-assed jobs. If the Catholic Church/Vatican really care about the well being of these people and their “Canon” doesn’t allow them to support birth control, then how about manned space travel/ space colonization? Sadly, their political view on this idea is hopelessly bunkum. Remember what the Catholic Church did to Giordano Bruno and Galileo 400 or so years ago. In our recent past, I never ever heard or saw Pope John Paul II or any high ranking Vatican official urging then US President Ronald Reagan or the NASA Administrator at the time of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster to “stay the course.” Is this proof that the Catholic Church doesn’t support existing manned space programs and/or will not support space colonization programs in the future? This could be the most viable solution to the overpopulation problem that’s killing our planet.

It’s now election season here in the Philippines, electoral candidates are now vying to be elected for their various electoral positions. Along with environmental concerns, overpopulation is an issue that’s probably on the way bottom/unimportant cache on the list of problems to be tackled by our politicians and policymakers elected or otherwise. Is this due to the Catholic Church’s apparent illusory hegemony over our government, God only knows? To me, the problem of overpopulation is long overdue to be discussed in an erudite and rational atmosphere by our policymakers and government officials. It’s the primary/root cause (take your pick) of poverty here in the Philippines. Despite the 10% economic growth attributed to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s policies, the population grew by 25% during the same period. How can you share the wealth under such conditions? If our country doesn’t exert a concerted effort to solve our overpopulation problem soon, conditions similar to that which started the genocide in Rwanda back in April of 1994 will be upon us by the year 2012. I hope that you have already stocked your share of black market Soviet-era weaponry as a stop gap solution.

1 comment:

April Rain said...

CNN's Planet in Peril discussed about the problems of overpopulation and how it could ruin our planet, not to mention fuel existing conflicts. Although the Princes at the Vatican are too buisy burying their heads in the sand when it comes to the issue of overpopulation.