Paul Theroux wrote an editorial in the New York Times this morning about world population and its affect on him and, to some extent, the rest of us. It is a crowded world for sure. Theroux talks more about how the crowding is changing our outlook, not on what should be done about it. That needs no explanation, but I will beat the drum for him.
Does immigration reform slow down population growth? No. The people coming into the USA are looking for space and growth opportunities and are already existent. Besides, world population growth is a world wide phenomenon so any solution has less to do with laws than with man’s common sense.
Population growth as it is today is the single greatest problem we face on earth. Global warming, energy shortages, clean air and water are outgrowths of this problem. Why the world has done nothing to solve this problem will only lead to catastrophes whether they are natural such as last year’s Tsunami in the Indian Ocean or Katrina in New Orleans, or man made such as wars and famines in Darfur and Iraq, oil spills, unsafe working conditions such as those in Bhopal and the Russian reactor that blew up, viral outbreaks resistant to medication, etc. ad infinitum.
Why isn’t the problem being addressed? The Catholic church gets more money the more Catholics that exist in this world. China and India, whose populations show no sign of slowing reap enormous power at having a virtually infinite work force. Capitalism, and by extension globalization, thrives on expanding markets, i.e., a greater population. The vested interests in unchecked population growth are enormous. The sanctity of human life is a paradoxical concept for those whose life begins and ends in abject poverty and disease.
It just makes you want to be a Canadian.
And by the way, Holland Cotter should be boiled in oil for grouching about the rather superb exhibits currently on view in New York saying that, and I paraphrase because I did not save the article, the exhibits showed us nothing new about the art on display. Horse manure! Every time I look at a good (it does not have to be great) painting, my mind gets something else to think about. New York City was extremely lucky this year and it is hardly likely we will again have such chances in the near future.