Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Overpopulation Turned Typhoons Into Calamitous Catastrophes

OVERPOPULATION was a major reason for the sheer apocalyptic scale of the Ondoy-Pepeng diluvial calamity.  I don't thing this simple and straightforward fact can be denied.

At every level of discourse,  population policy has to inform any long term Reconstruction and Disaster Preparedness plans about how many people we must be prepared to serve in some future disaster. It makes a big difference if we are planning systems to protect 100 million, 125 million or 200 million people.

Overpopulation created our overcrowded cities with their teeming slums and urban sprawl.

Overpopulation filled full our waterways with our own garbage,  that later,  submerged the neighborhoods of rich and poor alike.

Overpopulation created the thousands of pockets of vulnerable millions that have suffered Ondoy and Pepeng.

Overpopulation is what forced millions into the Marikina Valley where there ought to have been one of Manila's main watersheds and parklands, cheek by jowl with La Mesa Dam and the highlands of the Sierra Madre to the east.  Overpopulation is what caused the megaslums and gated residential communities up and down the Manggahan floodway.

Overpopulated societies foster poverty and unemployment, and the widespread lack of proper food and water, since whatever is available is being diminished by an ever growing denominator of millions more mouths to feed, clothe and shelter. And rescue!

Overpopulation magnifies the woeful inadequacy of the govt to deliver emergency relief and long term reconstruction. Every reconstruction plan and every attempt to achieve a secure "preparedness" against the next Ondoy or Pepeng is forced to deal with a population that is increasing at a rate of more than 2 million people per year.

The Catholic Church will be forced to surrender its traditional opposition to artificial birth control, if the relationship between Overpopulation and Disaster Preparedness  is firmly established in the public's sphere.

1 comment:

blackshama said...

Ecological theory supports the concept of overpopulation as proposed by Malthus and experimentally verified by Gause. Populations will crash if they exceed carrying capacity of the environment.

As simple the principle is, its application to human populations is more complicated since humans unlike the rest of the biota can actually modify their environment in order to more efficiently use resources. Human societies once settled in permanent communities become class stratified with the ruling class bale to exploit these resources more efficiently.

This is why we have to look at the disaster problem with Marxian eyes too.