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Population Crisis & Birth Control
The objective of Ehrlich is to prove that the developed countries have a relatively moderate growth in the increase of population, but they use a lot of the natural resources that are available there and thus cause problems of pollution. (Too Many People) While this is true to some extent, there are other accompanying problems and that is the feeling of being that one is has mastery control of all being surveyed. This happens to all countries which happen to feel that they are the source of development and guidance for all the nations and people of the world. Such a role was being enacted by the British till the Second World War when they used to say that the Sun would never set over the British Empire.
The Americans never felt this about themselves till the Second World War. Subsequently they became the leaders of the "free" countries and were the leaders of a bipolar world along with Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, America became the undisputed and the dominant nation of the world. And any king rules the world according to rules that are according to his own likings and which give him the maximum benefits. This is also seen in the pollution problems of the world today. Certain aspects of the living style, diet behaviors and other matters of concern cause the consumption of lot of energy and this requirement has to be met. This is a major source of pollution, and any article today on pollution should reflect this aspect.
Another aspect that has been highlighted by him is that "Americans are beginning to realize that underdeveloped countries of the world face inevitable food crisis." (Too Many People) This is true in the literal sense, but has he understood the real reasons behind it? The ruler rules the world according to his convenience and he must have what he requires. This means that these countries have to alter their eating habits and crop patterns so that they can meet the standards of the Americans. This is not possible, and a small section of the people achieves it. This causes a lot of hunger among the rest of the population. There is a section in every country that is never hungry, and a section which does not even get two square meals. This happens due to many reasons and one of the simple reasons is the change in dietary habits.
Do Americans realize that consumption of non-vegetarian food requires a lot more land, and is also not suitable for the climatic situation of many countries? Yet the change has to come as the lord of all nations eats non-vegetarian food as their major constituent. Again, the items to be grown in the fields have to be changed as this will permit the American multi-nationals to sell their developed seeds. This will in turn increase the requirement of fertilizers and other material for agriculture. Again the profits go to another multi-national. All these methods require the consumption of energy. Thus to a large extent the responsibility of underdevelopment and consequent shortage of food lies with the multi-nationals.
Next we talk about the "overdeveloped countries." (Too Many People) These are all modern industrial nations and the names are United Nations, Canada, most European countries, Israel, USSR, Japan and Australia. The name of Israel in this is certainly objectionable. The creation of that state was due to the guilt feelings of USA, Canada, and countries of Western Europe. These countries hurt the Jews as much as they could prior to the Second World War. They were viewed to be sub-human. Remember Shylock in "Merchant of Venice" written by the venerable Shakespeare. The limit was reached in Nazi Germany when they were killed and even their body fat was collected. To remove this complex which had been built up over centuries, and having a land whose masters were at the mercy of these conquerors, the state of Israel was built. It depends totally on the mercy of the Jews in the Western countries, and is not really developed in that sense. However, Ehrlich talks only about their being a major consumer of the resources of the world and major polluters. The clear position of Israel is seen in the fact that even their population doubling time is not recorded. This will happen as most of the population increase in that country takes place due to immigration and not due to much natural growth. Their views on children also may be different from the other countries that they have been listed with as the population is very religious.
His definition of over developed countries being "overpopulated because they do not themselves have the resources to support their affluent societies" is certainly correct. His statement is also correct saying that they collect much more than their fair share of the resources of the world. (Too Many People) This will certainly happen as the overdeveloped countries believe that they are the rulers, and when have rulers thought about the ruled? These countries are very happy in seeing that their population is dropping and the rich there are happy in seeing that their riches are growing. This is often at the cost of the working class and a lot of them are losing their jobs so that the industrialists can make even more money by shifting their jobs to poor countries.
The protests regarding this come out only at the time of elections and then die down, as nobody is interested in the poor. The stability of families there is very low as everybody is busy looking after himself. The world is for them a place where they have to show off their riches and this leads to the use of redundant items like the electric toothbrush which consumes energy but is not of any benefit. After all, the interest in society is to show off your riches. It is a world of Mammon. On the other hand there are countries among the poor who are concerned about their poverty and societal shortcomings and they are certainly interested in bringing their population down to manageable levels.
As an example let us look at Iran and in that country the population growth has dropped from a very high rate of 3.2% in 1986 to a level of 1.2% in 2001. This is a very fast rate and now the population growth rate is slightly above United States. The country has become a model for other developing countries and especially Islamic countries that face the risk of overpopulation. In the earlier years when the country was going through its famous war with Iraq, the view of the leaders was that a high population led to a comparative advantage. This has also been recorded by United Nations and their data shows that the population of the country doubled in 20 years -- from 27 million in 1968 to 55 million in 1988. At the same time there were a lot of troubles in the economy of the country and they had to go through a period when rapid reconstruction had to be taken up so that the effects of the war could be removed. (Iran's Birth Rate Plummeting at Record Pace: Success Provides a Model for Other Developing Countries)
The requirements of people could not be met, and at the same time the country became very crowded and polluted. At the end the leaders understood that a large population causes more problems than it solves and this compelled them to change policies. The main methods that are now applied is to request women to wait from 3 to 4 years between pregnancies, trying to stop women below 18 or above 35 from becoming mothers and limit the family size to having a maximum of three children. In 1993 the Iranian government also passed a law for national family planning welfare that tried couples from having more children by stopping leave benefits to women who had more than three children. Even the religious leaders participated in this effort and they are continuously talking about the need for families to have fewer children.
These people are very important as the country has a number of persons directly influenced by them. They are issuing fatwas which are religious orders and have the same strength as orders from the court. They are also permitting and campaigning for the use of all types of contraceptives. Iran is the only country in the world among all Muslim countries that encourages permanent birth control. Many methods of birth control like condoms, pills and sterilization is free. The greatest strength of the family planning program in Iran is the support that it receives from men. It is also the only country from the entire Islamic world that requires both men and women to go through a class in contraception before permitting marriage to be officially recognized. (Iran's Birth Rate Plummeting at Record Pace: Success Provides a Model…[continue]
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