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LESSON FROM COVID 19 – REDUCE GLOBAL POPULATION GROWTH

By N.S.Venkataraman
The ongoing COVID 19 crisis has forced many countries to declare lockdown and forced the citizens to remain indoor. This is so, since the world scientists and medical researchers seem to have run out of ideas at present to overcome this crisis and social distancing has become the sole weapon at the command of the world.

Like so many miseries and crisis faced by the world in the past, COVID 19 crisis will also go away sooner or later; perhaps, sooner than later. Sadly, such miseries of the past and the present COVID 19 crisis have caused huge sufferings to the people with loss of innocent lives and miseries in several ways.

Carefully analyzing the past miseries that the world faced, what is obvious is the fact that the world community has not learnt the right lessons or corrected it’s thought process and behavior pattern to reach better conditions of growth. One is not sure as to whether the present COVID 19 crisis would enable the world community to change it’s approach for the better in the coming years.

The ongoing COVID 19 crisis has forced many countries to declare lockdown and forced the citizens to remain indoor. This is so, since the world scientists and medical researchers seem to have run out of ideas at present to overcome this crisis and social distancing has become the sole weapon at the command of the world.

The concept of social distancing to solve the problem of COVID 19 crisis is somewhat new but has deep philosophy behind it. It obviously highlights the fact that the world has become too crowded with number of men and women beyond the capability of the world to carry.

With more people in the world, consumption has gone up and consequently production has increased, new products have been developed, often in ecologically unfriendly ways, to meet the desperate need for increasing global demand , all of which cumulatively has caused global climate crisis.

increasing emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur oxide, fluorine gas , consequent to the increase in production of goods and growth in services sector to meet the global demand , have resulted in increase in global warming and ozone depletion taking place over the years, it is inevitable that new atmospheric conditions are happening in the world and new virus are occurring. The world scientists are caught unaware.

While several discussions have taken place in the world forum about the need to manage the climate crisis in a positive way and several solutions have been suggested such as development of eco friendly energy source, applying ban on several toxic chemicals and refrigerants, it is surprising that there have not been much discussions about reducing consumption in the world, which will enable the world to reduce production and avoid use of eco unfriendly ways of operations.

The ground reality is that sustaining the world production at the present level by using only eco friendly methods is not possible.

Reduction in consumption can happen only with the reduction in the global population growth, so that the global population would be brought down to a manageable level in the next ten years.
If this were not to be done, similar type of COVID 19 crisis will continue to happen in the world.

World population trend – Historical scenario

Period: 1900 to 1950

AAGR: 0.85% per annum

Period: 1960 to 2019

AAGR: ~1.6 % per annum

Source: United Nations Population Division

World population which increased at annual average growth rate of 0.85 % per annum between 1900 to 1950 increased at greater annual average growth rate of 1.6 % per annum between 1960 to 2019.
This shows that the world population inevitably increased with larger population base.

Further, it is evident that birth rate increased in regions with lower income and poor economic conditions. This implies that poor countries are vulnerable to “population explosion”.

While “population explosion” are likely to take place in the coming years in developing and under developed countries and rich countries like Singapore, Australia and Japan would not face this problem, the fact is that the rich countries can not escape from the adverse consequences of “population explosion” in less affluent countries.

Virus spread and climate changes do not recognise the man made borders between different countries. The COVID 19 crisis clearly prove this point.

While the world recognises that COVID 19 started in China ,only thing that could have prevented is China responsively acting in the wake of this crisis in Wuhan by fore warning the world and all the other countries to take preventive steps. This was not done.

In any case, COVID 19 crisis should make the world understand that the root cause for the problem of COVID 19 crisis is the unchecked population growth in the world and the only long term solutions for this problem is to reduce the global population growth to manageable level.

What is very conspicuous is that UNO and WHO have not taken any meaningful steps to educate the world community about this population crisis, which is likely to become worse, if the world community were not to take special measures to reduce it’s population size.

(Author N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.)

Published Date: Thursday, March 26th, 2020 | 06:02 PM

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