ramblings of an aimless mind

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Archive for May 2009

Indian elections.

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India just finished yet another of those gigantic exercises called elections. The logistics are quite impressive, given that there should be facilities for tha gigantic voter pool across such a huge land should be able to vote. The most impressive is the speed with which the counting is done, thanks to the electronic voting machines.

The Congress yet again will form the government and this time it appears that it may have more control over the house by dint of their large haul of seats and the fact that they should not have to form too many complicated coalitions. The best thing that came out of this election is that the communist parties and all the other regional lowlife which preys on caste and region politics took a bit of a beating. Hopefully this signifies that the people are moving away from petty issues that may seem good in the short term, but are most debilitating in the longer term.

I was half expecting the BJP to romp home this time, but in a way I am happy they did not. I am definitely lukewarm towards the BJP because they seem to be a bit too cosy with organisations such as the RSS and VHP, which are currently degenerating into nothing more than bands of thugs. Other weirdos like Varun Gandhi and his inflammatory speeches does nothing to help their cause, neither do those who attack patrons of pubs. Hopefully the BJP will distance itself from these hoodlums and promote a more inclusive image in the next election. I am sure people will be quick to point out that the Congress does not have too clean a record on the communal front, but the Hindutva ideas are too central to BJP’s current image and that aint a good thing.

It remains to be seen what happens in the next five years….

Written by clueso

May 18, 2009 at 10:46 pm

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The population bomb.

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I am sure the world has always been fraught with problems. Sometimes they are complex problems with no specific textbook fix, such as eliminating poverty or trying to create a framework and secure lasting peace. Others may have more specific solutions, such as eliminating a disease for which a vaccine exists. One thing we can be sure of, is that there have always been problems, there are problems today and there are likely to be problems in the future.

Most people will be familiar with the current batch of global problems, such as global warming, energy security and availability of food and water resources for a burgeoning human population. Most people will probably also be able to rattle off the proposed solutions, such as harnessing renewable energy sources, genetic modified crops, carbon caps for countries etc. What is surprising is that not too many people think of aggressive population control campaigns as part of the solution.

That most (if not all) of our current batch of problems can be solved with a lower population ought to be common sense. After all, if there were only hundred million humans on earth, we could drive between the rooms in our house, probably fly to work in one 747 per person and natures clean up processes would take care of all that we throw at it. The problem is that there are six billion of us aspiring to super rich lifestyles and there simply aren’t enough resources to support that.

The idea of controlling population is certainly not a new one. Prof. Albert Bartlett has spoken on this topic numerous times and there is a new society which calls itself The Optimum Population Trust and which campaigns for the steadying, or even negative growth of population both in the UK and in the world. While it is heartening to see that this movement is organising itself well, my heart sinks a bit when countries like India, already bursting at the seams with 1.1 – 1.2 billion people start getting all in a tizzy about how the large population is no longer a problem.

Fewer people on the earth will mean lower consumption of natural resources, less difficulty in meeting food and energy demands with available resources, a huge reduction in the decimation of the environment and possibly even a reduction in global conflict, since there are less people who have time to spare and get on each other’s nerves. It seems like a simple, elegant and effective solution to a lot of today’s problems, but somehow I don’t think that the UN/G20/whoever will be deciding to aggressively promote the idea of having only one/two children as a policy more beneficial for the long term future of the world.

Maybe having just one child should be added to the list of the current crop of “green” practices. It may be the most effective contribution in the long term…

Written by clueso

May 17, 2009 at 11:30 pm

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