Last week, 18 months after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and its surrounding areas were hit by a tornado. In an Associated Press article, Mervin Pollard, whose mother’s home was damaged in both disasters, asks “How do you start over again when you are already trying to do that?”How are some people so unfortunate that their homes are hit by deadly and devastating natural disasters twice in a two-year span, let alone once in a lifetime? Is it really all up to chance, fate and perhaps karma?
With a scientific approach, many climate and weather experts want to attribute the recent increase in the quantity and intensity of natural disasters to the effects of global warming.
Fortunately, the government is starting to pay closer attention to the implications of the greenhouse effect and how our pollution affects the environment. The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released an assessment this month that, for the first time, attributes the earth’s rising temperatures to human activity.
I don’t understand how people ever doubted humans were creating such profound changes in the environment. With all the industrial factories and the number of cars emitting fumes everyday, it’s no wonder that, right here in the Metroplex, there is visible smog when you drive on highway overpasses.
Maybe we just feel like storms are getting the better of us because there is so much more at stake; we are a more vulnerable society with the rising population and constant development. Maybe global warming is a government conspiracy, blinding citizens to the truth that their own inhabitancy of the earth is destroying it. Okay, this is a bit of an exaggeration; so, it’s not a government conspiracy.
But, our growing population is undoubtedly contributing to these effects. For a simple analogy for all the waste and pollution people contribute: When you dust, it never goes away; it just gets moved from place to place.
I wonder how we are able to make such strides and advancements in technology that we can make a robot cry for a Super Bowl commercial, but we can’t come up with a better way to control our pollution. And even if these developments arise in future years, that only takes care of the current inhabitants of Earth. According to a Feb. 16 Star-Telegram article, the world is gaining 75 million people each year. So what about the new arrivals we’re expecting next year?
It is time the world’s population open its eyes and take notice that we ought to make efforts to control the growing population. Better family-planning would have beneficial effects in America alone, serving to reduce teen-pregnancy and abortion rates.
It’s worrisome to think the government could dictate the number of children we have, but I bring this up to state that this kind of despotism is not at all what I’m advocating. Childbirth should not be a government policy. But, according to the Star-Telegram article, “The United States and other nations should put much more emphasis on reining in global population growth.”
Expanding the wealth of our society is not a negative thing as long as we are prepared to take care of the damages to the environment it may create, as well as educating others to do the same. We shouldn’t be afraid to have a little self-control for the benefit of our international neighbors, and more importantly, for the well-being of our posterity.
Anahita Kalianivala is a freshman English and psychology major from Fort Worth. Her column appears Tuesdays.