Friday, October 13, 2006

No Macbeth's Lament

Scanning through the global news, one can see that the world’s on fire. No, make that, in conflagration. Or in an uncontrollable firestorm? Brush fires are ablaze every which country one looks. Tinderboxes or powder kegs smoldering. Sparks flying over seared political and social landscapes. Not much need to elaborate, to convince any reasonable person.

So laments are in order?

Superficially, definitely yes. But a little cursory in-depth (like reading between the lines) and honest reading of news as reported ought to consign laments to some obscure closet. Or at least, unwelcome and undeserved.

But in a world of half-empty or half-full rivalries, it decidedly appears that the half empty crowds are on top of the heap. They hold sway. They define discussions –and more importantly, they are influencing societal opinions and values. Or could, at least, in many respects.

Consider this one specific instance.

Poor Uncle Sam

While initially not much attention given by high-powered media, the news came out that the US now “officially” has a population of 300 million people, pushed largely by immigration comprising significantly of illegals. Making it the third most populous nation in the world!

This count could easily be challenged. For after all, who can count the illegals reliably? Government officials cannot even reliably count those clandestinely crossing the borders in number batches that can be sorted and counted easier than counting populations in urbanized areas.

The world’s most populous country, China, is suspected to show an undercount of its population, given the understandable dread held by its citizens in honestly declaring numbers of children beyond the proscribed number allowed by the government.

Thus, it should be quite as easily to also project that because the extrapolation is that there are 11 million illegals in the country already, then the “unofficial” count of US population ought to be over 311 million already.

And what’s with this milestone? For one, it has garnered for the country the “honor” as the ONLY industrialized country to register population increases. Made significant because peoples from all over the globe continue trooping in record numbers to avail of opportunities of bettering their lives, economically, politically and etc.

We assume then that those who are here, especially those who account for the increases, are indeed bettering their lives – at least comparatively speaking, i.e., compared to their old lives in their old homelands.

A good and laudable development, and a cause for some celebration, right?

But examine what dire prognostications the report highlights.

And make your judgment.

Here’s a sampling, whether this news is “a milestone for sure but is this a cause for celebration or anxiety?”

“….it is unsustainable, they say.”

“On a global scale the average US citizen uses far more than his or her fair share of the planet's resources…”

“there was also a global perspective to America's rapacious model of consumption”

“The US - with five per cent of the world's population - uses 23 per cent of its energy, 15 per cent….”