I keep reading about people proposing sensible and obvious things to combat the biggest problems we face today, like controlling (and maybe even reducing) population, reducing carbon emissions, and voting for the best leader. All sounds like the ‘intelligent’ things to do, don’t they?
But all that is just asking too much when you consider what you are up against.
[Image courtesy RapingMotherNature.com.]
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Firstly, reducing population is the obvious solution to chronic poverty. Simply put, there are just too many of us vying for the same finite resources and not enough brains going around to come up with ideas that will help us produce enough to meet that demand. What do we need to surmount in order for us Filipinos to better manage our population? Simple. We need to reduce the birth rate by preventing unwanted pregnancies. Some people call it giving sexually-active couples a “choice” whether to conceive or not when having sex. But that’s just putting politically-correct terms around the earlier terminology I used. So I don’t blame the Roman Catholic Church’s stand, because it sees through all the euphemisms used by activists. The whole point of the RH Bill comes down to just one simple concept: birth control. And so it just becomes too hard to implement a sensible population control policy in the Philippines — because the Catholic Church is against it.
Second, reducing carbon emissions seems like the obvious solution to climate change. I said “seems” because despite how obvious some people make it out to be, I believe climate is just too complex to attribute to any one or a handful of factors. That is why even with the help of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, the debate around mankind’s effect on climate cannot be settled conclusively. Still, I think an effort to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is worthwhile. Lots of wars are fought over oil and many terrorist organizations are funded by oil wealth. Go figure. Americans complain about being obese, but their obesity seems to be made possible by cheap energy — which is why they’d still rather drive than walk or use bicycles. And then there’s the waste. All that smog, plastic, and excess stuff people throw away are generated by industries (and people) forever thirsty for oil and its by-products. So we Filipinos can complain about flooding and air pollution all we want. Given how much catching up the country’s infrastructure has to do just to meet the avalanche of waste Filipinos produce everyday will put any real relief from floods decades away. And so it just becomes too hard to reduce our dependence on oil — because our political and economic leaders are against it.
Lastly, voting wisely is the obvious solution to the rule of stupid leaders. Why do we need to settle for the idiots who are running the country today? Well, because we Filipinos cannot seem to use our brains when we cast our ballots every election time. Worse, I see people who preach about “voting wisely” then suddenly align themselves with and campaign for a specific politician. Guys, that’s not in the spirit of an objective call to “vote wisely”. You either preach the wise vote from a neutral position OR you affiliate yourself with a political party or candidate. You can’t do both. That’s like a newspaper owned by a politician’s crony claiming to be “objective” when reporting the news. It just doesn’t work. And so it is just too hard for Filipinos to choose the right leader — because you need brains to do that.
From what I see, even within my own small space in the organization I work for, the reality is that politics will always be the final determinant in any initiative to change. And even in a country whose politics people believe are grounded on the so-called will of the people, I don’t see any real promising challenge to the so-called straight path our supposedly “chosen” leaders have permanently sent us down.
Frustrated artist doing geek for a living.