Ok, I lied, it’s not the final word on Haiti, not that I could have that word anyway. After last week’s post, I had a few other thoughts (and a few things to add) and thought I’d shoot them out here. I only titled this post The Final Word, because after this I’ll head back to my original mission, straight up posts about environmental solutions, ideas and queries that I come across in my travels. Having said that, my trip to Haiti is still burned in my memory and I doubt I will stop thinking about what I can do to help for a long time, if ever.
A lot of people posted up about population as being one of Haiti’s biggest problems and there’s no denying that. It’s not only Haiti’s problem but the planet’s biggest dilemma. If there were only 10 people on earth we could bathe in oil, run Hummers all day long just to play the radio, and burn trees down with reckless abandon, and it would effect our ability to continue life as we know it very little. But there aren’t ten of us, there are billions, and while I don’t think we’ve reached it yet (although I don’t know), we will someday hit the point where we are just too many for this little ball, we will hit the point where the resources on the planet cannot sustain us, not only for the long run, but for the short run as well. I should point out that I believe there are still enough resources for all of us, but not for all of us to live the way the average American does.
Having said all that, I don’t think it’s as much the main problem as I do believe it’s emblematic of a larger problem. Gender inequality, education, poverty, health care–all these and more lead to overpopulation and in order to stem the tide, all need to be addressed, in Haiti and around the world. Fix healthcare and infant mortality will drop. Infant mortality drops and there is not the need to have more children so a few will survive. Educate woman and offer them alternatives and they will not be forced into situations they do not want, but will have choices. There’s a better discussion of it here than I can give, but I just thought I’d throw the idea out there as I’m not ignoring the size of the population, just don’t think it’s the problem as much as it is a symptom of a much larger group of problems.