Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Growth Without Patience

We call it "building a fire."
One must create a fire slowly, first finding small twigs and pieces of paper. It takes time and attention, a little piece here, a little bit of oxygen there…adding larger and larger branches until the fire is roaring.
An easier method, one made for the impatient and short sighted is to add some lighter fluid. This quickly creates flames, but is more volatile and liable to explode.
One method requires patience and skill; the other, fueled by need and instant gratification, needs only the fluid and a squirt.
China has used the quick-lighting method of expansion and they are on the brink of an explosion. Their unprecedented economic growth- growth driven at all costs- is having serious implications on the people and the environment of China, as well as the rest of the world.
This spring, a World Bank study done with SEPA, the national environmental agency, concluded that outdoor air pollution was already causing 350,000 to 400,000 premature deaths a year. Indoor pollution contributed to the deaths of an additional 300,000 people, while 60,000 died from diarrhea, bladder and stomach cancer and other diseases that can be caused by water-borne pollution.
China’s environmental agency insisted that the health statistics be removed from the published version of the report, citing the possible impact on "social stability," World Bank officials said.

All growth- on an individual scale or country-wide should be done with some attention, using all available knowledge, and applying the previous experience and lessons of those who came before us.
Expansion for its sake alone, without any thought for conscious development or evolution, is bound to explode.
At the very least, it maintains the status quo.
It is the machine state at work with extreme power- without the Being in mind.
China is one huge machine- producing goods for the rest of the world- its leaders tout progress while the workers themselves are dying of cancer. The majority of people do not have clean drinking water and much of the rivers are not even clean enough for industrial use. The Communist party realizes there is a problem, but the mechanism is moving at a pace which seems too fast to stop, and it’s gaining momentum. The government is trying to keep the health statistics secret.
Most of the people now are just caught in the cogs, trying to eat and fulfill their basic human needs- but when enough people are dying from the pollution and its subsequent manifestations, people may have a moment of clarity in which they will see the machine apparatus. Then there will be unrest. And the machine will struggle against the necessary changes, changes that could ultimately help billions on the planet and countless others.

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