Sunday, 13 December 2015

Delhi Air Pollution and Malthus

Much hue and cry has been raised in the media and elsewhere about air pollution in Delhi, and a host of solutions have been proposed, e.g. the odd-even car scheme, banning diesel engine vehicles, etc.

I submit that these schemes will all remain on paper and will not work, for two reasons :

 (1) Schemes in India have to be enforced by the bureaucracy and police, which have largely become corrupt, and will turn a Nelson's eye to any violation if suitably remunerated. As the Urdu poet Josh Malihabadi said in his poem ' Rishwat ' ' Agar hum rishwat na lenge to phir khayenge kya ? '.

 (2) The citizens in this country are too selfish and egoistic to accept and follow any scheme, even if it is for their long term benefit, and will  find out some ingenious way of avoiding it.

 So what can be done to check air pollution ? I am afraid nothing can be done, and a modified version of Malthus' Law will apply.

 The British economist Thomas Malthus ( 1766-1834 ) propounded his famous theory of population in his ' Essay on the Principle of Population ' published in 1798. In this essay Malthus said that while population increased by geometrical progression, the food production increased only by arithmetical progression. Hence a time comes when there is not enough food for the entire population, resulting in deaths by starvation, disease, etc. This reduces the population, and restores the equilibrium between the population and the food available.

 In Delhi  the air pollution is because of too many trucks, buses, cars, scooters, etc, and this is because of too many people. So the real solution is to reduce the population.

 I submit that the increased air pollution will result in many deaths ( due to respiratory diseases, heart attacks, etc ) which will reduce the population, and thus restore the equilibrium between the population and the air supply.  Less people will mean less vehicles, and so less pollution. This way Delhi's air will once again become pure and clean
 Hari Om

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