Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bring down the borders

Politics (and birdwatching) would be so dull if you took the people out of it. I felt cheered by an informal political chat I then had at lunch with some colleagues. One rookie new guy was saying he shared George W Bush's view that capitalism would solve the climate change problems. After that he said that he thought Overpopulation was the problem. C and I are always having this debate. There's too many people in the world (they say). The population is too large. The world can't support it. We must stop the Indians/Chinese/Blacks/hispanic/other discriminated group from reproducing. But we need to encourage the 'indigenous' white population to reproduce.

Going back to my lunch yesterday, for almost the first time in my life I found myself winning the argument against this Malthusian, racist claptrap. A world population could fit into a country the size of Switzerland (7bn) and this would have the same density as Manhattan. Even better we could squeeze into Texas and have four times as much space per person. This would allow all the other space in the world - South America, Europe, most of North America, Africa and Australia to be dedicated to agricultural land or whatever we wanted, thus no food shortages.

I kicked off the debate because the price of rice doubled overnight on Wednesday. They can't even get it in Ghana. The biofuel targets must stop and we need to bring down the borders and allow people to escape starvation. I wrote to Diane Abbott.

Perhaps I was in a good mood, the sort of mood that is ok about starting political arguments, as prior to this debate I had found myself cornered yesterday by one of my favourite colleagues as this person confided in me, swearing me to absolute secrecy, that they were going to leave the union we are both in. The person then launched into a minute by minute account of some union event with other union members they had attended. I found myself giggling and then laughing at loud, at the unconfidential nature of this top-secret news I was getting. The person then said to me 'You're not taking me seriously are you?'. At which point, I said 'It's your wit, you say funny things. ' The person carried on.

We were walking along in much the same vein and then suddenly the person said 'Oh Look at that blackbird'. And there before our eyes was this huge black bird with large white flecks on its head. The person peered over and moved closer, in much the same way I would expect Bill Oddie to. I was thinking to myself - Wow, an ornithological genius in our midsts, this rare species is going to be identified. After some inspection she came back to me, saying 'Yes it's a very old blackbird' ...(I was already laughing) 'Or a big blackbird with paint splattered on its head.'

No comments: