15 April 2011

Sprawl of the Slums

Author's Note:  This is months old, but just now getting around to releasing it.  Hope it was worth the wait.

If you have ever visited FerFAL's blog (old or new), he has many times talked about the plight that is a socioeconomic collapse of society due to government mismanagement and rampant inflation.  With this, comes things like urban slums, shanty towns, squatting and other forms of communal ownership of property that may or may not be through purchase or legal transfer. 

From Business Insider comes an article that highlights slums from around the world via sat photos.  (A USA version of this article can be found here). 

At any rate, FerFal is always talking about slums and the disease, filth, and crime that comes with them.  These sat photos certainly put the towns into perspective from a geographical stand point.  Any person with common sense an a basic understanding of demographics would quickly assume that crime is a problem, but so too there would be an environmental impact as well.  When population densities hit multi-thousands of people in put a few square miles (or kilometers), no wonder FerFAL often writes about trash, poor drinking water, and waste water and sewage problems.

These pictures have to call into question the claims of environmental-wackos that economic growth is what contributes to pollution and green house gases.  Just looking at the population densities and to know what countries these slums are in, it isn't hard to see that there is a negative environmental impact associated with recessions or depressions.  Which, if we extrapolate our common sense thinking, means that economic growth and sound private sector business profits fund the tax coffers which help governments to pay for environmental "mitigation" projects as a way to find balance between business and planet.

I'd say that these type of slum cities are worse from an ecological health stand point.  I can only imagine that when you have population densities this high in cities that are marginally 1st world countries, the lack of  running water and the waste water control are probably BIG problem.  Not to mention the amount of physical refuse that is generated and probably just piled around without collection and safe disposal.  I would also venture to guess that since these kind of places don't have much in the way of central planning and zoning, meaning that none of these cities manages their storm water runoff to account for erosion and sediment (thus impacting downstream health).

While environmentalism push groups like to clamor that the USA and it's consumption is the problem, in reality, first world countries that have economic might, can do some good for the environment through conservation projects.  Obviously, we can sit here and debate about tax revenues and proper use thereof, but the point being, economic growth allows a population to take into account some projects of nobility to preserve open space and the environment.  That is something of a contradiction to my limited government stance, but there is no reason that the government and business can't co-op to be able to achieve a mutually beneficial society.  The problem is, as is exampled here, unchecked growth is a negative to eco-health, but unchecked government intervention (and crony capitalism) can cause an economic decline that allows for a degradation of society into the cheapest means of living, often resulting in the most egregious, negative environmental impact. 

As an avid hunter and sport fishermen, no one understands more the balance that is necessary to the survival of the human populace and the planet as we know it.  The problem that is generated by those on the left is there outright assault on economic and human progress in the "name" of the planet.  After all, the unintended consequences of protectionist environmental practices and ineffective monetary policy can be and are, quite catastrophic. 

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