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Boiling frog syndrome amidst emerging challenges

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subbiah sridhar
subbiah sridharhttps://www.mootnotmute.in
A writer/author by hobby and a former Indian Diplomat. I am 55 years and a Graduate in Political Science Honors from Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University as also a Post Graduate in Sociology from Annamalai University. I am the Great Grandson of Late Mr. M.S. Purnalingam Pillai, BA, LT, Emeritus Professor of English, Bishop Heber College, Trichinopoly who authored 27 works in English including Madras University Papers on Shakespeare’s Plays, Songs and Sonnets from Shakespeare, Stories from Goldsmith, Socretes and Plato and Evolutional Ethics, Julius Caesar, Othello – with introduction and full notes, Digest of Roman Law, The Ten Tamil Saints, History of England, etc. and 16 works in Tamil including Surapadman, Avvai Kural, Seyyul Kovai, Viveka Vilakkam, Panniru Penmanigal, Kathai and Karpanai (Story & Dream), Navaraathri Lectures, Kamatchi, Tamil Essays or Sitrurais, etc. I am interested in writing on topics of varied interests and for the time being I keep Politics and Religion out of my purview. My recent book titled ‘Nature…Human Nature…Animal Instinct’ published by M/s BlueRoseONE Publishers is available in Print and e-Book formats in various Book Stores and in Online Platforms such as Amazon & Flipkart as also in Amazon global platform and various other global publishers. The habit of writing articles started way back from 1986 when write-ups were submitted for publication initially in ‘Monday Diary’ column of Indian Express Newspaper and then other National-level newspapers. Writing is my passion and as and when ideas come, I pour it out in black and white and feel contented when the same gets published. My innumerable blogs are available in subbiahsridhars.blogspot.com and myvoice.opindia.com. I wish to achieve a remarkable success in the field of writing and publication of various Articles, Write-ups and Books solely penned by me. Writing is my passion and my view is that if one has come to this world, one should contribute some good thoughts for the benefit of others. I love nature watching and in fact many of my articles find a mention about the behavior of various flora and fauna and revolve around the environment. I also keep thinking and writing about celestial bodies and their movement and try to write something about the mysteries surrounding them about which our knowledge is too meagre. My Website – https://www.mootnotmute.in My social media links are - Instagram Handle -- https://www.instagram.com/subbiah_sridhar/ Facebook Handle -- https://www.facebook.com/SubbiahSridhar Twitter Handle -- https://www.twitter.com/sridharsubbiah Linked-in -- www.linkedin.com/in/subbiah-sridhar-6a9929267 *****

Reportedly the population of this world touched one Billion for the first time in 1804 and in 1927 in touched two Billion. Just in a span of around 60 years, this figure rose by around three Billion taking the population figure to five Billion which is definitely an alarming rate. That is, by mid-1987, the world population was to the tune of five Billion. Now, in just another 35 years’ time, the population has once again increased by 3 Billion, that is touching a figure of eight Billion, as per recent estimate of 2022.  

To be precise, now the Earth is home to more than 7.8 billion people. By the year 2100, the population of the world is on track to hit 10.8 billion, according to the estimates by United Nations. There are still some countries which want to boost their population and are in fact giving out incentives for helping in increasing their population. It is said in 2023, our country will become the most populated country in the world. Needless to mention, the increase in the world’s population will cause additional strains on resources. More people mean an increased demand for food, water, housing, energy, healthcare, transportation requirements and more such.

It is true each human being has a legitimate claim on a sufficient and fair amount of Mother Earth’s resources. But with a population approaching around eight billion, even if everyone adopted a relatively low material standard of living, it would still push Earth to its ecological breaking point. Moreover, all that consumption contributes to ecological degradation, increased conflicts and a higher risk of large-scale disasters like pandemics.

Human civilization now faces a series of existential threats such as overpopulation, climate change, environmental degradation and resource depletion. This is something serious which we humans are somehow and somewhat not giving due consideration, if not totally ignoring.

This reminds one about the syndrome of ‘Boiling Frog’. The Boiling Frog story is a metaphor for how people are usually slow to react to changes that occur gradually. The fable is that if one were to throw a live frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump right back out. But frogs are cold-blooded creatures and naturally adjust to gradual changes in the temperature of their environment. So, if one were to place that same frog into a pan of cold water, light the burner on the stove and slowly bring the water up to a boil, the frog will be content to stay in the water until it slowly boils to death. Similar such would be the situation with us if we are ignorant of the slowly emerging danger ahead. 

Humans are amazingly adaptable creatures. But sometimes our adaptability can be costly. While humans recognize some effects are characterized by sudden and catastrophic events — recent hurricanes, wildfires, floods — most of the change is happening gradually via a steady deterioration of conditions year-over-year, decade-over-decade such as spurt in population growth, climate change and alarming increase in crime rates.

Thus, as with the apocryphal frog, the gradual pace of change combined with humans’ rapid adaptation of expectations could deceive people into thinking that our alarming increase in population is not increasing much at all and that they are normal. The problem is that humans don’t recognize that the surge in population, as profound as it is, as an immediate threat. Our survival instincts are geared towards detecting sudden changes, not gradual developments, though the latter is capable of taking and leaving the living beings at a dangerous level.  

So, while most people would agree that there is a problem on our hands, humans don’t perceive it as something we need to deal with immediately. It can also be referred as Gray Rhino meaning that though the dangers are slow moving, obvious and yet are conveniently being ignored. It is time we put a stop to the concept of celebrating the birth of new child, as the future of humans is not going to be that easy considering the ever-increasing rates of pollution, inflation, crime, rape, murders, environmental disturbances triggered by mankind’s developmental activities which are also human engineered challenges, apart from other increase in natural calamities, partly owing to climate change.

An increase in population will inevitably create pressures leading to more deforestation, spikes in pollution and emissions, which will exacerbate climate change.  We are already struggling with the devastating consequences of climate change such as increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events such as the National Climate Assessment finds that the number of heat waves, heavy downpours and major hurricanes has increased in the United States and other regions in the world which also needs to be looked into more seriously as this is another such problem in hand which is gradually spreading its tentacles and the day is not far when we the humans will be suddenly caught unaware.  

There is also the problem of ever-increasing rates of crime day-in-and-day-out regardless of country or region and just holding candle light march from time to time in protest against such mishappening or taking pledges is not sufficient and serious attention needs to be paid to nip the problem in the bud stage. In a nutshell, it can be concluded that it is high time we become vigilant and work towards the normalization of worsening population figures, climate change, pace of increase in crime rates and thus jump out of the pot like frog when the water is boiling!

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subbiah sridhar
subbiah sridharhttps://www.mootnotmute.in
A writer/author by hobby and a former Indian Diplomat. I am 55 years and a Graduate in Political Science Honors from Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University as also a Post Graduate in Sociology from Annamalai University. I am the Great Grandson of Late Mr. M.S. Purnalingam Pillai, BA, LT, Emeritus Professor of English, Bishop Heber College, Trichinopoly who authored 27 works in English including Madras University Papers on Shakespeare’s Plays, Songs and Sonnets from Shakespeare, Stories from Goldsmith, Socretes and Plato and Evolutional Ethics, Julius Caesar, Othello – with introduction and full notes, Digest of Roman Law, The Ten Tamil Saints, History of England, etc. and 16 works in Tamil including Surapadman, Avvai Kural, Seyyul Kovai, Viveka Vilakkam, Panniru Penmanigal, Kathai and Karpanai (Story & Dream), Navaraathri Lectures, Kamatchi, Tamil Essays or Sitrurais, etc. I am interested in writing on topics of varied interests and for the time being I keep Politics and Religion out of my purview. My recent book titled ‘Nature…Human Nature…Animal Instinct’ published by M/s BlueRoseONE Publishers is available in Print and e-Book formats in various Book Stores and in Online Platforms such as Amazon & Flipkart as also in Amazon global platform and various other global publishers. The habit of writing articles started way back from 1986 when write-ups were submitted for publication initially in ‘Monday Diary’ column of Indian Express Newspaper and then other National-level newspapers. Writing is my passion and as and when ideas come, I pour it out in black and white and feel contented when the same gets published. My innumerable blogs are available in subbiahsridhars.blogspot.com and myvoice.opindia.com. I wish to achieve a remarkable success in the field of writing and publication of various Articles, Write-ups and Books solely penned by me. Writing is my passion and my view is that if one has come to this world, one should contribute some good thoughts for the benefit of others. I love nature watching and in fact many of my articles find a mention about the behavior of various flora and fauna and revolve around the environment. I also keep thinking and writing about celestial bodies and their movement and try to write something about the mysteries surrounding them about which our knowledge is too meagre. My Website – https://www.mootnotmute.in My social media links are - Instagram Handle -- https://www.instagram.com/subbiah_sridhar/ Facebook Handle -- https://www.facebook.com/SubbiahSridhar Twitter Handle -- https://www.twitter.com/sridharsubbiah Linked-in -- www.linkedin.com/in/subbiah-sridhar-6a9929267 *****
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