Malthus’s Prediction in the Epic Book An on the Principle of Population
When Malthus predicted in his epic book An Essay on the Principle of Population that human population will grow exponentially and exceed the capacity of natural resources, there was widespread panic. After decades of analysis and observation the theory has proved to be ineffective. But a corollary can be sketched in the present times about the exponential increase of Vehicles, if not human population. Throughout the world there has been massive increase in the sale and purchase of cars which has made Traffic jams the biggest man-made ‘daily epidemics’. The question that arises is that why the human civilization hasn’t been able to find a permanent solution to the problem. This problem-solution essay proposes a hypothesis that technology isn’t capable of solving problem of Traffic jams. Its rapid advancement in the past few decades hasn’t proved to be effective for the problem of Traffic jams. This study also explores the psychology and motivations of motorists who spend their valuable time in meaningless queues of a Traffic jam. The countries around the world have made slow transition from being rural and agrarian societies to becoming dependent on metropolitan cities. These metropolitan cities serve as engine to the growth of the region’s economy. But with rise of mega-cities and gigantic sky-scrapers, the problem of Traffic jams has continued to tease the mankind. Whether it is Shanghai in the east or New York in the west, researches show that millions of ‘human hours’ are wasted in Traffic jams. People miss their appointments, job interviews and arrive late at other important occasions. These Traffic jams create physical discomfort as the people are confined to one place for a long time. In hotter regions of Asia and South America, the heat and sweat make the condition inside the cars and trucks extremely unbearable. There is also danger to the health of people as they inhale poisonous gases emitted by vehicles. this problem being more common to developing countries than developed countries. The movement of emergency vehicles such as Police vans and Ambulances also gets restricted. The solutions that have been tried range from strict traffic rules to increasing installation of CCTV cameras. The traffic reports are announced on the radio so that passengers can avoid the jams. Hefty fines are imposed on faltering motorists and usage of public transport is promoted by governments. But no policy seems to be effective in reducing the number of cars on the road. Even increase in petrol and car price doesn’t dissuade people from using personal transport. In most of the metropolitan cities such as Beijing, Mumbai, Washington and Sydney, huge flyovers have been built to support increasing traffic. The solution to the problem probably lies in the attitudes of the people. If there is mutual cooperation, communication and compassion among the people then there can be lesser cars on the road. The phantom of status symbol also has to be killed so that people don’t associate car usage with economic superiority. Public transport should be given boost and under-ground and over-ground metros can be promoted as an efficient alternative to personal cars. The governments around the world should also focus on reducing urbanization and promoting rural industries. This essay concludes with the point that much needs to be done in order to tackle the problem of Traffic jams. The hypothesis put forward about the incapability of technology proved to be wrong. The fault lies not with the technology but with the psychological programming of motorists who believe that driving cars is a symbol of economic freedom. Unless this mindset is tackled by government and civil campaigns, Traffic jams won’t cease to exist. As one fashion model once said, ‘Those who are above thirty and still travelling on buses are the ones who didn’t make it in their life’. This philosophy has to be proved wrong.