Yes, we are still counting, in the numbers game, in the poorer countries! Population is still on the ascend in countries that need to curb them, but seeing more new lives might just be bringing them more happiness than for others; despite having more mouths to feed & more sacrifices needed to put food on the table, or literally taken off the floor for most! Despite the obvious scientific & material progress, lives are lost without reason & sadly do not seem to make an impact when compared to the developed countries.
Whether due to climate change or otherwise, millions are displaced in one natural disaster after another; the latest still ongoing is in Pakistan where up to twenty million are virtually facing harsh elements. The poor are the real face of God, but they are hardly given much due. They not only have to feed themselves but still live in harmony with the land as their very sustenance depends on it. They bear the brunt of nature & also the human greed as they are displaced without much thought, uprooted as they are from the land that sustained them even for generations. Large-scale developmental projects upset age-old eco-systems, throwing them at the mercy of foreign ways to make a living.
To live in harmony with nature is the real way forward as commodity prices can go through the roof, otherwise. Already, large-scale migration to urban areas to get a more stable life is making its way around, with drastic changes in life-style in China, India etc. Some hedge funds are moving to make a kill on the future rise in commodity prices, but there is not much done to add meaning to the lives of farmers in poorer countries.
The unstable income & threats to lives from natural calamities are sure to get more severe, with increased exploitation of resources, without much thought to tomorrow. People are mostly left to their own devises & even manipulated by vested interests, but in the end their lives hardly matter despite their vital contributions to society in general. Unless, we wise-up to the realities, those depending on land for their basic livelihood would abandon the lands & move to urban areas, eking out a living, crowding the cities more & making them unlivable, and exerting enormous pressures on the infrastructure.
The governments in poorer countries do not have the resources or the will to help the millions in rural areas. Their lives are taken for granted & even when lost! They are the pillars of societies everywhere, more hardened than the city-folks, braving the elements to raise crops, vegetables, rearing animals that are so necessary for society at large. The faces of anguish may not tell the full story or the sense of despair & even betrayal at their plight. It is in the interest of humanity that we all stand by them. Though the floods in Pakistan could not have been foreseen for their severity, the real reasons could have been man himself in pursuit of greed over reason & failing to live in harmony with nature.
The poor in millions could well have been paying for no fault of theirs. Their lives & hopes are as precious as others better-off, and the world should exert all in its powers as one, not to abandon them. There are some, unfortunately, fishing literally in troubled waters, with some easy catch to boot! Why blame the victims if they are not given basic assistance in their hour of need? There is the wider issue of safeguarding the hen that lays the golden eggs, though we may not realize it! Let us all pause, reflect that our lives are transient and we have to empathize more than we do, excusing ourselves that we are too busy with own lives; but come on, we do find time for lesser issues. Let us urge our leaders to do more; at the same time show our own willingness to sacrifice, on the basic tenet that we are all in it together! Each can do but little, but if each does that little, all will be done!