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« Running Out of Time | Main | Politicizing Science »

February 18, 2004

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Brett Bellmore

I believe that anyone who thinks the current level of malnutrition is unprecidented is frighteningly ignorant of history. Futher, all the evidence I've seen says that most malnutrition today is a result of deliberate political decisions, not a straight forward incapacity to feed people. (Genocide goes down easier when you label it a "famine".)

Finally, 12 billion in fifty years is a very high end prediction. Current estimates are more in the neighborhood of 9 billion.

Reason

What he said about politics. Enough food is produced in the world right now to feed everyone to death through overconsumption. Politically created and maintained poverty is the real problem:

http://www.reason.com/rb/rb091802.shtml

Reason
Founder, Longevity Meme

Mr. Farlops

It's almost cliche to state that much of the famine and poverty in the developing world often has political causes. One only has to think of all the pointless war in Africa and South America to see that. Even still, I'm all in favor of any technology that reduces our ecological footprint while raising our standard of living.

A baby in the post-industrial world consumes 20 to 30 times the amount of resources as a baby in the developing world. It's hard to imagine children in the developing world ever reaching a standard of living comparable to post-industrial children if we don't invent ways to use resources more efficiently.

High standards of living also moderate domestic politics. If someone has a lot to live for and a lot to loose, they are less likely to go at each other with bayonets.

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