Posted by mike on July 06, 2001 at 00:25:00:
In Reply to: Re: PuhLEEEEZE nice example of total denial... posted by kelphead on July 05, 2001 at 23:42:21:
There are lots of areas where simple overpopulation is the major problem, as opposed to the big, bad imperialist white devils and their SUVs. Granted, we are pissing away perfectly good primary productivity on McDonald's hamburgers and sucking up Phillipine mahogany and Pacific Northwest redwood and tripling the atmospheric content of CO2 like there's no tomorrow, but the hard fact is, all those babies born in Brazil, Ecuador, Indonesia and Mexico are gonna have to get fed, get watered, get cooking fuel, get jobs, get laid and get their own big families, all the while being exposed to bits and pieces of western culture and coveting our level of material wealth, and doing whatever is in their power to attain that material wealth (ever seen all the satellite dishes in peoples' yards in Samarinda, Berau, Minahasa, Aloasi, Riobamba, Arefeitu, San Ignacio, ?). I have seen squatters illegally clearing homesteads in National Parks in South America, i have seen overgrazed, deforested hillsides (nay, entire mountain ranges) on the western and eastern slopes of the Andes in Ecuador, i have seen Bahia de Los Angeles so fished out that the local fishermen are reduced to begging for handouts by washing tourists' windows. I have seen live fish bombs on Indonesian coral reefs, and the damage that those homemade devices have wrought plus the death by eutrophication of coral reefs and sea-grass meadows off the coast of Borneo (due simply to local villages dumping everything onto their local beaches). I have seen plumes of sediment coloring the Caribbean reddish-brown off the coast of Colombia, I have seen the pathetic shape of Cuba's ecosystems (can't blame the capitalists there, at least not 100%) I have seen open-air trash dumps on the Galapagos and the pathetic remains of native plant communities in Polynesia. Get off the tour buses, sneak off the grounds of the four-star resorts, drive through the slums and colonias, look closely at those odd clearings within the national park boundaries and tell me that simple overpopulation isn't exerting a big local effect. The old IPAT equation aside, Mr Malthus is not to be ignored.
Regarding third world debt, how about the role of corrupt governments that siphon off all that largess of Western generosity and then flee to the South of France when their nations catch fire and burn?
BTW, heres an interesting question: Do people have an absolute right to have as many babies as they want? Even if it burdens the state? Damages the local ecosystems? Threatens the health and well being of everyone else? China may not win popularity contests in our romantic philosopher- besotten western world for their policies, but one has to give them credit for doing what they had to do.
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