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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Saturday, October 15, 2005


What's wrong with this picture?

91 countries in the UN spent $US1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) on arms last year, but about 852 million people went without enough food last year, a rise of 10 million on the previous year.

Every day about 100,000 people die of malnutrition.


Blogger Ibrahamav said...

After you feed them all, what comes next? Shall all the worlds resources be geared towards food production?

What will you do when the world's population is 60 billion? With the present rate of increase minus the fact that the age expectancy without hunger , war and desease will go up into the 90's, we should see that number in about 50 years.

I have no answer myself, just curious about yours.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 1:03:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

A damn good start would be a massive reduction in arms sales and production. For many industrialised nations, the arms industries need and desire war. Iraq is perfect for them.
We have a massive disconnect in the West. How much longer do we think we can keep on living in such luxury while most of the world does not?
A true clash of civilisations is virtually inevitable.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 1:20:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Ibrahamav, the focus need not be on gearing resources toward food production. There is enough food. The issue is one of access and distribution. The process of seeking to achieve equitable access to food is often referred to as "building food security". It has been found that free markets don't always produce the best outcomes when it comes to distributing food in fair ways.

Regarding your comment about population growth - quite a big issue for any forum - it has been shown that economic stability, education, and food security are the key ingredients for slowing population growth. Compare, for example, fertility rates in rural areas in South Asia with those in the advanced capitalist economies of Japan or the US. It follows that economic and social development in the global south is necessary for population growth to be slowed.

In short, though, I'd suggest that there are bigger challenges ahead than food - provided we can learn how to distribute it more equitably. For example, the massive growth in urban sprawl and the proliferation of slums presents a significant challenge in terms of public health. Bird flu may highlight this for us should it escalate into an epidemic. Additionally, the growth of the population means that jobs need to be created too. The world economy will need to generate something like a billion new jobs in the space of a couple of decades. That's a worry. Who's planning for that?

Now, is your comment meant to imply that we should not feed the starving because it will lead to population growth? I sincerely hope not.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 7:55:00 pm  

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