Posts Tagged ‘Population Bomb’

The passing scene – August 18, 2015

August 18, 2015

Peculiarities of Russian National Character by Dmitry Orlov for ClubOrlov.

Expansion of Russia Under the Czars.

Dmitry Orlov provided good insight into Russian history and how Russians deal with enemies and invaders.  But he neglected Russian expansionism.   It wasn’t by successful defense that the Russian Tsars acquired one-sixth of the world’s land surface, the largest empire in history except for the short-lived Mongol Empire.

Orlov mentioned President Putin’s offer to European nations to join his Eurasian Economic Union instead of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.  I’m glad that no important European leaders are interested in Putin’s EEU, but Russia and its partners, as exporters of energy and raw materials, would complement Europe’s manufacturing industry, and I presume that Putin’s proposed agreement doesn’t involve special privileges for multinational corporations.

Permaculture and the Myth of Overpopulation by Lisa DePiano for the Permaculture Research Institute.

Environmental degradation is due more to the behavior of rich people than to the number of poor people, and it is due more to unjust systems than to large families.   Lisa DePiano rightly says that people of good will should focus on self-determination, including reproductive rights, and not talk about human population as if it is a problem in wildlife management.

Why Bill Clinton’s Apology and Barack Obama’s Prison Drive-By Token Clemencies Are Election-Year Posturing by Bruce A. Dixon for the Black Agenda Report.

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, through their ability to relate to African-Americans on the emotional level, have won their votes even though their policies promoted mass incarceration of black people..


The population bomb that fizzled

June 17, 2010

When I feel most pessimistic about the state of the nation, I remind myself of all the things I worried about in the past that never came to pass.

In the 1960s, I read books such as Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb and William and Paul Paddock’s Famine – 1975! warning of imminent mass starvation because of world population growth. These two books weren’t unique; they are the ones I remember most vividly.  Ehrlich described very graphically the horrors that lay ahead, and warned of the futility of trying feed the teeming masses, because they would only reproduce and create a larger starving population. I recall the expression “dieback” to describe how nature would bring population and resources into balance.

Later on there was something called “liferaft ethics,” which said that the Earth is like a liferaft that can carry only a limited number of people, and that if you are on the liferaft (i.e., a citizen of a fortune country such as the United States), you are justified in pushing away someone drowning in the water to save yourself. Norman Borlaug’s efforts to introduce high-yield crops in India and elsewhere met with active hostility from the population warriors.

Now nations such as China and India, which were thought to be doomed, are successfully raising their material standard of living. If their populations are poor by American standards, they aren’t starving. Where starvation still exists, as in North Korea, it is the result of oppressive government and a failed economic system, not overpopulation.