Whats going on?February 25, 2011
This is not a news aggregating site and I have not much time today but I want to get a few ideas and impressions off my chest. I hope I can explain them more detailed later.
Libya could become a failed state and in fact, many other Arab, African and Asian nations could become failed states in the near future.
There is a steep population growth in Arab, African and Asian nations because of a patriarchal society where girls are married off as soon as they reach their reproductive age and successively give birth to a child every year. Contraception is not used because of religious and opportunistic shortsighted political reasons (Iran for instance wants to double the population to 150 million to increase the political weight of the nation).
There is not enough farm land and not enough water for irrigation to feed the people. Food prices rise all over the world. The so called “Green Revolution” is only possible with hugh inputs of oil. Peek oil was already in 2006. As oil will get more and more expensive, food from industrial farming also will get more expensive. As oil gets more expensive, more farmland will be used for biofuels, less will be available for food production.
Climate change will decrease food production. Desertification and erosion because of overuse will reduce farm land further. Vast areas of land in poor countries are bought by international corporations, the rural population is evicted and flees to slums on the outskirts of cities.
Water is scarce everywhere and when it is available, it is often polluted.
1.2 billion people live in areas, where there is not enough water to meet personal necessities, a further 1.6 billion people live in areas experiencing water scarcity for farming. Some tidbits to demonstrate the problem:
30 percent of Ireland’s rivers are polluted with sewage or fertilizer. 75 percent of Russia’s surface water is polluted and an estimated 30 percent of groundwater available for use is highly polluted. In 2004, water from half of the tested sections of China’s seven major rivers was found to be undrinkable because of pollution.
More than 62 percent of industrial and municipal facilities in the USA discharged more pollution into waterways than their Clean Water Act permits allowed in 2003 – 2005. 40 percent of all rivers and 46 percent of lakes are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or aquatic life. http://projects.nytimes.com/toxic-waters
Less water + less farmland = less food available + an ever increasing population.
This equation doesn’t work!
Less food and water + more people = hunger riots = chaos = failed state.
This equation works.
The USA, Britain, France and many other western nations are eager to sell weapons to dictators and insurgents alike in return for precious resources (oil, “blood diamonds”, rare minerals, any other commodities, farmland).
The dictators arm and train a small percentage (0.4 – 0.8 percent) of young unemployed men to suppress the rest of the population. Some of the dictators have to pay with resources, some get the arms for free (Mubarak 1.2 Billion US$ military aid). The dictators get the arms for free if they are of strategic importance.
Can the earth feed a projected 9 billion people without destroying nature?
I share the opinion of certain scientists who say, that the sustainable carrying capacity of the planet was surpassed long time ago and it could be not more than 2 – 4 billion. Deforestation, depletion of resources, climate change, social strife are proof for this hypothesis.
With a worried eye on declining birth rates and an aging population, Japan’s leaders propose monthly payments for new parents totaling about 3,300 US$ a year for every new child until the age of 15. The initiative also includes more state-supported day care, tuition waivers and other efforts designed to make parenthood more appealing. Japan hopes to follow the example of nations like France, which spends 3.8 percent of GDP on family friendly policies like inexpensive day care and lengthy parental leave, and has seen its birth rate rise to 2.02 children per average woman.
The Taiwanese government implemented the Mega Warmth Social Welfare Program (MWSWP) in 2006 after its fertility rates dipped lower than most industrial nations.
Vladimir Putin, alarmed about Russia’s declining population, offered a bonus of 250,000 rubles (about 9,200 US$) to women who would have a second child.
The USA wage war against contraception at home and abroad on religious and ideological grounds.
Israel and the Palestinians are in a demographic competition and increase their populations by every means possible (I wrote about that and the water shortage in Palestine in my blog post Am I an Anti-Semite now?)
For the world as a whole, there are 2.65 children born for every woman. A breakdown by regions:
North America 1.99
South America 2.49
Central America 2.66
Asia (excluding Middle East) 2.43
Middle East & North Africa 3.37
Sub-Saharan Africa 5.53
More failed states
More failed states mean more possibilities to sell weapons to the various militias and more weapons to neighboring countries to prevent a spillover.
More failed states mean more safe havens for terrorists and that again means more weapons sales, in this case to the imperial powers.
More safe havens for terrorists mean more (real or presumed) terror threats and mean more eavesdropping, more data mining, less freedom of speech, less civil liberties in all nations.
Could Pakistan become a failed state? 20 million Pakistani had to flee the recent floods and more disasters will follow because of climate change. Pakistan increased its nuclear arsenal to some 100 warheads.
Please tell me that I’m not right, please show me that there is a way out and that I shouldn’t be worried about the future of mankind.
I’m glad for any suggestions and any corrections!
Back to Libya:
Libya had a lot of oil to trade in for weapons and the country is awash in weapons. None of the governments, none of the weapons producers obviously had any scruple or ethical doubts!
Some more (partly hypocritical) media hand wringing (very suitable for masochists):
Gaddafi blames al-Qa’ida for bloodshed
Britons return home telling of Libya chaos
Cameron apologises for Libya rescue delays
Oil prices soar to 30-month high amid uprisings
Arms dealer’s wife donated £300,000 to Conservative Party
Adrian Hamilton: This is not about power. It’s about a different world
Gaddafi digs in, but much of Libya is already out of his grasp
Refugees from Libya tell of descent into chaos
Paul Peachey: Leaked cables reveal Gaddafi’s iron grip on corrupt regime
Anger over UN ‘waffle’ delaying action to combat Gaddafi’s brutal crackdown
Letters: Perspectives on the Arab risings
My final and undebatable conclusion and my unwavering stance: Weapons kill, to produce and trade weapons of any kind is as immoral as using them!