"So he buys it by the millions of acres along with China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates and India, all U.S. allies."
* This is a bit too broad a generalization for this situation. Not all of these powers are land grabbing as "US allies." China as a US ally is only inasmuch as they are mutually interpendent in terms of the world economy, but much tension exists below the surface(obviously) and there is a lot of competition for the resources of Africa between these two players(it actually underpins a lot of the conflicts in many areas of Africa.) Also - I think this is a great article, I read it a while back and agree with most of what is in it. However - just as it may be folly to deny that there is global warming, it might be equally fallible to not believe in overpopulation(I have not yet formulated an independent opinion on the matter.) The causes of which and the solutions of course are controlled by the "minds who got us into this mess" and I think therein lies the issue(just like with the global warming issue).
Vandana Shiva, a non-western environmentalist states it in this way:
"London: The most urgent ecological issue facing the planet today, by many accounts, is overpopulation. The issue is often framed, particularly here in the West, as a “third world problem” since the birthrate is highest in poor countries. What is your perspective?
Shiva: The people who see the population explosion in the Malthusian way — as a geometric progression — forget that population growth is not a biological issue. People are not increasing in numbers out of stupidity and ignorance. Population growth is an ecological phenomenon linked very intimately to other issues, such as the usurpation of the resources which allow people to live.
In England, the population explosion can be linked very clearly with the enclosure of the commons that uprooted the peasants from their land. In India, it was the same thing: the population increased at the end of the 18th century when the British took over and Indian lands were colonized. Instead of the land feeding Indian people it started to feed the British empire. So we had destitution. Destitute people who don’t have their own land to feed themselves can only feed themselves by having larger numbers, therefore they multiply. It’s the rational response of a dispossessed people.
The population explosion is an ecological phenomenon of displacement. Unless we solve that ecological problem of displacing people – to build huge dams, to build motorways, to take away what people need in order to survive — we will keep pumping more and more money into population programs. We will have more and more coercive and violent methods through which women’s bodies are treated as experimental grounds for new contraceptives. Yet we will not have a solution to the problem of numbers.
London: How do we address the problem?
Shiva: The problem of numbers can only be dealt with by recognizing that people have a fundamental right to economic security. If you provide them with economic and environmental security, the population will stabilize itself. The example of Kerala shows this very clearly. Kerala is a state in south India in which the trends are the absolute opposite from the rest of the third world and from the rest of India. There are two or three reasons. There is tremendous equality between genders in Kerala. Also, there has been a very strong land reform program in the state so that even the poorest of people own the plot of land on which their hut is built. For example, landless laborers might not own the land on which they do their agricultural work, but they own the land on which they have their hut. That resource-guarantee has tremendous implications for the security of the people.
When I was in the capital of Kerala state, I remember some rich people telling me, “You can’t get the maids to come every day out here. They have a house and don’t need to work every day because if they stay home they won’t starve.”
That is where the population control issue needs to be addressed. Population control is not an issue involving contraceptives for third world women. It is an issue of ecological justice.”
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