Saving the planet through women’s rights


by Rumbold
18th December, 2010 at 11:09 am    

The debate surrounding Earth’s resources and population growth can often be quite fraught. Some people argue that an ever-growing world population will strain world resources even more, worsening climate change in the process. Others criticise this vision as an attack on the poor (who use less resources per head than the rich) and women who have plenty of children, which suggests some sort of mass planning where permission to breed is required from the state.

In theory, the calculation is a simple one. If technological advances and energy conservation can keep pace with population growth, then the situation is unlikely to get any worse. But whether this will work in practice is impossible to say. That is why it is useful to approach the issue from other angles, just as Kate Smurthwaite has done. Ms. Smurthwaite believes that reducing population growth is a good thing, but doesn’t see the need for state planning and control:

There are millions of women around the world and right here at home who desperately want to have less or no children, to have children later in life and to control their own fertility. Furthermore some of us crazy feminist types actually think it is their right to do so and to be given access to the tools and education to enable them to make those choices in their own lives. We call them reproductive rights.

Free access to and information about contraception – including condoms which also prevent the spread of HIV and other STDs – and abortion are basic rights that every woman should have. All we have to do is provide them.

More education and rights for women is a good thing in itself, and if it helps combat climate change then even better.


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Filed in: Civil liberties,Environmentalism,Sex equality






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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Saving the planet through women’s rights http://bit.ly/fMivux


  2. Louise Hazan

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Saving the planet through women’s rights http://bit.ly/fMivux


  3. John Nor

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Saving the planet through women’s rights http://bit.ly/fMivux


  4. Ira

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Saving the planet through women’s rights http://bit.ly/fMivux


  5. smileandsubvert

    Saving the planet through women’s rights http://pulsene.ws/xZIp




  1. Trofim — on 18th December, 2010 at 11:43 am  

    “If technological advances and energy conservation can keep pace with population growth, then the situation is unlikely to get any worse”.

    Well, that is, if you’re a member of the species homo sapiens. If you’re not, then the outlook continues to be bleak, since homo sapiens continues to rapaciously consume resources, including habitats. However, I’ve yet to meet a lefty to gives a toss for the rest of the biosphere, other than as a set of resources for aforementioned homo sapiens – the jewel in the crown of creation.

  2. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 11:48 am  

    In theory, the calculation is a simple one. If technological advances and energy conservation can keep pace with population growth, then the situation is unlikely to get any worse.

    Then you think Malthus was wrong? It might not bite right away, but it is out there.

  3. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 11:57 am  

    Sunny,

    What is the point of John Nor?

    You have this place choked up with people that, apparently, don’t exist.

    If you hit the link for John Nor, you get nothing. John Nor is just an invisible site or a pretendy person that links to you.

    You don’t need that.

  4. Trofim — on 18th December, 2010 at 12:03 pm  

    2
    It all depends Douglas, on whether you regard homo sapiens as uniquely important, and the rest of the planet, nay, ultimately the universe, purely as a set of resources for the use of humans, or whether you regard other species as having some value in and of themselves, regardless as to whether human can use them.

    It is good to see feminists at last daring to speak commonsense about population, but why has it taken so long? The reality is that in much, if not most, of the world, women’s reproductivity is largely controlled by men.
    Let me once again cite a programme I heard on the BBC World Service some time back. They took a young person with all the PC attitudes to Kenya. They spoke to three people. Firstly, some government official in Nairobi. She gave the official answer: “It’s up to you to stop producing greenhouse gases, rather than us controlling our population”. Then they went to a slum on the edge of Nairobi, and asked a woman with six children if, given her time again she would have as many. No way, she said, 2 or 3 would be plenty enough. Then they asked a bloke in the slum how many children was ideal. He said some always turn out bad, thieves, or whatever, so you have to have quite a few to make sure you’ve got one or two good ones”. In a similar programme, women were discussing it, and saying that they like to stop at 2 or 3, but if they mentioned family planning to their husbands, then the latter would hint that he might have to get himself another wife. Blackmail. That’s how it is.

  5. earwicga — on 18th December, 2010 at 12:13 pm  

    Well, yes. It’s obvious that empowering women helps with everything.

    However, I’ve yet to meet a lefty to gives a toss for the rest of the biosphere, other than as a set of resources for aforementioned homo sapiens – the jewel in the crown of creation.

    You should get out more Trofim.

  6. Sarah AB — on 18th December, 2010 at 12:19 pm  

    I remember quite a good piece by Johan Hari in which he concluded, similarly, that although we seemed to be stuck in a kind of tragic dilemma between authoritarian state control and damaging population growth, in fact improving the rights of women tended to act as a strong check on population growth without the need for regulation.

  7. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2010 at 12:20 pm  

    Douglas:

    Malthus was proven wrong a long time ago. His predictions were for the near future and he was shown to be incorrect. He also supported the Corn Laws, which were a regressive measure that led to food being priced too highly for the poor to buy in large quantities (in order to protect the revenue of Tory landowners).

  8. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 12:28 pm  

    Trofim,

    Thanks for the interesting reply.

    My argument, weak though it might be, is not that we are important – I think I have may have argued otherwise – but that we are worthwhile. All of us.

    I do not come to that conclusion out of some sort of relgious idea. It is just sort of obvious that most folk have ideas in common and not apart.

    And that includes being anything you have to be – in the future – to be what you are.

    Have you ever thought about this?

  9. Trofim — on 18th December, 2010 at 12:36 pm  

    @ 5
    Show me otherwise, then, earwicga. My experience of lefties, including here, particularly Sunny H, is that when it comes to the human population, more is always better, whether it’s reproduction or immigration being discussed. The concept of “enough people” is simply not acceptable. But I’m always struck by how lefties and righties concur on this. Suggest that stabilising the population might be beneficial in any way, and both left and right will scream “So you want to exterminate the human race”, or “So you want to see children die, do you?” or they will rail at you for attacking women’s rights to have as many children as they want. As for immigration and the resulting increase in population, well, that immigration can only have beneficial effects is a central and totemic article of faith for lefties.
    And if I cite a reference to the widely accepted proposition, that the sixth great extinction of terrestrial species is taking place, as a consequence of the effects of the human population, it will be studiously ignored. Here it is again:

    http://www.actionbioscience.org/newfrontiers/eldredge2.html

  10. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 12:53 pm  

    Rumbold,

    Err!

    His predictions were for the near future and he was shown to be incorrect.

    Well he hasn’t been proven wrong in the long term. And that is what he was talking about. Your ‘near future’ is not our near future.

    You make him sound like an idiot.

    Why?

    Is it some sort of monkey best, monkey right some sort of shit?

  11. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 1:05 pm  

    Trofim @ 9,

    What you choose to say about ‘lefties’ applies to others too. It is fairly obvious that demography is changing, that the world you wish to live in is perhaps the world you will live in?

  12. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2010 at 1:05 pm  

    Douglas:

    He was talking about his near future, and he has been proven wrong. Even extending his predictions several hundred years he still hasn’t been proven right.

    And I don’t think much of anyone who supported the Corn Laws in the 19th century.

  13. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 1:17 pm  

    Rumbold,

    No he wasn’t. He was talking about prediction. It is difficult to argue against someone as I see as a friend, but you are drop dead wrong here. Malthus stated the bleeding obvious:

    “Must it not then be acknowledged by an attentive examiner of the histories of mankind, that in every age and in every State in which man has existed, or does now exist

    That the increase of population is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence,

    That population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase, and,

    That the superior power of population is repressed, and the actual population kept equal to the means of subsistence, by misery and vice.”[9]

    By misery and vice.

    Is that not where we are?

  14. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2010 at 1:29 pm  

    There is enough food to go around, and enough technology available to produce more. It is other factors which cause starvation.

  15. Trofim — on 18th December, 2010 at 1:43 pm  

    Rumbold and Douglas:
    Whenever anyone mentions Malthus I am always reminded of that standard financial disclaimer “Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance”.

    Douglas:
    As for attitudes towards the relationship between the human race and the rest of the world, mine is somewhat similar to that of Paul Kingsnorth, not in all the details, but in essence:

    http://www.opendemocracy.net/paul-kingsnorth/confessions-of-recovering-environmentalist

    ” I became an “environmentalist” because of a strong emotional reaction to wild places and the other-than-human world: to beech trees and hedgerows and pounding waterfalls, to songbirds and sunsets, to the flying fish in the Java Sea and the canopy of the rainforest at dusk when the gibbons come to the waterside to feed. From that reaction came a feeling, which became a series of thoughts: that such things are precious for their own sake, that they are food for the human soul and that they need people to speak for them to, and defend them from, other people, because they cannot speak our language and we have forgotten how to speak theirs. And because we are killing them to feed ourselves and we know it and we care about it, sometimes, but we do it anyway because we are hungry, or we have persuaded ourselves that we are.
    But these are not, I think, very common views today.”

    (Worth reading on in the article too).

  16. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 2:31 pm  

    Trofim,

    Are you about to get around to Rumbold?

    You said you would, but you didn’t.

    I know about stuff like demographic transition. I am not conviced that that won’t leave many of us on marginal food supplies. Rumbold appears to believe in some sort of magical property in the way we eat, or indeed in what we eat.

    I am unconvinced by either of you.

  17. Don — on 18th December, 2010 at 3:15 pm  

    That the increase of population is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence,

    That population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase,

    Yet that doesn’t seem to be the case. Population growth, in very broad terms, is lower in prosperous, well-supplied countries and higher in countries regarded as having serious problems.

    Over 3% growth in Congo, Gaza Strip, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Niger. Close to zero or negative growth in Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Japan.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_growth_rate

    Where women have real rights, including reproductive rights, and where there is less fear of infant mortality, and where there is a stable state able to provide for the population, families tend to become smaller. Again, in very broad terms.

    Rumbold is, in my view, absolutely right to point out that women’s rights are crucial in reducing regional over-population and poverty.

  18. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 4:06 pm  

    Don,

    Well then is Malthus wrong?

    You say:

    17.

    Where women have real rights, including reproductive rights, and where there is less fear of infant mortality, and where there is a stable state able to provide for the population, families tend to become smaller. Again, in very broad terms.

    Rumbold is, in my view, absolutely right to point out that women’s rights are crucial in reducing regional over-population and poverty.

    How does that make you or Rumbold right? I get the over arching idea that women should be in charge of their right to produce kids, but I am not very sure that they should be encouraged to produce men as opposed to women. Or vice versa.

    Not at all.

    I’d think that was wrong.
    ________________

    Off topic a bit, but then:

    Your own favourite bit of comedy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRdrBCamno0

    I am a Dixie Chick. For they are right and you and Rumbold are wrong:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvkbZfXK25E

    See?

    Probably not.

  19. Don — on 18th December, 2010 at 4:15 pm  

    Douglas,

    I’m not sure it makes me ‘right’ about anything, but it does at least indicate that there are alternative controls to population growth than Malthus’s death, poverty and chastity. On the contrary, the best controls seem to be life (health care), prosperity and birth control.

    women should be in charge of their right to produce kids, but I am not very sure that they should be encouraged to produce men as opposed to women. Or vice versa.

    Fairly obviously I’d agree with that.

    Actually, my favourite bit of comedy at the moment is this, although I have no idea why.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljPFZrRD3J8

  20. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 4:40 pm  

    See your video, Was that really LJB?

    Anyway, you and Rumbold are probably denying numbers. When you say:

    I’m not sure it makes me ‘right’ about anything, but it does at least indicate that there are alternative controls to population growth than Malthus’s death, poverty and chastity. On the contrary, the best controls seem to be life (health care), prosperity and birth control.

    How soon?

  21. Don — on 18th December, 2010 at 4:57 pm  

    See?

    Probably not.

    You got that right. I don’t see how me liking the Dixie Chicks makes Rumbold and myself wrong. About what? You’re going to have to join the dots for me. I have no idea what point you are making.

    For me Rumbold’s point is that the empowerment of women is not just a good in itself, it also confers benefits in terms of population growth and, from that, climate change. I think he is right.

    Do you disagree with the first para you quoted?

    I really can’t tell what your position is on this unless you become more explicit about where you think we are wrong.

  22. Don — on 18th December, 2010 at 5:02 pm  

    Douglas, crossed post.

    Did you like the vid? I keep hitting replay and I don’t know why.

    How soon? That’s up to us, isn’t it?

  23. Don — on 18th December, 2010 at 5:03 pm  

    LJB?

  24. Don — on 18th December, 2010 at 5:06 pm  

    How am I denying numbers? I gave you numbers.

    I’ve got to walk the dog and make the dinner. I’ll speak to you later.

  25. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 5:19 pm  

    Don @ 23.

    LJB.

    Lee John Barnes, occasionally of this parish, and Jai’s best enemy. And mine.

    However and calming down a bit, I know why I respect the Dixie Chicks…

    ’cause they stood up to President Bush and because they said Earl had to die. Both reasons, both good points.

    And the sound and the beat is good…

    Which I think you’d agree with?

  26. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2010 at 7:45 pm  

    Don:

    Yet that doesn’t seem to be the case. Population growth, in very broad terms, is lower in prosperous, well-supplied countries and higher in countries regarded as having serious problems.

    Good point- I had forgotten about that.

    Douglas:

    Anyway, you and Rumbold are probably denying numbers.

    Which ones? Given Malthus made his predictions several hundred years ago, he has been proven wrong so far. As Don pointed out he also completely misunderstood the connection between availability of food and population growth.

  27. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 8:02 pm  

    Neither of you have a clue about predicted numbers of us. Nor the impact that might have on the planet. Whatever, you can both see a monoculture as a good thing. I don’t, I think this planet needs and depends on diversity.

  28. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2010 at 8:12 pm  

    Douglas, sorry, where did either of us praise a ‘monoculture’, whatever that is? I am saying that Thomas Malthus was proved wrong. Both Don and I are saying that empowering women will help in the fight against climate change.

  29. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 8:19 pm  
  30. damon — on 18th December, 2010 at 8:43 pm  

    I have no idea about any of this, but I do enjoy the way that Sunny H hates these Spiked guys with a passion.

    Our Brave New World of Malthusian madmen
    From Burgess’s Wanting Seed to Huxley’s Brave New World, the wacky Malthusian ideas of dystopian literature are now everyday beliefs.

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/10011/

  31. Don — on 18th December, 2010 at 9:15 pm  

    Douglas,

    you can both see a monoculture as a good thing.

    Quite the reverse.

  32. Don — on 18th December, 2010 at 9:20 pm  

    And what is your considered take Damon? Speak up.

  33. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 9:27 pm  

    Monocuture,

    You are both being ridiculous if you think that an expansion of the human race is not going to effect other species on this planet. It is, in that sense, when you both argue in favour of a duoculture. Us if you like, against the microbes.

    Frankly we do need to balance the human population through intelligent design but not through convenient politics. Rumbold, you say this:

    More education and rights for women is a good thing in itself, and if it helps combat climate change then even better.

    Interesting that you now see climate change as a real threat, but a huge human population rise is fraught with problems too, just because. Just because they will want as much resources as you or I. And it would be cruel not to give them that level of equality. How are we going to achieve that without messing up the environment we have left? We are as bad as the bankers when it comes to managing our resources.

    I don’t think either you or Don have thought enough about what a huge rise in the population of human beings actually implies.

    It is convenient to see it as a woman’s issue. It is not. It is a survival issue. For men and women alike.

    Cue, denial….

  34. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 9:43 pm  

    Apologies Don,

    The word I was trying to spell was monoculture. But that is what you and Rumbold are both arguing against.

    Malthus was right. It might take a while, but the exponential nature of human population growth is undeniable. The opposite arguement, that of a demographic transition, also leaves us with more humans than we can sustain, without some sort of magic. And the impact on other species, absent magic, is pretty well devestating.

    I think I’ve got that right. Willing to stand corrected.

  35. Dr Paul — on 18th December, 2010 at 10:03 pm  

    Trfim wrote: ‘My experience of lefties, including here, particularly Sunny H, is that when it comes to the human population, more is always better, whether it’s reproduction or immigration being discussed. The concept of “enough people” is simply not acceptable. But I’m always struck by how lefties and righties concur on this.’

    Proof please. The only left-wingers I know of who called for more people were, by the time they called for it, ex-left-wingers. You could find Stalin in the late 1930s imploring Soviet women to mass-produce, but by then he was essentially a Great Russian nationalist. You can find the Spiked people rabbiting on about the problems of modern-day Malthusians, but they too are ex-leftists, when they were the (British) Revolutionary Communist Party they barely discussed the question.

    Left-wingers I know — and I’ve met a lot in the past 30 years — have always argued for the right of women to be able to control their fertility, and this implies, if not assumes, the ability of people to have small families. I would say that the left hasn’t sufficiently discussed the question of containing the world’s population, but that is a quite different thing from saying that it proclaims ‘procreate, procreate’.

  36. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2010 at 10:15 pm  

    Dr Paul @ 35,

    Quite.

    I do not recall the editor of this blog saying anything of the sort. Indeed, I would have disagreed strongly with him had he done so.

    I have rarely found exception to the editorial line around here and would expect to remember it – if and when I did.

  37. damon — on 19th December, 2010 at 1:58 am  

    And what is your considered take Damon? Speak up.

    It’s all a bit over my head Don. That’s why I don’t bother with it too much.

  38. Sarah AB — on 19th December, 2010 at 9:05 am  

    “I have rarely found exception to the editorial line around here and would expect to remember it – if and when I did.”

    What, even about supporting the conservatives, I mean the Lib Dems, I mean Labour? ;-)

  39. joe90 — on 19th December, 2010 at 9:45 am  

    As mentioned already the western world abuses and uses most of the resources in the world and does most damage to the climate. It’s bit rich targeting and lecturing the 3rd world that they are the ones in need of education and health care!

    With china and india becoming the next economic powerhouses, they also happen to have the 2 largest populations so is having large populations always a negative?

    the resources are there enough for whole planet they are clearly not being distributed fairly. That is not going to change anytime soon, as Eisenhower clearly stated our lives are run by the corporates or as he put it the Military-Industrial Complex.

  40. Trofim — on 19th December, 2010 at 11:24 am  

    The question is: why is Kate Smurthwaite’s post noteworthy, to the extent that Rumbold has written a post citing it? Why now? Why didn’t she or someone similar write this ten, twenty, thirty years ago? This phenomenon/problem, whereby it is predominantly men who in charge of women’s reproduction, has been in existence as long as human beings have. Why has this been avoided for so long? I’ll tell you why.
    Half a century ago anxieties about the consequences of uncontrolled proliferation of the human population were commonly expressed in the media. However…, in the late 1960’s a feeling started to enter our awareness, that it was insensitive to be critical of the behaviour, culture and ideas of people who didn’t have pinkish skin. Then it was noticed that those people who have the highest rates of population increase, tended to be those very same non-white people. And from being regarded as a little insensitive or untactful to suggest that some steps should be taken to stabilise the world’s population, it became downright neo-colonialist, imperialist, even racist to broach the subject. And that is why discussion of population control went from being a neutral topic to the elephant in the room. And this attitude – that white people had no right to offer suggestions, even help, to the rest of the world’s population, slotted nicely into one of the fundamental pillars of left-wing thought – that the world’s problems are principally the fault of Europeans and their descendants (nicely illustrated by joe90 above).
    And this is based on a presupposition that when people procreate children it is always as a result of a sort of informed decision process as to whether it is economically or environmentally viable, advantageous or disadvantageous to procreate another child. Of course, life isn’t like that, as we all know. People procreate children for all manner of peculiar and irrational motives, and motivelessly. Some of these motives are clearly based on tradition, culture and often dominance by males, and are quite clearly disadvantageous in economic and/or environmental terms.

    I’m collecting reasons and contexts in which people make decisions about procreation; I’ve cited a couple above: some turn out bad, so you oversupply as insurance to make sure you get a good one; you might lose one, so you oversupply as insurance (thereby reducing the resources available for those already in existence); you need plenty to look after you when you are old (why? – isn’t one carer per person being cared for sufficient?); you need several to help cultivate the land (how often is that applicable?). On another World Service programme, in Uganda, a couple with five children were going to have another one because in their culture you have to have at least one of each because the men leave home, while the daughter stays at home to look after parents. That is, they put their cultural values before economic viability. And here’s another one I heard from a British woman on TV who already had six – I had one because I thought Darren (current boyfriend) would be less likely to leave me.

    So let’s forget this pie-in-the-sky idea that children are always the result of a rational and well-founded decision process.

    joe90 @ 39: full marks for incorporating clichés into your post. Could I just clarify your terminology? When you refer to “the planet” in your post, am I right in thinking that this is an example of synecdoche, and that you are in fact referring to “the human population of the planet”?

  41. Trofim — on 19th December, 2010 at 1:25 pm  

    I missed out a crucial word in the central paragraph:
    “in Uganda, a couple with five MALE children were going to have another one because . . . “

  42. Don — on 19th December, 2010 at 4:00 pm  

    Trofim,

    While Ms Smurthwaite’s piece is a good terse analysis I don’t agree that it is breaking new ground. Such views have been around for decades and people have been working hard to advance women’s rights to control their own bodies. There is a long history of this particular struggle.

    Has it become unacceptable to suggest we need to reduce or at least stabilise the population? I don’t think to the extent that you suggest, although the simplistic idea that we needed to stop non-white people breeding was rightly challlenged. Particulary following some of India’s population control policies in the 70′s, which sometimes involved enforced sterilisation, and the aloof superior tone taken by some advocates of top-down measures.

    Of course there are many reasons why people choose to have or not have children, there is no single solution, but the fact is that when women have control of their reproductive rights (combined with education and decent helth care) families do become smaller. Not every family, but on average the difference is very significant.

    So let’s forget this pie-in-the-sky idea that children are always the result of a rational and well-founded decision process.

    No-one has suggested that, unless I missed something.

    Joe90,

    It’s bit rich targeting and lecturing the 3rd world that they are the ones in need of education and health care!

    How is it targeting and lecturing to point out that the literacy levels and mortality rates in some places are much higher than in others and to suggest that this is probably a bad thing if you are part of the population getting the short end of the stick?

    Of course the developed world (or whatever you want to call it but ‘The west’ is just meaningless) consumes most. We can afford more stuff, and that includes you, as you clearly have a) a high level of education, b) a computer and c) ample free time to develop ideas. That situation may not last but at the moment that’s how it is. Unless you tell me otherwise I’m assuming that, like me, you are one of the world’s ‘haves’ and have a full share in whatever guilt that entails.

    You asked if having a large population was always a bad thing, citing the economic growth of India and China. But these are two countries most acutely aware of overpopulation and both have been at times draconian in their approach.

    Earlier I mentioned regional overpopulation. I agree with you that the planet as a whole has enough resources to feed our current population, but the people and the resources are not distributed evenly. Unfortunately I think this may get worse before it gets better and climate change can only exacerbate that. Blaming the military/industrial complex might be satisfying but what do you propose?

  43. joe90 — on 21st December, 2010 at 10:46 pm  

    post #42

    the thread started with what to do about lack of resources and a growing world population.

    The governments of developed countries doesn’t give a siht if indians or africans are educated ,in debt or in poverty.

    What serious efforts have been done in last 50 years to eradicate poverty and debt? Nice conferences and slogans and here have a few pennies from foreign aid budget(which is nothing compared to debts repaid several times over by same nations) but in the end all broken promises.

    The governments like USa only worried if they continue to receive the overwhelming majority of the worlds resources. Which is under threat from other players on the planet.

    For us and other western governments to start lecturing developing countries about the need for family planning, or tell them here you go have some books to read is a red herring to cover our own greed.

  44. Trofim — on 22nd December, 2010 at 10:51 am  

    joe90 @ 43:

    If you look at this link you’ll see the imperialists have, unfortunately, got there first.

    And if you look at this link you’ll see that the imperialists have planted the idea that it costs more to feed three children than two! Imperialist mathematics, see.

  45. AbuF — on 22nd December, 2010 at 12:47 pm  

    Actually joe90 betrays an enormously patronising position:

    the governments of developed countries don’t care whether Africans or Asians are educated, etc?

    Really, you know this?

    Or does it suit your agenda.

    And since when did the Muslim Brotherhood, for example, give a rat’s arse for the education or welfare of its own constituencies – save when political advantage may be garnered from the same?

    Dick.

  46. Don — on 22nd December, 2010 at 3:56 pm  

    the thread started with what to do about lack of resources and a growing world population.

    Yes, I know. And it included the very reasonable suggestion that those getting the worst of this situation would benefit from the empowerment of women. Do you disagree with that?

    The governments of developed countries doesn’t give a siht if indians or africans are educated ,in debt or in poverty.

    In your opinion, do the governments of less developed nations give more of a shit? And of course not all aid comes from governmental sources.

    It’s in the nature of foreign aid that it flows from more developed to less developed countries and I am aware that aid can be a tool – even a weapon- but are the governments of less developed countries so focused on the welfare of their people?

    I’m sure some are, and I’d bet good money that you would find in those countries a concentration on health care, education and reproductive rights. Not because they were targeted or lectured at but because they are evidently good things. Or do you disagree?

    And again, what do you propose?

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