AuthorTopic: Malthus to China Potpourri  (Read 39638 times)

Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #195 on: August 10, 2012, 04:42:13 PM »

R.E., did you know that it is practically impossible for
a newcomer like me to find your original Orkin Man post(s)?
The site's search function is flaky and useless; to see what
I mean, type in Orkin Man and run the search.  Useless.
I tried googling for "Orkin Man" as phrase plus
inurl:doomsteaddiner -- not much better. I tried clicking on
the link that is supposed to take me to all posts tagged
"Orkin Man" -- doomsteaddiner.net/blog/tag/orkin-man --
but this only results in ONE post, Surly's "which side are
you on" post.

"Orkin man" cannot be found on the home page, or
on the first page of the blog.

It is simply nowhere to be found -- even though it was
supposedly a popular post that stimulated a lot of
discussion.

As a site owner, sometimes it is good to pretend that
you are a newcomer and that you have ZERO of the
insider knowledge that you actually have, and see if you
can find things and understand what people are talking
about.

Another common problem is undefined acronyms.
There's one I keep seeing here but cannot remember
offhand; it is something like OPPD  or something like that.
Not defined anywhere that I could see.  Just a little thing,
but makes it difficult to understand things.

Offline RE

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #196 on: August 10, 2012, 05:19:22 PM »

R.E., did you know that it is practically impossible for
a newcomer like me to find your original Orkin Man post(s)?
The site's search function is flaky and useless; to see what
I mean, type in Orkin Man and run the search.  Useless.

Reason for that would be I hardly ever use the Orkin Man meme on the Diner Blog. It's too extreme a concept for a Newby Reader.  The Blog hopefully draws people toward the Forum, and I don't want to turn them off right off the Bat.  I use it more in Forum here, and I suspect if you search here more will turn up on this topic.

The Inquisition analogy is actually my favored one, I only Bring on the Orkin Man in threads inside the Diner Forum where I get particularly revved up over something really egregiously WRONG being perpetrated out there in the world. Ashvin and Surly both though picked up on the Orkin Man as the representation they like to use in arguing against the concept of Capital Punishment when applied on a large scale.  It's fair because I certainly am the one responsible for using this analogy in the first place.  You won't find it in any of my Blog Articles though, thus the reason the Search Engine there doesn't turn it up.

Far as how well the Search Engine works is concerned, that depends on how you use it. I can yank just about anything out of a search engine on anybody's blog by considering topics and choosing Keywords to search for related to the topic.  In the case of "Orkin Man", if you don't turn up anything with that search, you could try "Vermin", "Extemination" or "Guillotine" or "Hang em High". LOL.

The Acronym Issue is of course difficult for Newbies to Negotiate. I try to define an Acronym at least once in any post, but ones I use all the time I don't always do that and neither do the other Regulars.  You have to be a Diner for a while to pick up on the meaning of all of them.  Often newbies do not even know what FSoA means, and I never bother to define that one in every post.  Fascist States of Amerika of course.

On previous forums I have run on other topics, occassionally I tried to develop a Glossary for these things.  On the Yahoo Group system, you actually have a simple Database Tool to use for this. The problem is nobody Updates it consistently every time they develop a new Acronym. So you either read until you figure out what it means or you ASK what it means from whoever used it.

RE
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Offline RE

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #197 on: August 10, 2012, 05:46:29 PM »
I did a little Search for you Alan inside the Diner Forum where I used the Orkin Man analogy by typing in "clean kitchen" into the Search Widget.  Came back with 3 posts:

1

Environment / Re: Hope in the Age of Collapse
« by RE on August 06, 2012, 01:41:43 AM »

......  good for the Earth as Cockroaches are good for a Clean Kitchen, but I still don't see ALL Homo Sapiens as being  ......


2

The Kitchen Sink / Waste Based Society II: Vendor Financing & Planned Obsolescence
« by RE on June 08, 2012, 07:55:48 PM »

...... , I remain convinced the only way to insure a Clean Kitchen in the aftermath is to make sure the Vermin are  ......

3

The Kitchen Sink / Time has COME for the INQUISITION!
« by RE on April 15, 2012, 07:15:35 PM »

......  Cockroaches running around here. You don't get a Clean Kitchen by playing Mr. Nice Guy with the Vermin. You  ......

RE
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Offline g

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #198 on: August 11, 2012, 03:20:13 AM »
Quote alan2102 "Another common problem is undefined acronyms.
There's one I keep seeing here but cannot remember
offhand; it is something like OPPD  or something like that.
Not defined anywhere that I could see.  Just a little thing,
but makes it difficult to understand things."

I agree Alan, have found the situation to be over used and ruinous to the meaning of a posting. Find myself frequently trying to figure one out and getting frustrated and moving on. They have a place but should not be abused.     GO




Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #199 on: August 11, 2012, 07:45:52 AM »
I hardly ever use the Orkin Man meme on the Diner Blog. It's too
extreme a concept for a Newby Reader.
True. Must not curl their delicate ears with lunatic genocidal ravings right
off the bat.  Must let them get acclimated, first.

Quote
I can yank just about anything out of a search engine on anybody's blog
by considering topics and choosing Keywords to search for related to the
topic.  In the case of "Orkin Man", if you don't turn up anything with that
search, you could try "Vermin", "Extemination" or "Guillotine"
Yes, I can do that, too. Only I did not have the EXPERT INSIDER
KNOWLEDGE that you have regarding use of those particular terms
-- vermin, etc.  One who does not have that knowledge, cannot use
that technique effectively.  Also, having very extensive experience
with search engines and searching, I thought initially that the word
"orkin" would be sufficiently unusual to take me quickly to what I wanted
or nearby at least.  However, the idiot search engine insisted on bringing
up all occurrences not of the WORD "orkin", but of the STRING "orkin",
which includes a ton of irrelevant stuff like the word wORKINg, etc.

Someday I would like to know what idiot designs these site/forum
search engines. I've found them to be amazingly flaky, generally. This
is based on 16 years of VERY heavy internet and search experience.

It is actually a good idea to include a word vs. string switch, something
you select based on what you need. But to default to string is just idiotic.

Anyway:
 I just did a search for "orkin vermin extermination" and the
results were still lousy, though somewhat better. I got four hits, at least
one of which was to a long thread with much back-and-forth on the
issue. But I STILL do not have access to your original/core writeups
on the subject, assuming they exist (as I do).

Quote
The Acronym Issue is of course difficult
Easy to solve.

Acronyms have a half-life of about 20 paragraphs, or perhaps 10 posts.
If that much goes by without a definition, then they should be re-defined,
as a courtesy.

Readers should not be forced to search multiple back pages in a thread,
trying (often unsuccessfully) to find the definition of an acronym, so as
to know what the hell everyone is talking about.

Offline RE

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #200 on: August 11, 2012, 08:10:08 AM »

Yes, I can do that, too. Only I did not have the EXPERT INSIDER
KNOWLEDGE that you have regarding use of those particular terms
-- vermin, etc.

You didn't know that the Okin Man Exterminates Vermin?

Quote
But I STILL do not have access to your original/core writeups
on the subject, assuming they exist (as I do).

Your assumption is wrong.  There is no "original Orkin Man post" in the sense that I wrote a whole post with this theme.  It's just a metaphor I pulled out of the jumble of such things in my head and tacked into a post somewhere.  I have no idea what the first post I used it in was.  It's never been a title of any of my posts, only Surly used it in a title for one of his.

As I mentioned, if you are looking for stuff I wrote surrounding the idea of Capital Punishment for Crimes Against Humanity, you are better off using the Inquisition in your searches.

RE
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Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #201 on: August 11, 2012, 11:15:34 AM »
You didn't know that the Orkin Man Exterminates Vermin?
Z'matter of fact, I didn't. I knew it was some kind of household
maintenance service, but for all I knew it had to do with sealing
leaky basement walls.

Quote

Your assumption is wrong. 
OK. It "felt" like that must be the case, but I didn't have real
evidence. So it goes, when you speculate, rather than pay attention
to real evidence from reliable sources.

I think I read somewhere that there was a big Orkin Man post
on TAE, followed by much discussion.  That was part of what
fueled the speculation.  Maybe I read wrong.

Quote
you are better off using the Inquisition in your searches.
Thanks for the tip.

Offline JoeP

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #202 on: August 23, 2012, 07:13:51 AM »
I'm adding a link to an article by CHS (below) that I think is a pretty good summary of the present and future state of things in China.  My question is related to point #10 in the article.  Why are wealthy elites fleeing China if they have such a great plan for the future?

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjune11/wheels-fall-off-China6-11.html

Looks like we’re getting closer to an answer and it appears to be a combination of things...and it is not good newz for those wishing that China can avoid a “hard landing”.

From Zarathustra (emphasis added):

Rich Chinese flee



Rich folks in China simply want to leave the country.

That is not news. A survey did point this out more than a year ago, and survey after survey is pointing to the same conclusion. And they are going everywhere, sometimes to places that we have not heard of, like Prince Edward Island, not to mention other more popular destinations, like Vancouver, Australia, or… whatever…

One of the main reasons for their desire to leave is the safety and security of their wealth.

The BBC recently asked one rich entrepreneur in China why he sought residency right in Singapore. And it perfectly illustrates the point:

But he admits that for many of his wealthy friends it is a sense of insecurity which is leading them to ponder a life outside China.

“Most of them think I’ve got so much money here but one day maybe the government will change the policies and take it all back,” he says.



China’s rigid and opaque political system is perhaps one reason for the wealth-drain, particularly in a year in which there is due to be a changing of the guard at the very top of the Communist Party.

There are certainly lifestyle concerns too. Like Louie Huang the wealthy are often seeking cleaner air and a better education for their children.

Add to that the fears that China’s decade-long economic boom may be losing steam and it is perhaps not surprising that China’s rich are on the run
.


In case you are not already familiar with Prof. Victor Shih’s theory about capital flight from China, enough capital outflow from China (US$1 trillion or more) would cause huge liquidity problems in Chinese banking system, and the wealthiest 1% of Chinese households would be enough to cause that shift of capital should they decided to leave the country, move the money away, or whatever. And that shift might be happening already (albeit rather slowly), as manifested in the slow but consistent money outflow away from China since late last year, which, as we said, is already tightening liquidity in the banking system, now necessitating multiple rounds of liquidity injection in China.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/jP4AvxwP5To?feature=player_embedded" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/jP4AvxwP5To?feature=player_embedded</a>

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2012/08/rich-chinese-flee/

« Last Edit: August 23, 2012, 07:24:01 AM by JoeP »
just my straight shooting honest opinion

Offline g

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Money Fleeing China
« Reply #203 on: August 23, 2012, 07:26:20 AM »
That is not news. A survey did point this out more than a year ago, and survey after survey is pointing to the same conclusion. And they are going everywhere, sometimes to places that we have not heard of, like Prince Edward Island, not to mention other more popular destinations, like Vancouver, Australia, or… whatever…

The US isn't on this short list.      ::)                           




























Offline EndIsNigh

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #204 on: April 06, 2017, 12:09:04 PM »
Quote
I suspect he means MALTHUS, not Darwin. But, either way, the deal is that
things have turned out opposite to that prediction. More food ("surplus of vital
resources") has NOT led to an increase in the rate of population growth. Rather,
what we're seeing is a decrease.  As I said up thread, fertility has fallen off a
cliff in all those places where it was supposed to be exploding:  India, China,
elsewhere in Asia. In contrast, fertility remains very high in places, like southern
Africa,  where there is a persistent DEFICIT of vital resources -- the opposite of
what Dilworth et al suggest.

The observable effect has been consistent with the vicious circle principle.  We saw an initial increase in the growth rate due to the surplus delivered by the Green Revolution.  As population rose to meet the available surplus, thereby reducing it, the growth rate correspondingly fell and continues to do so.  With the next turning of the vicious cycle, the same process will occur.  GMO foods are one example of our aim to deliver yet another surplus which will enable yet another spike in the growth rate.  We must also keep in perspective what we're talking about with reduction in the growth rate when even small percentages deliver high total population figures.  Despite your citation of slowing growth rates, we're still on target for 10 billion people by   Yes a deficit of vital resources is a problem, but so is a surplus.  These are the two extremes of the scale.  As usual, balance is the key.

Offline EndIsNigh

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #205 on: April 06, 2017, 12:09:08 PM »
Alan,

Dilworth's premise, that the vicious circle principle humankind is engaged in certainly delivers results that may appear positive in the short-term, as you've pointed out, but over the long timescale of human development those gains erode, generally as population and consumption increase, requiring new solutions to the even greater and more numerous problems that emerge.  As those problems accellerate and our ability to respond to them is reduced by their sheer number and magnitude, we reach a point where the whole thing comes apart.  It's like being on a treadmill and the speed continually increases until we can no longer keep up.  Is that not what we see today?  How is Dilworth wrong in explaining the VCP and its' ability to describe how we arrived at this point?  If those greater problems indicate a trajectory toward species extinction, as it already has for many hundreds of species through our activities, it makes sense to change the trajectory through radical action, not piecemeal reactionary action.  Not through the 'baby steps' you've claimed is necessary.  Dilworth doesn't see that happening, nor do I, and therefore the odds of overshoot reaching it's inevitable conclusion are very high.  The hubris of believing humankind can escape the very laws of nature is too great.

Add to all this the fact we haven't even begun to take into account the ecological dynamic equilibrium Dilworth describes in his book that we rely on for our continued existence, which practically all human activity continually seeks to undermine.  You think we've got a century to lower our footprint, yet the widespread disruption of dynamic equilibrium of ecosystems can result in state changes that occur VERY rapidly.

I suppose you can dispute the conclusions, but you'll have to read the book to attempt to dispute the principle.  He is attempting to explain the principles at work that have caused us to arrive where we are today.  Of course he understands we're not going to simply go back to the stone age overnight, but unless we seriously address the principles he's demonstrated and seek to overcome them, we'll continue to be driven by them.  It is a radical idea that goes against all accepted thinking, but then so are most revolutionary concepts.

Speaking of revolutions, I'm glad you brought up the Green Revolution, since it's a perfect example of the above.  I realise you'll cite declining poverty rates in recent years, but that's consistent with the VCP.  As we struggle to maintain food production in the face of a massive population increase following the Green Revolution, due to the many issues that confront us we can expect to see a resurgence of poverty and its' attendant problems.  Except now we've got BILLIONS more to feed.  The Green Revolution is an example of the reaction principle, in which humans address the immediate concern, in this case starvation, without addressing the root cause.  So yes the Green Revolution appears to have succeeded in the short term, but it will be an even bigger failure in the long term.  I'm not sure how you can reconcile a billion lives saved today if it results in billions lost tomorrow.

Quote
On the surface!?  What is superficial about starving, living in filth, and dying
of some terrible infection?

I'm not disputing the nature of those very real and awful conditions, on the contrary, when the long term result is an even larger number of people suffering from the above mentioned maladies than if we had addressed the root problems, I would argue it is a less than desirable result.  It seems that you're struggling to grasp this concept.

Quote
I believe I've read enough of Dilworth. He makes some good points, but none of
them are very original, and they are peppered with crazy stuff.

Instead of claiming 'crazy stuff' how about you actually refute his position?  Besides, you've made some good points too, but not all of them are good.  Maybe I should do the same and just say I've read enough of Alan.

Dilworth on the Green Revolution:

Quote
On the VCP, population growth generally is the result of there being a surplus of vital resources, which leads to or is combined with a weakening of internal population checks. This growth then eats away at the surplus until the population arrives at a state where vital resources are scarce. The higher the level of fertility and/or the lower the level of mortality, the faster this state of affairs will come about, and the more pronounced it will be.

Not only has world population since the 1950s grown fastest in the Third World, but the vast majority of the people living there are already at the bottom of the global power-hierarchy, making the effects of population growth even worse for them. The result has been a high mortality rate and much suffering.

Given the VCP, the reasonable attempt at an antidote to this state of affairs would be to try to establish or re-establish internal population checks so as to reduce the size of the population and bring it into equilibrium with its source of food. The path actually followed, however, was one that simply took the Third World further round with the vicious circle. With the ostensible ultimate aim of reducing Third World hunger by producing more food (cereals, starting with rice), in the late 1950s the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations set up the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the (US-controlled) Philippines, which has since grown to be the world’s largest rice research agency. In this regard both common sense and the VCP tell us that, without the reinstatement of internal population checks, given sufficient breeding sites an increase in the amount of food in the Third World would only be pouring oil on the fire, and lead to population growth together with a further weakening of whatever checks as might still exist, with the result that the same problem should simply recur, only on a more intractable scale. As C. G. Darwin suggested already before the Green Revolution, if a larger quantity of food should at some time be accessible thanks to some discovery, for example in agriculture, then the size of the population will quickly rise to the new level, and afterwards development will continue as before, with the difference that the marginal starving group will constitute a larger proportion of the greater population. What Darwin describes is of course an expression of the pioneering principle, manifest through the vicious circle’s moving from the having of a surplus of vital resources on to population growth.

This seems so obvious that one can wonder whether the ostensible reason for the IRRI project was the real reason. And it becomes clear that it was not. The real reason for the project was not to help the poor, but to increase the power of the capitalist political bloc centred on the United States, and the personal wealth of the capitalists involved. Thus with these ultimate ends in view, the direct aim of the IRRI was, using extant Third World varieties of rice, to breed more highly productive strains. Control of these strains was to fall into the hands of American capitalists; and control of the countries producing them into the hands of the capitalist bloc. From their point of view population growth in the relevant countries was good, not bad. It ensured a market for the capitalists’ products, and provided manpower if a large military force were needed in conflicts with socialist states. What they forgot was that whatever patent they may have had on these strains didn’t hold in the communist bloc, so the communists could and did produce them themselves. We shall see a change in this regard in the next agricultural revolution – to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

What were produced were rice varieties that required copious quantities of mineral fertilisers and poisons, large amounts of which American companies were manufacturing in the postwar years, at the same time as they were scouting for markets overseas. So started the Green Revolution.

Outside of Mexico, the Green Revolution received its greatest support on the frontiers of the communist world, from Turkey to Korea, where it recommended itself as a way of blunting the appeal of socialist revolution, at its height in the 1960s. The rice programme in particular largely stemmed from American anxieties about the possible spread of Chinese communism after 1949. Meanwhile, socialist societies – China, Vietnam, and Cuba – embraced the idea of scientifically improved crops with equal vigour. High-yield rice strengthened communist China as much as it did Asia’s island fringe, which America relied upon to contain China. In several of its manifestations, then, the Green Revolution was a child of the Cold War, and may be said to have achieved its economic but not its political goal.

Where the Green Revolution was implemented, farmers came to use heavier and heavier doses of biocides. This efficiently selected for resistant pests – as antibiotics did for bacteria. And as of 1985, roughly one million people had suffered acute poisoning from pesticides, two-thirds of them agricultural workers. The vast fertiliser requirements of the Green Revolution led to the eutrophication of lakes and rivers. Meanwhile the necessary irrigation helped drive the huge dam-building programmes of China, India, Mexico and elsewhere. Before the Green Revolution, farmers raised thousands of strains of wheat around the world. After it, they increasingly used only a few, and became fettered to a system based on a necessarily diminishing source of energy which required constantly increasing quantities of water.

The Green Revolution did not engineer an income redistribution towards Third World farmers; nor did it achieve food independence except for a few countries.  Until 1981 the Third World had long been a net exporter of food, after 1981 it was a net importer.

Of course the people on whom the Western capitalists foisted the Green Revolution were themselves much better attuned to their long-term needs than the capitalists were, not that the capitalists really cared. Western power simply usurped the ecologically more benevolent lifestyle.

With its new strains, and the fertilisers, biocides, mechanisation and increased irrigation they required, world grain production doubled between 1960 and the late 1980s. Most of the world had been ‘saved’ by becoming more energy-intensive, complex and polluting. And for this, the scientist who led the teams responsible won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. This is highly ironic, for the increase in food, leading to an increase in population and thereby population pressure, worked rather towards decreasing the likelihood of peace.

Not unaware of the problematic nature of the results of his efforts, the winner of the Prize himself said: “Perhaps through this development we can buy 25 to 30 years of time. [But u]nless there is a breakthrough in slowing population growth on a world-wide basis, the world will disintegrate.” Yes, the world will disintegrate; but you should have thought about slowing population growth before introducing your more productive seeds and their poisons on the market.

As clearly expressed by Forrester (and as implied by Malthus):

Quote
Many programs – for example the development of more productive grains and agricultural methods – are spoken of as ‘buying time’ until population control becomes effective. But the process of buying time reduces the pressures that force population control. … Trying to raise quality of life without intentionally creating compensating pressures to prevent a rise in population density will be self-defeating. Efforts to improve quality of life will fail until effective means have been implemented for limiting both population and industrialization. f we persist in treating only the symptoms and not the causes, the result will be to increase the magnitude of the ultimate threat and reduce our capability to respond when we no longer have more space and resources to invade.

Another negative aspect of this ‘saving’ was that its use of poisons required monoculture cultivation, opening crops to potential destruction by e.g. weather, at the same time as it reduced biodiversity. Also, the ploughing that was often required raised the temperature of the soil in the spring. In temperate regions this would have increased the activity of beneficial soil organisms; but in the tropics and subtropics it had the opposite effect, and is largely responsible for the nine times greater soil erosion there. Tropical soils are not amenable to sustainable agrarian agriculture, only to horticulture, just as were the non-riverine soils in Mesopotamia; once again, the over-exploitation of soil resources using agrarian agriculture results in soil degradation. Capitalists, spurred by the profit motive, nevertheless support the implementation of agrarian technology in the tropics.

Nevertheless, as noted, world grain production doubled in the short term thanks to these efforts. And population growth followed suit. As Catton puts it, the Green Revolution burdened the 20th century with almost another doubling of world population.

In the cradle of the Green Revolution in India there are today vast stretches of land where grass will no longer grow, the water is no longer drinkable due to contamination from mineral fertilisers, aquifers have dried up, soils are degraded, and biodiversity is fast vanishing, the agricultural result being declining rice yields. In 2001, in Wayanad, millions of fish died because of the presence in the water of the copper-based fungicide Furadan, sprayed on pepper gardens to control the wilt disease. And at the same time pests developed resistance to the poisons, leading to the development and use of new ones.

The Green Revolution not only increased the profits of the capitalists who owned the more productive seeds, but it also increased the profits of the large-scale landowners in the Third World, for whom the major financial investments required in e.g. tractors were both possible and paid off at least in the short term. In India, the poorest farmers, each of whom tilled perhaps half a hectare of land, could not afford these extras, and were forced to sell their farms and migrate to the cities, while the richer farmers increased the size of their holdings at the expense of the poor, and became even richer. (This brings to mind the definition of foreign aid as the money poor people in rich countries give to rich people in poor countries.) Thus another ‘achievement’ of the Green Revolution was to enrich two or three per cent of the wheat and rice farmers enormously, leaving the vast majority of subsistence farmers in the lurch. The increasing incidences of suicide among farmers in India lend testimony to this failure of high-tech agriculture. Thus, as in the horticultural and agrarian eras, while the poor continue to live barely above subsistence level – and some of them under it – the increase in the amount of food led to population growth.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 419-423). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Offline EndIsNigh

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #206 on: April 06, 2017, 12:09:13 PM »
Alan,

Dilworth's premise, that the vicious circle principle humankind is engaged in certainly delivers results that may appear positive in the short-term, as you've pointed out, but over the long timescale of human development those gains erode, generally as population and consumption increase, requiring new solutions to the even greater and more numerous problems that emerge.  As those problems accellerate and our ability to respond to them is reduced by their sheer number and magnitude, we reach a point where the whole thing comes apart.  It's like being on a treadmill and the speed continually increases until we can no longer keep up.  Is that not what we see today?  How is Dilworth wrong in explaining the VCP and its' ability to describe how we arrived at this point?  If those greater problems indicate a trajectory toward species extinction, as it already has for many hundreds of species through our activities, it makes sense to change the trajectory through radical action, not piecemeal reactionary action.  Not through the 'baby steps' you've claimed is necessary.  Dilworth doesn't see that happening, nor do I, and therefore the odds of overshoot reaching it's inevitable conclusion are very high.  The hubris of believing humankind can escape the very laws of nature is too great.

Add to all this the fact we haven't even begun to take into account the ecological dynamic equilibrium Dilworth describes in his book that we rely on for our continued existence, which practically all human activity continually seeks to undermine.  You think we've got a century to lower our footprint, yet the widespread disruption of dynamic equilibrium of ecosystems can result in state changes that occur VERY rapidly.

I suppose you can dispute the conclusions, but you'll have to read the book to attempt to dispute the principle.  He is attempting to explain the principles at work that have caused us to arrive where we are today.  Of course he understands we're not going to simply go back to the stone age overnight, but unless we seriously address the principles he's demonstrated and seek to overcome them, we'll continue to be driven by them.  It is a radical idea that goes against all accepted thinking, but then so are most revolutionary concepts.

Speaking of revolutions, I'm glad you brought up the Green Revolution, since it's a perfect example of the above.  I realise you'll cite declining poverty rates in recent years, but that's consistent with the VCP.  As we struggle to maintain food production in the face of a massive population increase following the Green Revolution, due to the many issues that confront us we can expect to see a resurgence of poverty and its' attendant problems.  Except now we've got BILLIONS more to feed.  The Green Revolution is an example of the reaction principle, in which humans address the immediate concern, in this case starvation, without addressing the root cause.  So yes the Green Revolution appears to have succeeded in the short term, but it will be an even bigger failure in the long term.  I'm not sure how you can reconcile a billion lives saved today if it results in billions lost tomorrow.

Quote
On the surface!?  What is superficial about starving, living in filth, and dying
of some terrible infection?

I'm not disputing the nature of those very real and awful conditions, on the contrary, when the long term result is an even larger number of people suffering from the above mentioned maladies than if we had addressed the root problems, I would argue it is a less than desirable result.  It seems that you're struggling to grasp this concept.

Quote
I believe I've read enough of Dilworth. He makes some good points, but none of
them are very original, and they are peppered with crazy stuff.

Instead of claiming 'crazy stuff' how about you actually refute his position?  Besides, you've made some good points too, but not all of them are good.  Maybe I should do the same and just say I've read enough of Alan.

Dilworth on the Green Revolution:

Quote
On the VCP, population growth generally is the result of there being a surplus of vital resources, which leads to or is combined with a weakening of internal population checks. This growth then eats away at the surplus until the population arrives at a state where vital resources are scarce. The higher the level of fertility and/or the lower the level of mortality, the faster this state of affairs will come about, and the more pronounced it will be.

Not only has world population since the 1950s grown fastest in the Third World, but the vast majority of the people living there are already at the bottom of the global power-hierarchy, making the effects of population growth even worse for them. The result has been a high mortality rate and much suffering.

Given the VCP, the reasonable attempt at an antidote to this state of affairs would be to try to establish or re-establish internal population checks so as to reduce the size of the population and bring it into equilibrium with its source of food. The path actually followed, however, was one that simply took the Third World further round with the vicious circle. With the ostensible ultimate aim of reducing Third World hunger by producing more food (cereals, starting with rice), in the late 1950s the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations set up the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the (US-controlled) Philippines, which has since grown to be the world’s largest rice research agency. In this regard both common sense and the VCP tell us that, without the reinstatement of internal population checks, given sufficient breeding sites an increase in the amount of food in the Third World would only be pouring oil on the fire, and lead to population growth together with a further weakening of whatever checks as might still exist, with the result that the same problem should simply recur, only on a more intractable scale. As C. G. Darwin suggested already before the Green Revolution, if a larger quantity of food should at some time be accessible thanks to some discovery, for example in agriculture, then the size of the population will quickly rise to the new level, and afterwards development will continue as before, with the difference that the marginal starving group will constitute a larger proportion of the greater population. What Darwin describes is of course an expression of the pioneering principle, manifest through the vicious circle’s moving from the having of a surplus of vital resources on to population growth.

This seems so obvious that one can wonder whether the ostensible reason for the IRRI project was the real reason. And it becomes clear that it was not. The real reason for the project was not to help the poor, but to increase the power of the capitalist political bloc centred on the United States, and the personal wealth of the capitalists involved. Thus with these ultimate ends in view, the direct aim of the IRRI was, using extant Third World varieties of rice, to breed more highly productive strains. Control of these strains was to fall into the hands of American capitalists; and control of the countries producing them into the hands of the capitalist bloc. From their point of view population growth in the relevant countries was good, not bad. It ensured a market for the capitalists’ products, and provided manpower if a large military force were needed in conflicts with socialist states. What they forgot was that whatever patent they may have had on these strains didn’t hold in the communist bloc, so the communists could and did produce them themselves. We shall see a change in this regard in the next agricultural revolution – to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

What were produced were rice varieties that required copious quantities of mineral fertilisers and poisons, large amounts of which American companies were manufacturing in the postwar years, at the same time as they were scouting for markets overseas. So started the Green Revolution.

Outside of Mexico, the Green Revolution received its greatest support on the frontiers of the communist world, from Turkey to Korea, where it recommended itself as a way of blunting the appeal of socialist revolution, at its height in the 1960s. The rice programme in particular largely stemmed from American anxieties about the possible spread of Chinese communism after 1949. Meanwhile, socialist societies – China, Vietnam, and Cuba – embraced the idea of scientifically improved crops with equal vigour. High-yield rice strengthened communist China as much as it did Asia’s island fringe, which America relied upon to contain China. In several of its manifestations, then, the Green Revolution was a child of the Cold War, and may be said to have achieved its economic but not its political goal.

Where the Green Revolution was implemented, farmers came to use heavier and heavier doses of biocides. This efficiently selected for resistant pests – as antibiotics did for bacteria. And as of 1985, roughly one million people had suffered acute poisoning from pesticides, two-thirds of them agricultural workers. The vast fertiliser requirements of the Green Revolution led to the eutrophication of lakes and rivers. Meanwhile the necessary irrigation helped drive the huge dam-building programmes of China, India, Mexico and elsewhere. Before the Green Revolution, farmers raised thousands of strains of wheat around the world. After it, they increasingly used only a few, and became fettered to a system based on a necessarily diminishing source of energy which required constantly increasing quantities of water.

The Green Revolution did not engineer an income redistribution towards Third World farmers; nor did it achieve food independence except for a few countries.  Until 1981 the Third World had long been a net exporter of food, after 1981 it was a net importer.

Of course the people on whom the Western capitalists foisted the Green Revolution were themselves much better attuned to their long-term needs than the capitalists were, not that the capitalists really cared. Western power simply usurped the ecologically more benevolent lifestyle.

With its new strains, and the fertilisers, biocides, mechanisation and increased irrigation they required, world grain production doubled between 1960 and the late 1980s. Most of the world had been ‘saved’ by becoming more energy-intensive, complex and polluting. And for this, the scientist who led the teams responsible won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. This is highly ironic, for the increase in food, leading to an increase in population and thereby population pressure, worked rather towards decreasing the likelihood of peace.

Not unaware of the problematic nature of the results of his efforts, the winner of the Prize himself said: “Perhaps through this development we can buy 25 to 30 years of time. [But u]nless there is a breakthrough in slowing population growth on a world-wide basis, the world will disintegrate.” Yes, the world will disintegrate; but you should have thought about slowing population growth before introducing your more productive seeds and their poisons on the market.

As clearly expressed by Forrester (and as implied by Malthus):

Quote
Many programs – for example the development of more productive grains and agricultural methods – are spoken of as ‘buying time’ until population control becomes effective. But the process of buying time reduces the pressures that force population control. … Trying to raise quality of life without intentionally creating compensating pressures to prevent a rise in population density will be self-defeating. Efforts to improve quality of life will fail until effective means have been implemented for limiting both population and industrialization. f we persist in treating only the symptoms and not the causes, the result will be to increase the magnitude of the ultimate threat and reduce our capability to respond when we no longer have more space and resources to invade.

Another negative aspect of this ‘saving’ was that its use of poisons required monoculture cultivation, opening crops to potential destruction by e.g. weather, at the same time as it reduced biodiversity. Also, the ploughing that was often required raised the temperature of the soil in the spring. In temperate regions this would have increased the activity of beneficial soil organisms; but in the tropics and subtropics it had the opposite effect, and is largely responsible for the nine times greater soil erosion there. Tropical soils are not amenable to sustainable agrarian agriculture, only to horticulture, just as were the non-riverine soils in Mesopotamia; once again, the over-exploitation of soil resources using agrarian agriculture results in soil degradation. Capitalists, spurred by the profit motive, nevertheless support the implementation of agrarian technology in the tropics.

Nevertheless, as noted, world grain production doubled in the short term thanks to these efforts. And population growth followed suit. As Catton puts it, the Green Revolution burdened the 20th century with almost another doubling of world population.

In the cradle of the Green Revolution in India there are today vast stretches of land where grass will no longer grow, the water is no longer drinkable due to contamination from mineral fertilisers, aquifers have dried up, soils are degraded, and biodiversity is fast vanishing, the agricultural result being declining rice yields. In 2001, in Wayanad, millions of fish died because of the presence in the water of the copper-based fungicide Furadan, sprayed on pepper gardens to control the wilt disease. And at the same time pests developed resistance to the poisons, leading to the development and use of new ones.

The Green Revolution not only increased the profits of the capitalists who owned the more productive seeds, but it also increased the profits of the large-scale landowners in the Third World, for whom the major financial investments required in e.g. tractors were both possible and paid off at least in the short term. In India, the poorest farmers, each of whom tilled perhaps half a hectare of land, could not afford these extras, and were forced to sell their farms and migrate to the cities, while the richer farmers increased the size of their holdings at the expense of the poor, and became even richer. (This brings to mind the definition of foreign aid as the money poor people in rich countries give to rich people in poor countries.) Thus another ‘achievement’ of the Green Revolution was to enrich two or three per cent of the wheat and rice farmers enormously, leaving the vast majority of subsistence farmers in the lurch. The increasing incidences of suicide among farmers in India lend testimony to this failure of high-tech agriculture. Thus, as in the horticultural and agrarian eras, while the poor continue to live barely above subsistence level – and some of them under it – the increase in the amount of food led to population growth.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 423). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 422-423). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 422). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 422). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 422). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 421-422). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 420-421). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 420). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 419-420). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 419). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition. [/quote]




Offline EndIsNigh

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #207 on: April 06, 2017, 12:09:26 PM »
Quote
Below that are all the problems of underdevelopment, including malnutrition, disease, non-sanitation, high infant mortality, high fertility (and thus, eventually, population), and so on. ... But the problems of under-development are no less real, and are suffered still by many more people than those of us with the opposite problem. Sub-saharan Africa, for example!

It certainly might appear that way on the surface.  But you don't have to dig very deep to find the correlation between our development and the problems you cite in your sub-saharan Africa example.  What follows is a more realistic assessment of the third world:

Quote
The Third World As Schumacher says, problems grow faster than their solutions – in the rich countries as much as the poor. Following him, we should say that there is nothing in the experience of the last 50 years to suggest that modern technology can really help us alleviate such problems as that of world poverty, not to mention the problem of unemployment. As Hawken has pointed out, literally thousands of native cultures around the world have been destroyed by economic development. Lost with those cultures have been languages, art and crafts, family structures, land claims, traditional rites and oral histories, and traditional methods of healing, obtaining food, and population control. And, as pointed out above, the improvement of the situation of the poor in the Third World is not even the intention of those that stand behind decisions to implement large capital-intensive projects there. The intention, rather, is to make as much money as possible. This applies both to the wealthy capitalists in industrialised states who invest in Third World projects, and to those who have power in the Third World.

As suggested by Baran (in 1957), the ‘backward’ world has always represented the indispensable hinterland of the highly developed capitalist West, supplying it with many important raw materials, thereby providing their corporations with vast profits and investment outlets. Thus the ruling class in the United States (and elsewhere) is bitterly opposed to the industrialisation of the so-called ‘source countries,’ and to the emergence of integrated processing economies in colonial and semi-colonial areas. This opposition appears regardless of the nature of the regime in the underdeveloped country that seeks to reduce the foreign grip on its economy and provide for a measure of independent development.

As regards the phenomenon of increasing social inequality, it is important to appreciate that it should continue so long as the vicious circle is able to continue turning without hindrance. However, such events as an inordinate increase in a society’s surplus, as in ancient Athens and modern industrialised nations, or a social revolution, as in France and Russia, can lead to an increase in social equality. But such increases are invariably directly followed by constant decreases, unless and until such an event should occur again.

That the non-vital needs of the powerful living in Third World countries also strongly influence those countries’ domestic economics is emphasised by Georgescu-Roegen. He noted, already in 1971, that Third World countries’ economic plans, claimed to bring economic progress through industrialisation, are, more often than not, rationalisations of the ulterior motives of the elite in the country in question. The inflation in Latin America at that time, for example, did not answer ‘the aspiration of the masses to improve their standard of consumption,’ as one economic expert claimed, but the aspirations of the upper classes for a still more luxurious lifestyle. Similarly, the leaders of underdeveloped countries are not anxious to limit the populations of their own lower-class majorities, because cheap and abundant labour is a benefit to the ruling class. According to Georgescu-Roegen, and in keeping with the VCP, the same lip service to the welfare of the masses concealed the aspirations of the powerful classes in many a planned economy at the beginning of the 1970s, and, we might add, the phenomenon has continued to the present day.

The majority of today’s underdeveloped nations are destined never to become developed, and the Third World would have been better off without international investment and aid. As Goldsmith says: “The fact is that trade with the Third World is negative aid – it involves selling the indispensable in exchange for the totally superfluous. If I were running a Third World country, the first thing I would do would be to cut myself off from the industrial world and foster self-sufficiency at every level down to that of the village. In fact, one should not be developing the Third World but de-developing it.” And as noted by Carr-Saunders, “there is a considerable amount of evidence to the effect that upon the whole before the advent of the white man the African races were healthy and long-lived.”

There has been no appreciable improvement in the economies of Third World countries after World War II. As Schumacher noted already in 1965: “In many places in the world today the poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer, and the established processes of foreign aid and development planning appear to be unable to overcome this tendency;” and again in 1973: “For two-thirds of mankind, the aim of a ‘full and happy life’ with steady improvements of their lot, if not actually receding, seems to be as far away as ever.” As aptly put by Boulding in 1972: “The interesting thing about developing countries is that they are not developing.” And, more than 35 years later, they are still not developing.

Some 50 years ago these countries were politely and optimistically named the ‘developing countries,’ and the 1960s were to be known as the ‘Development Decade.’ But ‘development’ here meant growth in GNP, which was to be accomplished through increasing resource exportation – as taken up in the previous chapter. This growth was to be supported by growth in the GNP of the industrialised countries – the more the industrialised countries grew, the more resources they would import from the Third World, thus benefiting Third World economies. Thus, for example, the Report of the 1970 Commission on International Development (the ‘Pearson Report’) submitted to the World Bank considered the expansion of exports – mainly non-renewable minerals, including oil – the main criterion of success for ‘developing’ countries. African and other Third World countries were to develop economically through the wealthy people in each country making increasing profits by exporting ever greater quantities of their respective country’s resources, and creating jobs for labourers in the process. But as Malthus said already in 1798:

Quote
Foreign commerce adds to the wealth of a state, according to Dr Adam Smith’s definition, though not according to the definition of the [French] economists. Its principal use, and the reason, probably, that it has in general been held in such high estimation is that it adds greatly to the external power of a nation or to its power of commanding the labour of other countries; but it will be found, upon a near examination, to contribute but little to the increase of the internal funds for the maintenance of labour, and consequently but little to the happiness of the greatest part of society.

Malthus’ reasoning here is that it is only a growth in the quantity of vital resources available to the poor that can improve their lot (and then, of course, only in the short term). What we have is the making of each Third World country into a banana republic, which may here be understood to be a poor country economically dependent on exporting unprocessed goods/resources to industrialised countries. As Daly says:

Quote
[T]he vision of globalization requires the rich to grow rapidly in order to provide markets in which the poor can sell their exports. It is thought that the only option poor countries have is to export to the rich, and to do that they have to accept foreign investment from corporations who know how to produce the high-quality stuff that the rich want.

And as Trainer says, if most money can be made producing carnations to airfreight to European supermarkets, or fattening cattle to airfreight to American hamburger chains, then in a market system that is what will be done. And Kuenen: “At present the technologically underequipped nations are selling their natural wealth for short-term gains.”

It is ironic however that governments call for economic growth to reduce poverty while, as noted earlier, there has been massive poverty in the richest nation in the world throughout a 65-year period of tremendous and unrepeatable economic growth. (It may be noted that the wealthiest man in America owns more than the poorest 100 million Americans combined.) How then is economic growth, in particular such growth as is based on exports, to reduce poverty? For the people living in these countries, what they produce for themselves and for each other is of infinitely greater importance to them than what they produce for foreigners. The promotion of export-oriented development has been one of the most disastrous Third World policies in the past two decades, in fact increasing poverty.

The whole thing is a scam – part of the larger scam of the world’s need for economic growth – that allows powerful capitalists to make profits stripping the Third World of what it has to offer. Thus the status quo from colonial times is maintained, with the economically most powerful making the largest possible profits. Only now it is transnational corporations that are sucking as much as they can out of these (and all other) countries, rather than such nationally-bound companies as the East India and Hudson’s Bay Companies.

The fundamental ‘mistake’ which neoclassical economic theory makes with regard to the Third World is the assumption that simply encouraging as much economic growth as possible will result in satisfactory development. In fact the indiscriminate, sheer-growth conception of development causes immense havoc among the poor. In the form of increasing exports, it has stripped them from the land and moved them to urban slums, it has made large numbers poorer and hungrier, and it has destroyed their forests through the building of dams. According to a report of the international Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, below-cost imports drive Third World farmers out of their local markets, and if they do not have access to a safety net, they have to abandon their land in search of other employment.

When it comes to the provision of aid, the West has given with one hand, and taken more with the other. In effect, more aid is going to the rich than to the poor. It is the normal functioning of the global market-economy which delivers the available resources to a few and deprives the majority. The drive to maximise output, sales and returns on investment inevitably leads to the focusing of productive capacity on the already rich.

The conventional growth and trickle-down view accelerates the operation of the very mechanism that is responsible for the problem of poverty. As expressed by John Browett, in keeping with Boulding, while transnational corporations may be developing, the people living in the newly industrialising countries are not. While trickle down occurred in the industrialised countries from 1850, it has never extended to the Third World. And as suggested by Trainer in 1989, the lack of trickle down in the Third World may well be the most clearly established proposition to have emerged from three decades of development research. In fact, as intimated above, conventional growth strategies often result in the very opposite of trickle down, an effect most tragically evident when the ‘modernisation’ of agriculture enriches planters, who then increase export crops by terminating the leases of peasant farmers.

The conception of development as growth through increasing exports does not best serve the interests of classes other than the elite. What is required here is not that the rich world charitably redistribute some of its wealth to the poor; it is that it should stop taking such a disproportionate share of what the world has to offer.

Conventional development theory and practice is capitalist (bourgeois) development theory and practice. To conceive of development as indiscriminate economic growth is to opt for the view which most suits the capitalist class, since it is in their interest to maximise the amount of capital being exchanged, and not have to bother about whether capital really ought to go into things that are appropriate but not very profitable, and not into things that are inappropriate but profitable. Foreign investors never go into the Third World to invest in clean drinking water, mobile health clinics, or cheap staple foods for impoverished people – because there is little profit to be made from these sorts of ventures.

It should also be pointed out here that the projects funded in the name of aiding the Third World, apart from economically supporting those engaged in carrying them out, are large-scale, unsustainable and in fact ecologically destructive. These projects, such as the building of large dams, are drafted in an atmosphere in which economic growth is to be striven for as the ultimate goal, and ecological consequences are either ignored or dismissed.

C. G. Darwin provides an example: the Sukkur dam (completed by the British in 1932) spread the water of the Indus over a great area and transformed a large part of the desert into a garden. According to generally accepted values, this was a great blessing for humankind, since people who earlier were on the verge of starvation could now be fed. But this was not what happened; after a few years the only effect was, as in the case of the Green Revolution, that there was a large rather than a small number of people on the verge of starvation.

Similarly, the Aswan High Dam, designed by Soviet engineers in the late 1950s, stops 98 per cent of the silt that had formerly coated the inhabited part of Egypt. Without this top dressing of fertile silt, Egyptian agriculture had to turn to mineral fertilisers, of which Egypt became one of the world’s top users, with much of the Aswan’s electric power going to fertiliser factories.  The Nile Delta began to shrink. The lack of silt nutrients destroyed sardine and shrimp fisheries in the Mediterranean that had employed 30,000 Egyptians. Without the flushing of the flood, the irrigation canals of Egypt became an ideal habitat for the water hyacinth, a beautiful but pernicious weed. The snails that carry schistosomiasis – a debilitating disease that attacks the liver, urinary tract, or intestines – love water hyacinth, need stagnant water, and consequently flourished in the new Egypt. Schistosomiasis infection rates increased five- to tenfold among rural Egyptians with the transition to perennial irrigation, and after 1975 approached 100 per cent in many communities. The dam also swamped and corroded the cultural heritage of the Nile Valley. However it at the same time eliminated the costly consequences of irregular Nile floods, and supported a doubling of the Egyptian population. Thus was destroyed the only large, ecologically sustainable irrigation system that ever existed – one which had maintained millions for five millennia and made Egypt the richest land in the Mediterranean from the Pharaohs to the industrial revolution.

The modernisation of Third World agriculture also means the increasing commercialisation of food production, and can consist in little more than converting land from production by the poor for use by the poor, to production by rich farmers for use by the rich in the Third World and by consumers in the rich world.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 445-451). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.


Quote
Why? Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal ofsteady state can do any good? In my view, ALL progress toward anything (at
least any material thing) involves incremental steps.

I accept the principle but not the conclusion.  I haven't seen any evidence that China is targeting a steady-state economy.  You've shown they are (were) targeting lower growth, which is the least they should be doing given their feverish growth rates.  But there's no indication they're targeting a steady-state.

Quote
Jeavon's paradox is an amusing idea, but it is not taken seriously. It has
no credibility as a general phenomenon.

It is still debated but has not been conclusively disproven.

Quote
Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).
Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

Geez! That's a tad stringent, don't you think?

Maybe, but don't blame me, I didn't make us that way.  Show me how I'm wrong.

Quote
You first. Set an example for the rest to follow.

This is no way addresses the points made and is irrelevant to their validity.  Besides, you're only assuming I'm not.

As for the social unrest and inequality issue brought up in your most recent post, overpopulation is clearly at the root of that problem. 

You argue that China has come so far since the revolution, which may be true, but I'm taking a wider view of our predicament as a species and how that applies to your analysis.  Everything you point to that China is doing is consistent with the vicious circle and reaction principles.  They may be tweaking it a little so it looks different than the Western efforts, but as long as these principles are in affect, the results will be much the same.  I'm describing instincts and characteristics of the species that underpin all human activity.  China, being populated by humans, is not exempt.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.org/blog/2012/07/20/too-smart-for-our-own-good-and-too-dumb-to-change/

Offline EndIsNigh

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #208 on: April 06, 2017, 12:09:45 PM »
Quote
Below that are all the problems of underdevelopment, including malnutrition, disease, non-sanitation, high infant mortality, high fertility (and thus, eventually, population), and so on. ... But the problems of under-development are no less real, and are suffered still by many more people than those of us with the opposite problem. Sub-saharan Africa, for example!

It certainly might appear that way on the surface.  But you don't have to dig very deep to find the correlation between our development and the problems you cite in your sub-saharan Africa example.  What follows is a more realistic assessment of the third world:

Quote
The Third World As Schumacher says, problems grow faster than their solutions – in the rich countries as much as the poor. Following him, we should say that there is nothing in the experience of the last 50 years to suggest that modern technology can really help us alleviate such problems as that of world poverty, not to mention the problem of unemployment. As Hawken has pointed out, literally thousands of native cultures around the world have been destroyed by economic development. Lost with those cultures have been languages, art and crafts, family structures, land claims, traditional rites and oral histories, and traditional methods of healing, obtaining food, and population control. And, as pointed out above, the improvement of the situation of the poor in the Third World is not even the intention of those that stand behind decisions to implement large capital-intensive projects there. The intention, rather, is to make as much money as possible. This applies both to the wealthy capitalists in industrialised states who invest in Third World projects, and to those who have power in the Third World.

As suggested by Baran (in 1957), the ‘backward’ world has always represented the indispensable hinterland of the highly developed capitalist West, supplying it with many important raw materials, thereby providing their corporations with vast profits and investment outlets. Thus the ruling class in the United States (and elsewhere) is bitterly opposed to the industrialisation of the so-called ‘source countries,’ and to the emergence of integrated processing economies in colonial and semi-colonial areas. This opposition appears regardless of the nature of the regime in the underdeveloped country that seeks to reduce the foreign grip on its economy and provide for a measure of independent development.

As regards the phenomenon of increasing social inequality, it is important to appreciate that it should continue so long as the vicious circle is able to continue turning without hindrance. However, such events as an inordinate increase in a society’s surplus, as in ancient Athens and modern industrialised nations, or a social revolution, as in France and Russia, can lead to an increase in social equality. But such increases are invariably directly followed by constant decreases, unless and until such an event should occur again.

That the non-vital needs of the powerful living in Third World countries also strongly influence those countries’ domestic economics is emphasised by Georgescu-Roegen. He noted, already in 1971, that Third World countries’ economic plans, claimed to bring economic progress through industrialisation, are, more often than not, rationalisations of the ulterior motives of the elite in the country in question. The inflation in Latin America at that time, for example, did not answer ‘the aspiration of the masses to improve their standard of consumption,’ as one economic expert claimed, but the aspirations of the upper classes for a still more luxurious lifestyle. Similarly, the leaders of underdeveloped countries are not anxious to limit the populations of their own lower-class majorities, because cheap and abundant labour is a benefit to the ruling class. According to Georgescu-Roegen, and in keeping with the VCP, the same lip service to the welfare of the masses concealed the aspirations of the powerful classes in many a planned economy at the beginning of the 1970s, and, we might add, the phenomenon has continued to the present day.

The majority of today’s underdeveloped nations are destined never to become developed, and the Third World would have been better off without international investment and aid. As Goldsmith says: “The fact is that trade with the Third World is negative aid – it involves selling the indispensable in exchange for the totally superfluous. If I were running a Third World country, the first thing I would do would be to cut myself off from the industrial world and foster self-sufficiency at every level down to that of the village. In fact, one should not be developing the Third World but de-developing it.” And as noted by Carr-Saunders, “there is a considerable amount of evidence to the effect that upon the whole before the advent of the white man the African races were healthy and long-lived.”

There has been no appreciable improvement in the economies of Third World countries after World War II. As Schumacher noted already in 1965: “In many places in the world today the poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer, and the established processes of foreign aid and development planning appear to be unable to overcome this tendency;” and again in 1973: “For two-thirds of mankind, the aim of a ‘full and happy life’ with steady improvements of their lot, if not actually receding, seems to be as far away as ever.” As aptly put by Boulding in 1972: “The interesting thing about developing countries is that they are not developing.” And, more than 35 years later, they are still not developing.

Some 50 years ago these countries were politely and optimistically named the ‘developing countries,’ and the 1960s were to be known as the ‘Development Decade.’ But ‘development’ here meant growth in GNP, which was to be accomplished through increasing resource exportation – as taken up in the previous chapter. This growth was to be supported by growth in the GNP of the industrialised countries – the more the industrialised countries grew, the more resources they would import from the Third World, thus benefiting Third World economies. Thus, for example, the Report of the 1970 Commission on International Development (the ‘Pearson Report’) submitted to the World Bank considered the expansion of exports – mainly non-renewable minerals, including oil – the main criterion of success for ‘developing’ countries. African and other Third World countries were to develop economically through the wealthy people in each country making increasing profits by exporting ever greater quantities of their respective country’s resources, and creating jobs for labourers in the process. But as Malthus said already in 1798:

Quote
Foreign commerce adds to the wealth of a state, according to Dr Adam Smith’s definition, though not according to the definition of the [French] economists. Its principal use, and the reason, probably, that it has in general been held in such high estimation is that it adds greatly to the external power of a nation or to its power of commanding the labour of other countries; but it will be found, upon a near examination, to contribute but little to the increase of the internal funds for the maintenance of labour, and consequently but little to the happiness of the greatest part of society.

Malthus’ reasoning here is that it is only a growth in the quantity of vital resources available to the poor that can improve their lot (and then, of course, only in the short term). What we have is the making of each Third World country into a banana republic, which may here be understood to be a poor country economically dependent on exporting unprocessed goods/resources to industrialised countries. As Daly says:

Quote
[T]he vision of globalization requires the rich to grow rapidly in order to provide markets in which the poor can sell their exports. It is thought that the only option poor countries have is to export to the rich, and to do that they have to accept foreign investment from corporations who know how to produce the high-quality stuff that the rich want.

And as Trainer says, if most money can be made producing carnations to airfreight to European supermarkets, or fattening cattle to airfreight to American hamburger chains, then in a market system that is what will be done. And Kuenen: “At present the technologically underequipped nations are selling their natural wealth for short-term gains.”

It is ironic however that governments call for economic growth to reduce poverty while, as noted earlier, there has been massive poverty in the richest nation in the world throughout a 65-year period of tremendous and unrepeatable economic growth. (It may be noted that the wealthiest man in America owns more than the poorest 100 million Americans combined.) How then is economic growth, in particular such growth as is based on exports, to reduce poverty? For the people living in these countries, what they produce for themselves and for each other is of infinitely greater importance to them than what they produce for foreigners. The promotion of export-oriented development has been one of the most disastrous Third World policies in the past two decades, in fact increasing poverty.

The whole thing is a scam – part of the larger scam of the world’s need for economic growth – that allows powerful capitalists to make profits stripping the Third World of what it has to offer. Thus the status quo from colonial times is maintained, with the economically most powerful making the largest possible profits. Only now it is transnational corporations that are sucking as much as they can out of these (and all other) countries, rather than such nationally-bound companies as the East India and Hudson’s Bay Companies.

The fundamental ‘mistake’ which neoclassical economic theory makes with regard to the Third World is the assumption that simply encouraging as much economic growth as possible will result in satisfactory development. In fact the indiscriminate, sheer-growth conception of development causes immense havoc among the poor. In the form of increasing exports, it has stripped them from the land and moved them to urban slums, it has made large numbers poorer and hungrier, and it has destroyed their forests through the building of dams. According to a report of the international Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, below-cost imports drive Third World farmers out of their local markets, and if they do not have access to a safety net, they have to abandon their land in search of other employment.

When it comes to the provision of aid, the West has given with one hand, and taken more with the other. In effect, more aid is going to the rich than to the poor. It is the normal functioning of the global market-economy which delivers the available resources to a few and deprives the majority. The drive to maximise output, sales and returns on investment inevitably leads to the focusing of productive capacity on the already rich.

The conventional growth and trickle-down view accelerates the operation of the very mechanism that is responsible for the problem of poverty. As expressed by John Browett, in keeping with Boulding, while transnational corporations may be developing, the people living in the newly industrialising countries are not. While trickle down occurred in the industrialised countries from 1850, it has never extended to the Third World. And as suggested by Trainer in 1989, the lack of trickle down in the Third World may well be the most clearly established proposition to have emerged from three decades of development research. In fact, as intimated above, conventional growth strategies often result in the very opposite of trickle down, an effect most tragically evident when the ‘modernisation’ of agriculture enriches planters, who then increase export crops by terminating the leases of peasant farmers.

The conception of development as growth through increasing exports does not best serve the interests of classes other than the elite. What is required here is not that the rich world charitably redistribute some of its wealth to the poor; it is that it should stop taking such a disproportionate share of what the world has to offer.

Conventional development theory and practice is capitalist (bourgeois) development theory and practice. To conceive of development as indiscriminate economic growth is to opt for the view which most suits the capitalist class, since it is in their interest to maximise the amount of capital being exchanged, and not have to bother about whether capital really ought to go into things that are appropriate but not very profitable, and not into things that are inappropriate but profitable. Foreign investors never go into the Third World to invest in clean drinking water, mobile health clinics, or cheap staple foods for impoverished people – because there is little profit to be made from these sorts of ventures.

It should also be pointed out here that the projects funded in the name of aiding the Third World, apart from economically supporting those engaged in carrying them out, are large-scale, unsustainable and in fact ecologically destructive. These projects, such as the building of large dams, are drafted in an atmosphere in which economic growth is to be striven for as the ultimate goal, and ecological consequences are either ignored or dismissed.

C. G. Darwin provides an example: the Sukkur dam (completed by the British in 1932) spread the water of the Indus over a great area and transformed a large part of the desert into a garden. According to generally accepted values, this was a great blessing for humankind, since people who earlier were on the verge of starvation could now be fed. But this was not what happened; after a few years the only effect was, as in the case of the Green Revolution, that there was a large rather than a small number of people on the verge of starvation.

Similarly, the Aswan High Dam, designed by Soviet engineers in the late 1950s, stops 98 per cent of the silt that had formerly coated the inhabited part of Egypt. Without this top dressing of fertile silt, Egyptian agriculture had to turn to mineral fertilisers, of which Egypt became one of the world’s top users, with much of the Aswan’s electric power going to fertiliser factories.  The Nile Delta began to shrink. The lack of silt nutrients destroyed sardine and shrimp fisheries in the Mediterranean that had employed 30,000 Egyptians. Without the flushing of the flood, the irrigation canals of Egypt became an ideal habitat for the water hyacinth, a beautiful but pernicious weed. The snails that carry schistosomiasis – a debilitating disease that attacks the liver, urinary tract, or intestines – love water hyacinth, need stagnant water, and consequently flourished in the new Egypt. Schistosomiasis infection rates increased five- to tenfold among rural Egyptians with the transition to perennial irrigation, and after 1975 approached 100 per cent in many communities. The dam also swamped and corroded the cultural heritage of the Nile Valley. However it at the same time eliminated the costly consequences of irregular Nile floods, and supported a doubling of the Egyptian population. Thus was destroyed the only large, ecologically sustainable irrigation system that ever existed – one which had maintained millions for five millennia and made Egypt the richest land in the Mediterranean from the Pharaohs to the industrial revolution.

The modernisation of Third World agriculture also means the increasing commercialisation of food production, and can consist in little more than converting land from production by the poor for use by the poor, to production by rich farmers for use by the rich in the Third World and by consumers in the rich world.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 445-451). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.


Quote
Why? Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal ofsteady state can do any good? In my view, ALL progress toward anything (at
least any material thing) involves incremental steps.

I accept the principle but not the conclusion.  I haven't seen any evidence that China is targeting a steady-state economy.  You've shown they are (were) targeting lower growth, which is the least they should be doing given their feverish growth rates.

Quote
Jeavon's paradox is an amusing idea, but it is not taken seriously. It has
no credibility as a general phenomenon.

It is still debated but has not been conclusively disproven.

Quote
Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).
Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

Geez! That's a tad stringent, don't you think?



Quote
You first. Set an example for the rest to follow.

This is no way addresses the points made and is irrelevant to their validity.  Besides, you're only assuming I'm not.

Offline EndIsNigh

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #209 on: April 06, 2017, 12:09:50 PM »
Quote
Below that are all the problems of underdevelopment, including malnutrition, disease, non-sanitation, high infant mortality, high fertility (and thus, eventually, population), and so on. ... But the problems of under-development are no less real, and are suffered still by many more people than those of us with the opposite problem. Sub-saharan Africa, for example!

It certainly might appear that way on the surface.  But you don't have to dig very deep to find the correlation between our development and the problems you cite in your sub-saharan Africa example.  What follows is a more realistic assessment of the third world:

Quote
The Third World As Schumacher says, problems grow faster than their solutions – in the rich countries as much as the poor. Following him, we should say that there is nothing in the experience of the last 50 years to suggest that modern technology can really help us alleviate such problems as that of world poverty, not to mention the problem of unemployment. As Hawken has pointed out, literally thousands of native cultures around the world have been destroyed by economic development. Lost with those cultures have been languages, art and crafts, family structures, land claims, traditional rites and oral histories, and traditional methods of healing, obtaining food, and population control. And, as pointed out above, the improvement of the situation of the poor in the Third World is not even the intention of those that stand behind decisions to implement large capital-intensive projects there. The intention, rather, is to make as much money as possible. This applies both to the wealthy capitalists in industrialised states who invest in Third World projects, and to those who have power in the Third World.

As suggested by Baran (in 1957), the ‘backward’ world has always represented the indispensable hinterland of the highly developed capitalist West, supplying it with many important raw materials, thereby providing their corporations with vast profits and investment outlets. Thus the ruling class in the United States (and elsewhere) is bitterly opposed to the industrialisation of the so-called ‘source countries,’ and to the emergence of integrated processing economies in colonial and semi-colonial areas. This opposition appears regardless of the nature of the regime in the underdeveloped country that seeks to reduce the foreign grip on its economy and provide for a measure of independent development.

As regards the phenomenon of increasing social inequality, it is important to appreciate that it should continue so long as the vicious circle is able to continue turning without hindrance. However, such events as an inordinate increase in a society’s surplus, as in ancient Athens and modern industrialised nations, or a social revolution, as in France and Russia, can lead to an increase in social equality. But such increases are invariably directly followed by constant decreases, unless and until such an event should occur again.

That the non-vital needs of the powerful living in Third World countries also strongly influence those countries’ domestic economics is emphasised by Georgescu-Roegen. He noted, already in 1971, that Third World countries’ economic plans, claimed to bring economic progress through industrialisation, are, more often than not, rationalisations of the ulterior motives of the elite in the country in question. The inflation in Latin America at that time, for example, did not answer ‘the aspiration of the masses to improve their standard of consumption,’ as one economic expert claimed, but the aspirations of the upper classes for a still more luxurious lifestyle. Similarly, the leaders of underdeveloped countries are not anxious to limit the populations of their own lower-class majorities, because cheap and abundant labour is a benefit to the ruling class. According to Georgescu-Roegen, and in keeping with the VCP, the same lip service to the welfare of the masses concealed the aspirations of the powerful classes in many a planned economy at the beginning of the 1970s, and, we might add, the phenomenon has continued to the present day.

The majority of today’s underdeveloped nations are destined never to become developed, and the Third World would have been better off without international investment and aid. As Goldsmith says: “The fact is that trade with the Third World is negative aid – it involves selling the indispensable in exchange for the totally superfluous. If I were running a Third World country, the first thing I would do would be to cut myself off from the industrial world and foster self-sufficiency at every level down to that of the village. In fact, one should not be developing the Third World but de-developing it.” And as noted by Carr-Saunders, “there is a considerable amount of evidence to the effect that upon the whole before the advent of the white man the African races were healthy and long-lived.”

There has been no appreciable improvement in the economies of Third World countries after World War II. As Schumacher noted already in 1965: “In many places in the world today the poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer, and the established processes of foreign aid and development planning appear to be unable to overcome this tendency;” and again in 1973: “For two-thirds of mankind, the aim of a ‘full and happy life’ with steady improvements of their lot, if not actually receding, seems to be as far away as ever.” As aptly put by Boulding in 1972: “The interesting thing about developing countries is that they are not developing.” And, more than 35 years later, they are still not developing.

Some 50 years ago these countries were politely and optimistically named the ‘developing countries,’ and the 1960s were to be known as the ‘Development Decade.’ But ‘development’ here meant growth in GNP, which was to be accomplished through increasing resource exportation – as taken up in the previous chapter. This growth was to be supported by growth in the GNP of the industrialised countries – the more the industrialised countries grew, the more resources they would import from the Third World, thus benefiting Third World economies. Thus, for example, the Report of the 1970 Commission on International Development (the ‘Pearson Report’) submitted to the World Bank considered the expansion of exports – mainly non-renewable minerals, including oil – the main criterion of success for ‘developing’ countries. African and other Third World countries were to develop economically through the wealthy people in each country making increasing profits by exporting ever greater quantities of their respective country’s resources, and creating jobs for labourers in the process. But as Malthus said already in 1798:

Quote
Foreign commerce adds to the wealth of a state, according to Dr Adam Smith’s definition, though not according to the definition of the [French] economists. Its principal use, and the reason, probably, that it has in general been held in such high estimation is that it adds greatly to the external power of a nation or to its power of commanding the labour of other countries; but it will be found, upon a near examination, to contribute but little to the increase of the internal funds for the maintenance of labour, and consequently but little to the happiness of the greatest part of society.

Malthus’ reasoning here is that it is only a growth in the quantity of vital resources available to the poor that can improve their lot (and then, of course, only in the short term). What we have is the making of each Third World country into a banana republic, which may here be understood to be a poor country economically dependent on exporting unprocessed goods/resources to industrialised countries. As Daly says:

Quote
[T]he vision of globalization requires the rich to grow rapidly in order to provide markets in which the poor can sell their exports. It is thought that the only option poor countries have is to export to the rich, and to do that they have to accept foreign investment from corporations who know how to produce the high-quality stuff that the rich want.

And as Trainer says, if most money can be made producing carnations to airfreight to European supermarkets, or fattening cattle to airfreight to American hamburger chains, then in a market system that is what will be done. And Kuenen: “At present the technologically underequipped nations are selling their natural wealth for short-term gains.”

It is ironic however that governments call for economic growth to reduce poverty while, as noted earlier, there has been massive poverty in the richest nation in the world throughout a 65-year period of tremendous and unrepeatable economic growth. (It may be noted that the wealthiest man in America owns more than the poorest 100 million Americans combined.) How then is economic growth, in particular such growth as is based on exports, to reduce poverty? For the people living in these countries, what they produce for themselves and for each other is of infinitely greater importance to them than what they produce for foreigners. The promotion of export-oriented development has been one of the most disastrous Third World policies in the past two decades, in fact increasing poverty.

The whole thing is a scam – part of the larger scam of the world’s need for economic growth – that allows powerful capitalists to make profits stripping the Third World of what it has to offer. Thus the status quo from colonial times is maintained, with the economically most powerful making the largest possible profits. Only now it is transnational corporations that are sucking as much as they can out of these (and all other) countries, rather than such nationally-bound companies as the East India and Hudson’s Bay Companies.

The fundamental ‘mistake’ which neoclassical economic theory makes with regard to the Third World is the assumption that simply encouraging as much economic growth as possible will result in satisfactory development. In fact the indiscriminate, sheer-growth conception of development causes immense havoc among the poor. In the form of increasing exports, it has stripped them from the land and moved them to urban slums, it has made large numbers poorer and hungrier, and it has destroyed their forests through the building of dams. According to a report of the international Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, below-cost imports drive Third World farmers out of their local markets, and if they do not have access to a safety net, they have to abandon their land in search of other employment.

When it comes to the provision of aid, the West has given with one hand, and taken more with the other. In effect, more aid is going to the rich than to the poor. It is the normal functioning of the global market-economy which delivers the available resources to a few and deprives the majority. The drive to maximise output, sales and returns on investment inevitably leads to the focusing of productive capacity on the already rich.

The conventional growth and trickle-down view accelerates the operation of the very mechanism that is responsible for the problem of poverty. As expressed by John Browett, in keeping with Boulding, while transnational corporations may be developing, the people living in the newly industrialising countries are not. While trickle down occurred in the industrialised countries from 1850, it has never extended to the Third World. And as suggested by Trainer in 1989, the lack of trickle down in the Third World may well be the most clearly established proposition to have emerged from three decades of development research. In fact, as intimated above, conventional growth strategies often result in the very opposite of trickle down, an effect most tragically evident when the ‘modernisation’ of agriculture enriches planters, who then increase export crops by terminating the leases of peasant farmers.

The conception of development as growth through increasing exports does not best serve the interests of classes other than the elite. What is required here is not that the rich world charitably redistribute some of its wealth to the poor; it is that it should stop taking such a disproportionate share of what the world has to offer.

Conventional development theory and practice is capitalist (bourgeois) development theory and practice. To conceive of development as indiscriminate economic growth is to opt for the view which most suits the capitalist class, since it is in their interest to maximise the amount of capital being exchanged, and not have to bother about whether capital really ought to go into things that are appropriate but not very profitable, and not into things that are inappropriate but profitable. Foreign investors never go into the Third World to invest in clean drinking water, mobile health clinics, or cheap staple foods for impoverished people – because there is little profit to be made from these sorts of ventures.

It should also be pointed out here that the projects funded in the name of aiding the Third World, apart from economically supporting those engaged in carrying them out, are large-scale, unsustainable and in fact ecologically destructive. These projects, such as the building of large dams, are drafted in an atmosphere in which economic growth is to be striven for as the ultimate goal, and ecological consequences are either ignored or dismissed.

C. G. Darwin provides an example: the Sukkur dam (completed by the British in 1932) spread the water of the Indus over a great area and transformed a large part of the desert into a garden. According to generally accepted values, this was a great blessing for humankind, since people who earlier were on the verge of starvation could now be fed. But this was not what happened; after a few years the only effect was, as in the case of the Green Revolution, that there was a large rather than a small number of people on the verge of starvation.

Similarly, the Aswan High Dam, designed by Soviet engineers in the late 1950s, stops 98 per cent of the silt that had formerly coated the inhabited part of Egypt. Without this top dressing of fertile silt, Egyptian agriculture had to turn to mineral fertilisers, of which Egypt became one of the world’s top users, with much of the Aswan’s electric power going to fertiliser factories.  The Nile Delta began to shrink. The lack of silt nutrients destroyed sardine and shrimp fisheries in the Mediterranean that had employed 30,000 Egyptians. Without the flushing of the flood, the irrigation canals of Egypt became an ideal habitat for the water hyacinth, a beautiful but pernicious weed. The snails that carry schistosomiasis – a debilitating disease that attacks the liver, urinary tract, or intestines – love water hyacinth, need stagnant water, and consequently flourished in the new Egypt. Schistosomiasis infection rates increased five- to tenfold among rural Egyptians with the transition to perennial irrigation, and after 1975 approached 100 per cent in many communities. The dam also swamped and corroded the cultural heritage of the Nile Valley. However it at the same time eliminated the costly consequences of irregular Nile floods, and supported a doubling of the Egyptian population. Thus was destroyed the only large, ecologically sustainable irrigation system that ever existed – one which had maintained millions for five millennia and made Egypt the richest land in the Mediterranean from the Pharaohs to the industrial revolution.

The modernisation of Third World agriculture also means the increasing commercialisation of food production, and can consist in little more than converting land from production by the poor for use by the poor, to production by rich farmers for use by the rich in the Third World and by consumers in the rich world.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 445-451). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.


Quote
Why? Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal ofsteady state can do any good? In my view, ALL progress toward anything (at
least any material thing) involves incremental steps.

I accept the principle but not the conclusion.  I haven't seen any evidence that China is targeting a steady-state economy.  You've shown they are (were) targeting lower growth, which is the least they should be doing given their feverish growth rates.

Quote
Jeavon's paradox is an amusing idea, but it is not taken seriously. It has
no credibility as a general phenomenon.

It is still debated but has not been conclusively disproven.

Quote
Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).
Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

Geez! That's a tad stringent, don't you think?



Quote
You first. Set an example for the rest to follow.

This is no way addresses the points made and is irrelevant to their validity.  Besides, how can you assume I'm not?