Friday, June 15, 2012

Overpopulation in China

And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly
in the earth, and multiply therein.
Genesis 9:7: 
My Cousin (who is a really good writer) is on a site called "Figment," which is kind of like facebook for writers.
Anyway, she is also ardently pro-sanctity-of-life, and has been fairly vocal on Figment about her views, and has gotten some flack for it (imagine that!). So Bravo Sara-Anne!!
One of the threads that she brought to my attention, and eventually got me to join Figment so that I could respond to it, was one someone had started about China, and it's "overpopulation" problem.
I did some research to make sure that my facts were accurite, and then wrote a response on that thread addressing the myth of overpopulation. You can see the thread here. Start at the beginning, and then read to the end. It's only two pages at the moment.
I got some of my quotes from this video, which gives a really good 30,000 feet overview of the whole "running out of food" issue.


Here's my response on Figment:

@acrosstheuniverse1211, Poverty is not caused by over population. Poverty is brought about by a plethora of different sources. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (U.N.), and the World Food Programme "There is enough food in the world today for everyone to have the nourishment necessary for a healthy and productive life." The problem as they state it is "The world currently produces enough food for everybody, but meny people do not have access to it."
(Quick fun fact: Africa, if cultivated using modern farming techniques, could feed the whole planet, according to some experts.) 
The Word Food Programme lists key causes of Hunger, and they are:
*Poverty
*Conflict (War)
*Natural Disasters
*Over-Exploitation of the Environment
*Poor Agricultural Infrastructure
No where on that list is overpopulation.
I find it interesting that China gets all of the attention when it comes to overpopulation, considering that their density of people per square mile is actually not that high, Just 363, according to the UN World Prospects Report 2005. Lets compare that to a few other countries.
Taiwan: 1,660
The Netherlands: 1,460
India: 953
Japan: 873
Germany: 593
Italy: 518
And just for fun, let's throw in Singapore, coming in at a whopping 18,513 people per square mile!!
So why isn't there an uproar about those countries?
There are three main reasons:
*The population is well distributed over the land mass
*The supply chain of food is modern and well established
*They have more personal liberty (Thus allowing them to make more money, allowing them to buy more food)
 Now, whenever you read about overpopulation in China you undoubtedly see pictures like this:
 Packed City in China
I highly doubt they show you pictures like this:
 
That is southwestern china. Not a lot of people there. Chinas real problem is population distribution. A very large portion of their population is crammed into cities! Now If I were to show you a picture of Time Square such as this:
 Packed N.Y.C.
I could write a very compelling piece about how overpopulated N.Y.C. is. Or I could show you a picture like this:
 Empty N.Y.C
And I could talk about how the population in N.Y.C. has dropped dramatically in the last few years.
China is not overpopulated, it's population has simply been packed into large metropolitan areas. The fact that it has a communist government which forcibly keeps their currency undervalued (which, by the way is why almost everything here in America is made there), thus making them less able to trade with other countries for things like food.
Which brings me back to the quote from the Food and Agriculture Organization (U.N.) "The world currently produces enough food for everybody, but meny people do not have access to it."
~Paul


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