Saturday, June 13, 2009

I ran across an article linked on Llamabutchers that had some interesting facts I wanted to share.
From Reason Onlines June 10th article about Times 10 most absurd headlines, here is a direct quote, but you can view the whole article by following the link:

Why So Worried? Using an upcoming U.N. conference in Mexico City as its hook, Time engages in some Paul Ehrlich-style doom-mongering about overpopulation.

Cue Ominous Music: "The consequences of a failure to bring the world's population growth under control are frightening. They could include widespread hunger and joblessness, accompanied by environmental devastation and cancerous urban growth. Politically, the outcome could be heightened global instability, violence and authoritarianism."

Oh, Just Settle Down: Since Time's 1984 cover story, the world's population has increased from 4.75 billion to 6.78 billion people. This year, the World Bank's Poverty Analysis reported, "Living standards have risen dramatically over the last decades. The proportion of the developing world's population living in extreme economic poverty...has fallen from 52 percent in 1981 to 26 percent in 2005.... Infant mortality rates in low- and middle-income countries have fallen from 87 per 1,000 live births in 1980 to 54 in 2006. Life expectancy in [low and middle-income] countries has risen from 60 to 66 between 1980 and 2006." According to the peace advocacy group Ploughshares, the number of armed conflicts across the globe has generally been in decline since the mid-1990s (PDF). As for "authoritarianism," with the fall of the Soviet empire, a far greater percentage of the global population lived under such regimes in 1984 than do today. Even the massive population in China is freer (if not actually "free") than it was in 1984.

Interesting. SO the poor aren't really getting poorer, they are getting RICHER? The standard of living is RISING? War is DECREASING? All this despite global warming, global terrorism, the melting of the polar ice caps, the dumbing down of America and the heartbreak of psoriasis? Have we been fed a line of crap on both sides? Much more so on the left where behind every corner is "crisis waiting to be exploited" so that rich corporations don't keep making money and employing people (*cough, cough* who pay taxes). The fear mongering that many causes near and dear to a true liberals heart would appear to be debunked, world overpopulation, the suffering poor and third world who is straining under the yoke of western imperialism and rich white guys. A few right wing bugaboos are declawed too, the freeing up of china's population comes to mind.

Now I realize that the fact that this article says it's so doesn't make it so, but I think their facts have merit. Even if some of these things have gotten better, that doesn't mean they aren't still problems, what it does mean is that the loudest voices always shrieking in our ears telling us we aren't doing enough, the world is on the verge of collapse and it's OUR FAULT, are wrong. It isn't perfect (what ever is?) but it isn't necessarily getting worse. What we are doing is working and things are getting better. You just don't hear that enough and I think we should. I think the reason we don't is that, like my aged Grammy (God rest her soul) used to think, if she didn't sigh really, really loud, no one would care about her, we would just forget she was there. I think the special interst groups think if they don't convince us of a crisis people won't hear them. Which is fine if there is a crisis but it is hard for the average Joe to prioritize what is the most important thing when EVERTHING is the most important thing.

Anyway, that's just my thoughts for what's it's worth.