Jump to content

Possible famine in the Horn of Africa


CaptainPanic
 Share

Recommended Posts

I think you have a rather romantic view. Famines were rampant, even in highly developed civilizations. Heck, a couple of posts back Ireland was mentioned and that was not that long ago. You have to remember that these are partially industrialized nations, early 20th and 19th century Europe is probably a better comparison. One aspect of colonization was that it was believed that people had not enough space because the population growth was not under control. Birth control (on a wider basis) is really a thing that happened in very very recent times.

However, if you believe it is easily accessible, you are also mistaken. Do you believe that a government that does not provide clean water for its people will provide condoms for free? Here is a random article on this issue My link

 

 

And this for those that know that they can prevent birth and diseases with condoms. And this is what I mean with education. It is not only reading or writing (though in the long run it will be a necessity), but about knowing ones options (and providing those). In addition you have to remember that many of the poorest countries are an odd mix in which the modern clashes with traditional living styles. Growing villages and cities make certain traditional styles obsolete, certain modernization efforts that have changed nomads to sedentary styles which providing the proper means to do so, the list goes on. Your premise is a beneficial, government in a well-informed population. But in many of the poorest countries it is not the case (note that it is not Africa per se, there stable and wealthy nations around, we are talking about the war-infested).

 

Suppose it were possible to conduct this experiment:

 

Move all the people from the Horn of Africa to Japan.

Then move an equivalent number of Japanese people, to the Horn of Africa.

 

I predict that, were such an experiment to be conducted, within 5 years the Japanese would have created a thriving country in the Horn of Africa. A country well-irrigated, with no famines, and developing an modern industrial/agricultural economy.

 

Whereas, the parts of Japan to which the "Horn of Africa" bods had been moved, would be disaster areas. Begging for aid.

 

Such an experiment will never be conducted in Japan, as the Japanese are far too intelligent to permit it. However Europe and the USA are doing something similar. The results are becoming all too obvious as the economies of Europe and the USA get dragged down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I predict that, were such an experiment to be conducted, within 5 years the Japanese would have created a thriving country in the Horn of Africa. A country well-irrigated, with no famines, and developing an modern industrial/agricultural economy.

 

Your prediction is wrong.

 

I came across this while reading arab news sites during the protests. I had no idea that this situation existed.

 

The nations involved here are part of the Nile basin. In 1929 there was an agreement to divide the waters of the Nile, assuming a flow of 84 billion cubic metres, Egypt was guaranteed 48 bn cu m. At the time Egypt was a British satellite and the British fought for Egypt to get the lions share of the water. The agreement also gave Egypt the right to inspect the entire length of the river and the power of veto over any project that took water from the Nile. At the time of this agreement only Ethiopia had a functioning government, although binding on another 6 nations it was signed before they became independent and nations in their own right.

 

In 1959 there was a second agreement between Egypt and Sudan that basically split the water between them. Egypts share went up to 55.5 bn cu m while Sudan took 14.5 bn cu m. Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo, Ethiopia, Burundi, Rwanda and evaporation get to share the remaining flow of about 14 bn cu m between them.

 

Egypt is the economic and military powerhouse of the region and both Egypt and Sudan have used the threat of war to prevent projects that might draw water from the Nile. Also the World Bank, which to a degree represents the international community will not fund any project unless Egypt agrees. This is why there are no hydro dams, pipelines and large scale irrigation projects.

 

Some articles on the situation;

http://www.ntz.info/gen/n01799.html

http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2010/world/africa/nile-basin-countries-fail-to-sign-river-treaty-again/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/26/egypt-nile-water-negotiations

 

While not germane to the topic of increasing population in the region it has a major bearing on the recurrence of famines. A nation cannot create large scale irrigated farmlands if the only source of water is denied to them. The situation in the horn is more complex than appears at first glance.

Edited by JohnB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A hypothetical ,

 

If it was civil to call you an idiot , I wouldn't . If it were also civil to refer to you as an asshole , I wouldn't . I'd save the civility for the case of being allowed to call you a racist , in my totally and utterly absolute honest opinion .

Would you please tell me what was racist about my post? I shall be intrigued to hear you view. I deliver a damning indictment of racism, prejudice and strereotyping through a pastiche of Dekan's post that was arguably racist, and certainly indifferent to human suffering. My post was sufficiently pointed to garner two positive rep points until you came along and neg repped it, just because you couldn't recognise blatant irony. Feel free to apologise at any time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is btw. an article which describes aspects of family planning in Africa

Kenya provides the most dramatic example. Kenya's fertility fell 22 percent during the 1980s, from 8.3 children per woman in 1978 to 6.5 in 1989. Desired family size fell 35 percent during the same period, from 7.2 to 4.7 children, and contraceptive use rose more than threefold. Although traditional Kenyan values favored large families, they have become less advantageous as rapid population has put pressure on farming land in many areas. Higher female literacy has helped promote new attitudes about family size. Increasingly, parents want to send their children to school, and rising school costs have made it much more expensive to educate large families. By 1998, fertility had fallen further to 4.4 children per woman, and it remained at that level in 2003.

 

 

Effective family planning is, in general, strongly connected with education and especially the empowerment of women.

 

My link

 

Also, I have a hard time to interpret Ophiolite's post as racist.

Also relevant

 

Edited by CharonY
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you actually have any evidence for that, or is it just flagrant racism?

 

I think the evidence is plain. But I'd rather not make any further remarks on this subject, because the introduction of menacing expressions like "flagrant racism" makes rational discussion difficult, except in a very guarded, "be careful what you say or you'll be in trouble" way, which I don't wish to engage in. So I'll withdraw into silence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the evidence is plain. But I'd rather not make any further remarks on this subject, because the introduction of menacing expressions like "flagrant racism" makes rational discussion difficult, except in a very guarded, "be careful what you say or you'll be in trouble" way, which I don't wish to engage in. So I'll withdraw into silence.

The evidence is not plain at all. And avoiding to enter the discussion, while accusing the other person of threatening you (verbally) is a very weak response. In fact, it's a type of fallacy to first make a point, and then play the victim to avoid having to answer it. And that fallacy comes on top of the fallacies in the original post that John Cuthber asked you a question about. But I'll come to those fallacies in a moment.

 

I would propose that if you are not ready to defend your own posts, then don't write them down. In a worst case scenario, you can simply ask the mods to delete your own post. And if you feel personally attacked by another member, you can report a post to the mods, and they will evaluate it. Personally, I think John Cuthber asked a valid question. Your post does sound like racism, as I will explain below.

 

So, I think we should not allow you to withdraw in silence while (your post #26) is still in this thread.

 

When I read your post, I read that you claim that the people in the Horn of Africa would be incapable of building a society, regardless of their location or resources. And that Japanese would be able to build a society regardless of the lack of resources or location. This is not proven at all. But to make things worse, you then compare immigration in the US and Europe to this unproven thought experiment, and you draw secondary conclusions from it.

 

The reality is that immigration in the US and Europe is mostly successful (the large majority of immigrants have jobs, most speak the language, and at least in the Netherlands all immigrants (including illegal immigrants) receive education). In Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Immigration started in the 60's and 70's because the economies were booming, and there were too many job vacancies. Yes, those countries invited immigrants to come and work. They did not come to Europe to search for a job. Instead, those European countries sent people to Northern Africa and Turkey to find people! This fact alone already disproves your claim that immigration and a bad economy would be negatively related.

 

The employment rate of especially Muslims is lower at the moment in many Western countries. What remains unproven is which factor is the most important reason for that: whether this is because of dicrimination by the employers (for which there is evidence), or because these people are just not so useful in the job market as you seem to claim.

 

Immigration, as explained in this paper, allows more experienced people to move on in the labor market into more abstract and complex jobs, while the routine jobs are done by the immigrants. In a flexible labor market, this can strengthen an economy.

 

I'm sorry to go pretty far off topic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good points. Some may require whole threads on their own to explore them even marginally.

 

On topic: I think there are several concepts that have to be discussed here as well. The first that has already been touched upon is the prevalence (or lack thereof) of family planning. There is a wide difference in a number of sub-Saharan countries. One could explore why that is the case.

Another one is the economic instability of the countries facing famine (and the roots thereof). And finally there are environmental challenges. Somalia for instance is facing one the largest droughts since 50 years.

And I am pretty sure that there is much more. Simple answers to complex situations are almost always lacking in explanatory power.

 

A nice talk to this topic Rosling

Edited by CharonY
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

An interesting article that touches on many aspects of the famine in the Horn of Africa http://english.aljaz...8844125460.html

 

Families in this region will have fewer children when it makes economic sense to do so. As we have seen over time and throughout the world, the average family size shrinks when economies develop and expectations for offspring change.

Second, we tend to focus on the additional resources required to nourish each new person, and often forget the productive capacity of these individuals. Throughout Africa, some of the most productive farmscapes are in those regions with the highest population densities. In Machakos, Kenya, for example, agricultural production and environmental conservation improved as population densities increased. Furthermore, we have seen agricultural production collapse in some areas where population declined (often due to outmigration) because there was insufficient labour to maintain intensive agricultural production.

 

 

While making modern contraception available to those families who desire it in the Horn of Africa is a laudable goal, we must be careful not to assume that this is an easy fix to a hunger problem framed as driven by overpopulation. If overpopulation is defined as too many people for a landscape to support, then Oklahoma is clearly more overpopulated than Somalia.

Yet Oklahoma is not perceived as overpopulated because, in spite of a horrendous drought, it is not facing famine. Famine in Oklahoma is inconceivable because it receives a fair price for its exports, it has not leased its land to foreign countries, the poorest of the poor receive a helping hand from the government, and farmers and ranchers receive federal assistance in times of droughts. It is a lack of these factors in Horn of Africa, plus political insecurity in Somalia, which explain the famine - not overpopulation.

 

Edited by CharonY
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another interesting article on how food aid from the World Food Program (UN)has exacerbated famine in Somalia:

 

Back in 2006 just as Somali farmers brought their grain harvest to market, the WFP began the distribution of its entire year’s grain aid for Somalia. With thousands of tons of free grain available Somali farmers found it almost impossible to sell their harvest and faced disaster.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Th situation in Somali is complex and not easily reduced to simple explanations accessible to the western reader. most of the mainline western media coverage is so distorted that it is hardly worth reading, that report from the black agenda is slightly more nuanced but still suffers from imprinting a predetermined world view on a unique situation. talking - even shortly - about Somalia with engagement with the clan structure is meaningless. I can quite believe that the WFP acted with gauche lack of understanding - but tying this up with a conspiracy to oust the rer abdelle sub-clan (which is basically the ONLF) is a little fanciful. It is, however, a good example of how even charitable donations and food programmes need to be looked at critically.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I take your point about the difficulty of understanding such a complex situation.

 

talking - even shortly - about Somalia with engagement with the clan structure is meaningless.

 

What do you mean? Can you elaborate?

 

It is, however, a good example of how even charitable donations and food programmes need to be looked at critically.

I think this was the main take-home concept I got from this essay.

 

This whole concept of food aid brings up a general conundrum.

 

There's a lot of evidence to suggest that constant food aid is a factor that exacerbates food insecurity by breaking down local food economies (it's cheaper and easier to take the food aid than grow your own food).

 

In the midst of a famine, food aid probably does save lives in the short-term.

 

But if people are living in a perpetual state of food insecurity and food aid is constantly being given out, how does an aid organization help communities improve their food self sufficiency by increasing the capacity of local farmers? It seems economic factors would make it very difficult to do so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I rufuse to give donations to aid organisations on principle. If one existed that could prove that the fertility control component of their efforts was equal to their food provision efforts then I might consider it.

 

That is pretty much why most in the west are suffering from compassion fatigue and that shocking pictures of starving children no longer illicit the same meotional response that it did decades ago. Africa is a bottomless aid pit and most people, including me, are just over worrying about it.

 

 

Aid will change nothing in Africa unless the providers of it significantly adjust their stategy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On a level playing field where all actors both internal and from outside were motivated by altruism perhaps a solution would be attainable. But the different pressures acting on a fragile economy remind me of a three body problem - and not just a simplified stripped-down version; but a problem in which multiple non-linear forces act on an entity, where information is actively distorted, and the background environment is anything but ideal - and of course where people die for every bad decision.

 

It is outside human nature (well my form of it) to view mass starvation as a necessary step to a better planned sustainable economy - even if logically this might be the case. It is the same with parenting sometimes you have to pick up the crying child even if you know it would be better in the long term (for both of you) to get them used to going back to sleep themselves. The example of parenting is deliberately patriarchal in flavour - because there is a distinct aura of paternalism in this field. Whilst one of the threats to food security in eastern africa and beyond is certainly the food aid programmes, others exist and are more important - foreign debt service, giving arms manufacturers free rein, insistence of growth of cash export crops etc

 

on the somali clan issue - will work on it. every time i start I end up with "ctrl A, delete" cos I am unhappy with it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is outside human nature (well my form of it) to view mass starvation as a necessary step to a better planned sustainable economy - even if logically this might be the case.

 

On that note, I read a book by Robert D. Kaplan: Surrender or Starve. It was about the Ethiopian famine in the '80s. Kaplan contends that the less people died in Eritrea than in Ethiopia during this time because Eritreans had no aid and were dependent on themselves to provide food for themselves. Ethiopians were worse off because they were dependent on the central Ethiopian government -- who was withholding food from certain areas for political reasons -- and food aid.

 

I rufuse to give donations to aid organisations on principle. If one existed that could prove that the fertility control component of their efforts was equal to their food provision efforts then I might consider it.

 

That is pretty much why most in the west are suffering from compassion fatigue and that shocking pictures of starving children no longer illicit the same meotional response that it did decades ago. Africa is a bottomless aid pit and most people, including me, are just over worrying about it.

 

 

Aid will change nothing in Africa unless the providers of it significantly adjust their stategy.

 

No point in "fertility control" until you understand the underlying reasons for population increases and decreases.

 

It would be interesting to see how much food insecurity actually exacerbated the population increase. As discussed in a different post, the ecological model that has generally been used to describe population growth with respect to agricultural technology suggests that agrarian societies requiring large amounts of manual labor will increase their population size in the face of food insecurity in order to increase the "necessary population", even if the necessary population is greater than the sustainable population for a given technology.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On that note, I read a book by Robert D. Kaplan: Surrender or Starve. It was about the Ethiopian famine in the '80s. Kaplan contends that the less people died in Eritrea than in Ethiopia during this time because Eritreans had no aid and were dependent on themselves to provide food for themselves. Ethiopians were worse off because they were dependent on the central Ethiopian government -- who was withholding food from certain areas for political reasons -- and food aid.

 

No point in "fertility control" until you understand the underlying reasons for population increases and decreases.

 

It would be interesting to see how much food insecurity actually exacerbated the population increase. As discussed in a different post, the ecological model that has generally been used to describe population growth with respect to agricultural technology suggests that agrarian societies requiring large amounts of manual labor will increase their population size in the face of food insecurity in order to increase the "necessary population", even if the necessary population is greater than the sustainable population for a given technology.

 

To an extent this seeming paradox comes down to the basic dilemma of all ethical decisions - do you work from a teleological or a deontological basis; simplistically, ends or means. An action that viewed in my moral compass is necessary may indeed have consequences that are less optimal compared to a morally repugnant action. Perhaps a more pragmatic ethical approach is needed to eschew engagement in the bentham vs kant problem. dewey would recommend social reform and development as the main priority; consequences and methods fall into place if a correct and possible model for social reform is adhered to. perhaps the loss of the concept of "us" helping "them" needs to be jettisoned, and we need to think more along the lines of common purpose, global equality, and a basic shared humanity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having actually been to Africa, I can say that there are quite a few misconceptions. There are plenty of places in Africa where nobody has access to the internet, a cell phone, power, or even a toilet. Places like this exist even in the "mecca" of Africa, South Africa. The "education" that can be accessed in many of these places doesn't even qualify, and when you view the way these people are forced to live - after years of unspeakable evils - it becomes obvious why many of them are struggling to take care of themselves. To suggest that they are incapable of learning is ridiculous and to suggest that they would learn faster if left to fend for themselves is also ridiculous.

 

When I was doing AIDS related research in Africa, I volunteer a lot of time teaching at the local poor black schools, and honestly some of the "science" teachers there needed tutoring in math and science just as much as the students. Then, if you take a look at a black African teacher (holding an MS) in South Africa - whose had access to normal nutrition and westernized education at a private school - these people are easily on par with many western primary and secondary school educators holding the equivalent MS.

 

Those of us lucky enough to have birth certificates minted in the USA or some other western country have no idea what it is like to grow up this poor and can't begin to fathom the effect exposure to that kind of poverty and disease has on neural development. To paint these people as lazy parasites trying to "take advantage" of the western countries that come over and take *their* resources right from under them via mining, bioprospecting, etc is disingenuous. If we expect Africa to fend for itself we should surely force all the western companies to back out (with no further compensation) of their exploitive bioprospecting businesses, diamond mines, gold mines, etc and leave Africa's resources to Africa.

 

When the western countries stop mining, etc in Africa and instead purchase diamonds, gold, etc from the countries of Africa at the fair market value then perhaps the notion that the west is always giving Africa handouts might hold more water, but currently if one is being logical, it simply does not.

 

Just my two cents

Cheers

Edited by spin-1/2-nuclei
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having actually been to Africa, I can say that there are quite a few misconceptions. There are plenty of places in Africa where nobody has access to the internet, a cell phone, power, or even a toilet. Places like this exist even in the "mecca" of Africa, South Africa. The "education" that can be accessed in many of these places doesn't even qualify, and when you view the way these people are forced to live - after years of unspeakable evils - it becomes obvious why many of them are struggling to take care of themselves. To suggest that they are incapable of learning is ridiculous and to suggest that they would learn faster if left to fend for themselves is also ridiculous.

 

I would never suggest that people are incapable of learning, or that they would learn faster if left to fend for themselves. Certainly, when you look at scientific knowledge, capacity-building and access to knowledgable teachers are important. With regards to food security however, it is probably true that some areas might do better if food aid were not available simply because the food aid is an economic deterrent to growing their own food and because some regions still have the knowledge and the materials (i.e. local seeds, land, hoes, etc) to grow ecologically-suitable food in their regions. In other areas, that obviously would not work because the indigenous knowledge has been lost.

 

Those of us lucky enough to have birth certificates minted in the USA or some other western country have no idea what it is like to grow up this poor and can't begin to fathom the effect exposure to that kind of poverty and disease has on neural development. To paint these people as lazy parasites trying to "take advantage" of the western countries that come over and take *their* resources right from under them via mining, bioprospecting, etc is disingenuous. If we expect Africa to fend for itself we should surely force all the western companies to back out (with no further compensation) of their exploitive bioprospecting businesses, diamond mines, gold mines, etc and leave Africa's resources to Africa.

 

When the western countries stop mining, etc in Africa and instead purchase diamonds, gold, etc from the countries of Africa at the fair market value then perhaps the notion that the west is always giving Africa handouts might hold more water, but currently if one is being logical, it simply does not.

 

I agree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those of us lucky enough to have birth certificates minted in the USA or some other western country have no idea what it is like to grow up this poor and can't begin to fathom the effect exposure to that kind of poverty and disease has on neural development.

 

I agreed with all your post until this - do you have any proof that poverty negatively affects neural development? Culturally and psychologically (and amazing even epi-genetically) people may be impacted/harmed - but neurologically? Actually many who have western birth certificates of my parents generation have every idea of what it is like to grow up with poverty and malnutrition - speak to some elderly people who lived through the german occupation of the netherlands in the second world war (sorry godwin).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agreed with all your post until this - do you have any proof that poverty negatively affects neural development?

 

 

"The findings from several authors confirm that undernutrition at an early age affects brain growth and intellectual quotient. Most part of students with the lowest scholastic achievement scores present suboptimal head circumference (anthropometric indicator of past nutrition and brain development) and brain size. On the other hand, intellectual quotient measured through intelligence tests (Weschler-R, or the Raven Progressives Matrices Test) has been described positively and significantly correlated with brain size measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); " - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11515234

 

"Scientists also found that hormones produced in response to stress literally wear down the brains of animals." - http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/03/poordevelopment/

 

"A panel at the American Association for the Advancement of Science said children who grow up in environments with "family stress, negative social and environmental characteristics, and little cognitive stimulation" may not fully develop the parts of the brain critical for learning, memory and language, the AAAS said Friday in a release. Harvard researcher Jack Shonkoff said chemicals released by the body in situations like poverty and violence alter the hippocampus and affect cognition in the brain." - http://www.physorg.com/news122545748.html

 

"malnutrition can cause decrease in

brain volume, number of neurons,

synapses, dendrites and reactive

zones. After nutritional rehabilitation,

although there was significant “catch

up” in brain weight and volume,

there was persistent reduction in

the number of dendritic and synap-

tic spines and cortical cells. These

structures are important in the cell-

to-cell communications. Specifically,

the alterations in the hip-pocampus

(associated with short term memory)

and cerebellum (responsible for fine

motor control and balance), are

permanent. (Levitsky and Strupp,

1995). Observed problems among

malnourished children consist of

atten-tional dysfunction and impul-

siveness, diminished ability to adapt

to stressful situations, susceptibility

to affective disorders like anxiety,

and diminished motivations and

exploratory behaviours. All of these

may lead to impaired school per-

formance and social and emotional

development." - http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:hVHMe_L0jnYJ:www.safpj.co.za/index.php/safpj/article/download/812/694+malnutrition+neural+development&hl=en&gl=za&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShfg4TWCPrOYJO1qFMMJL2nbNhWnBiOudcFvYkE3xvehf6jO2y6B3f315MXYC1Jr49ZUMVaejJlP60SRHmVhNNZZ8mkvOnWnpNO2X4AH1dpb1t8VtRi7zoNcA0DnfXFxuiKyar7&sig=AHIEtbQMxYGm6MclLQehKAms6ekYt2wjeQ&pli=1

 

Cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On that note, I read a book by Robert D. Kaplan: Surrender or Starve. It was about the Ethiopian famine in the '80s. Kaplan contends that the less people died in Eritrea than in Ethiopia during this time because Eritreans had no aid and were dependent on themselves to provide food for themselves. Ethiopians were worse off because they were dependent on the central Ethiopian government -- who was withholding food from certain areas for political reasons -- and food aid.

 

 

 

No point in "fertility control" until you understand the underlying reasons for population increases and decreases.

 

It would be interesting to see how much food insecurity actually exacerbated the population increase. As discussed in a different post, the ecological model that has generally been used to describe population growth with respect to agricultural technology suggests that agrarian societies requiring large amounts of manual labor will increase their population size in the face of food insecurity in order to increase the "necessary population", even if the necessary population is greater than the sustainable population for a given technology.

They need more labor because, like all humans, they seek to create cash flow from their surplus crop. Nothing necessarily wrong with that as long as you keep your eye on the bigger population picture. But also like most humans, they don't and suffer long term as a result.

 

"The findings from several authors confirm that undernutrition at an early age affects brain growth and intellectual quotient. Most part of students with the lowest scholastic achievement scores present suboptimal head circumference (anthropometric indicator of past nutrition and brain development) and brain size. On the other hand, intellectual quotient measured through intelligence tests (Weschler-R, or the Raven Progressives Matrices Test) has been described positively and significantly correlated with brain size measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); " - http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/11515234

 

"Scientists also found that hormones produced in response to stress literally wear down the brains of animals." - http://www.wired.com...oordevelopment/

 

"A panel at the American Association for the Advancement of Science said children who grow up in environments with "family stress, negative social and environmental characteristics, and little cognitive stimulation" may not fully develop the parts of the brain critical for learning, memory and language, the AAAS said Friday in a release. Harvard researcher Jack Shonkoff said chemicals released by the body in situations like poverty and violence alter the hippocampus and affect cognition in the brain." - http://www.physorg.c...s122545748.html

 

"malnutrition can cause decrease in

brain volume, number of neurons,

synapses, dendrites and reactive

zones. After nutritional rehabilitation,

although there was significant "catch

up" in brain weight and volume,

there was persistent reduction in

the number of dendritic and synap-

tic spines and cortical cells. These

structures are important in the cell-

to-cell communications. Specifically,

the alterations in the hip-pocampus

(associated with short term memory)

and cerebellum (responsible for fine

motor control and balance), are

permanent. (Levitsky and Strupp,

1995). Observed problems among

malnourished children consist of

atten-tional dysfunction and impul-

siveness, diminished ability to adapt

to stressful situations, susceptibility

to affective disorders like anxiety,

and diminished motivations and

exploratory behaviours. All of these

may lead to impaired school per-

formance and social and emotional

development." - http://docs.google.c...ekYt2wjeQ&pli=1

 

Cheers

 

So poverty is self re-inforcing on a physiological level as well as a social level.

 

Similar sort of problem with alcohol abuse within aboriginal communities - foetal alcohol syndrome.

 

In both cases you will never solve the problem by continually treating the symptoms. You must eliminate the source of the problem - excess fertility and alcohol availability respectively.

Edited by Greg Boyles
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Edited for space. Thanks for those Spin. I remain slightly unconvinced - there is undoubtedly evidence that severe malnutrition can affect neural development (and as we were talking about this your point stands correctly although the evidence is hardly overwhelming) however poverty per se is another matter. I was guilty of reading the point without context

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So poverty is self re-inforcing on a physiological level as well as a social level.

 

Similar sort of problem with alcohol abuse within aboriginal communities - foetal alcohol syndrome.

 

In both cases you will never solve the problem by continually treating the symptoms. You must eliminate the source of the problem - excess fertility and alcohol availability respectively.

 

That's just bad science.

 

There is no evidence that a poor african family with no children (2 people) can divide zero into more fractions than a poor african family with 5 children (7 people). The source of the problem isn't overpopulation. Granted, overpopulation doesn't help, but even if you let every single child starve to death in Ethiopia they'd still require food aid because as I said before zero doesn't divide into multiple fractions for anyone no matter fiscally responsible and no matter how much birth control is dispensed.

 

You will solve the problems in Africa by expelling western mining companies immediately with no further compensation allowed, and providing food, and education. The problem with education is that it does not kick in immediately, and when you are starving to death and/or your children and family members are starving to death it is hard to get to school and actually learn anything useful.

 

Thus, the key to solving this problem is expelling ALL of the western business that are currently exploiting Africa's resources, providing education, and providing the necessary food/etc until said education can take effect.

 

Honestly though, the problem is that the majority don't give a rat's ass about Africa, and thus the people like me who do care are too few and far between to actually have an impact.

But that"s "humanity" for you, most days I'm embarrassed to be human..

 

Cheers

 

Edited for space. Thanks for those Spin. I remain slightly unconvinced - there is undoubtedly evidence that severe malnutrition can affect neural development (and as we were talking about this your point stands correctly although the evidence is hardly overwhelming) however poverty per se is another matter. I was guilty of reading the point without context

 

The evidence for malnutrition stunting neural development continues to pile on. Moreover, poverty, at least in Africa, could be stated mathematically as directly proportional to malnutrition. That is to say, if you are poor in Africa you are likely starving, severely under weight, homeless, and suffering from any manner of very preventable diseases.

 

Cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.