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Possible famine in the Horn of Africa


CaptainPanic
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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.

This is probably correct to some degree, but it's a bit pie-in-the-sky, no? Also, it's also not just a problem of the Global North exploiting the Global South, although I recognize this is one of the top issues. But there's also the problem of Africans exploiting other Africans.

Edited by jeskill
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This is probably correct to some degree, but it's a bit pie-in-the-sky, no? Also, it's also not just a problem of the Global North exploiting the Global South, although I recognize this is one of the top issues. But there's also the problem of Africans exploiting other Africans.

 

No, I personally don't think it's a pie in the sky. It is NECESSARY for everyone that is a member of the human race to start accepting that we are all in this together. Extreme poverty exists because people that have everything think they are entitled to as much as they can possibly acquire without regard for the consequences to everyone else. There is a finite amount of money and a very small percentage of mankind controls the majority of the world's resources and wealth. Growing food takes money, providing education, housing, and health care to your family takes money. There is a finite amount of money available in the world, and the Africans do not have their fair share of it.

 

Now, when I say poor impoverished Africans, I mean all of them, including the poor white Afrikaners that are desolate in South Africa. One could say that they deserve the poverty that they've found themselves in. After all, what they did was unspeakable and after years of undeserved privilege they find themselves unable to obtain work because exploitation is not a marketable skill. I volunteer to help homeless Afrikaans kids who cannot afford to go to school and do not have access to quality education in maths and science as well.

 

Black, white, red, brown, you don't stand a chance of making something out of yourself if you don't have a solid understanding of basic maths etc. People in that situation are at a severe disadvantage and run the risk of being manipulated and exploited by others who have been more fortunate.

 

Westerners exploit other westerners, Africans exploit other Africans - although nowhere near as much as westerns exploit africans.

 

So, until the majority of mankind figures out that we are all human beings and that "race"/class/ and other such differences are all just figments of our imagination we will continue to have these problems.

 

It isn't as if westerns always got along in their past or even get along now, nor all native tribes in the Americas, and certainly the same is true for africans as well. Violence, intolerance, indifference, the desire to dehumanize fellow humans and place them into groups, selfishness, and other such forms of stupidity have always plagued mankind. When you couple the aforementioned weaknesses with things like greed what you get is a recipe for disaster.

 

I'm not holding out faith that mankind will get this right. People just don't give a shit about things that don't impact them until they do. The problem with that approach is that once things start impacting one group the previously effected group stops giving a shit as well.. Thus, the cycle of stupidity continues via the pathway of revenge.

 

Personally it is mind boggling. Mankind has all of this potential but we squander it all on petty things. Yet, these things are not for me to decide, so all I can do, is the best I can to help whoever I can however I can. Plenty of people say, just let the racist Afrikaners starve and take their medicine as they are owed it, but I don't see how that logic helps mankind to grow and move away from the hate-filled, violent, and exploitive practices of the past. To each his own I guess, but as I see it the weaknesses mentioned herein will be the death of us.

 

Cheers..

Edited by spin-1/2-nuclei
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No, I personally don't think it's a pie in the sky. It is NECESSARY for everyone that is a member of the human race to start accepting that we are all in this together. Extreme poverty exists because people that have everything think they are entitled to as much as they can possibly acquire without regard for the consequences to everyone else. There is a finite amount of money and a very small percentage of mankind controls the majority of the world's resources and wealth. Growing food takes money, providing education, housing, and health care to your family takes money. There is a finite amount of money available in the world, and the Africans do not have their fair share of it.

...

It isn't as if westerns always got along in their past or even get along now, nor all native tribes in the Americas, and certainly the same is true for africans as well. Violence, intolerance, indifference, the desire to dehumanize fellow humans and place them into groups, selfishness, and other such forms of stupidity have always plagued mankind. When you couple the aforementioned weaknesses with things like greed what you get is a recipe for disaster.

 

I'm not holding out faith that mankind will get this right. People just don't give a shit about things that don't impact them until they do. The problem with that approach is that once things start impacting one group the previously effected group stops giving a shit as well.. Thus, the cycle of stupidity continues via the pathway of revenge.

 

Personally it is mind boggling. Mankind has all of this potential but we squander it all on petty things. Yet, these things are not for me to decide, so all I can do, is the best I can to help whoever I can however I can. Plenty of people say, just let the racist Afrikaners starve and take their medicine as they are owed it, but I don't see how that logic helps mankind to grow and move away from the hate-filled, violent, and exploitive practices of the past. To each his own I guess, but as I see it the weaknesses mentioned herein will be the death of us.

 

Cheers..

"It's just a little car-crash off a cliff! They'll be fine...."

:)

===

 

 

With those givens you've listed, I can see why you come to a somewhat pessimistic conclusion; but....

 

There is not a finite amount of money (or wealth) in the world. Money is arbitrarily created (ala creationism?); and wealth depends more on distribution of the finite resources, so it can fluctuate depending on the efficiency, the ratio, and the distribution of resource use.

 

Also, while I also see the side of humanity that you describe, such a side seems to displace a more welcoming, generous, and cooperative nature only when (and proportionally related to how much) resources become limited.

 

I agree that such an inverse displacement of our bad side for our good side describes most of our history, since our history is one of growing population and declining resources; but...

 

Our population is stabilizing, and science can allow us to utilize our resource more efficiently, to recycle resources, and to restore ecosystem services providing more resources. Would there be pirates coming out of Somalia if they had extensive, productive fields in Somalia?

 

So if we can learn to avoid the historical patterns typical of 'rise-n-fall' civilization (now that we are a global civilization), and learn also from the patterns of biology-- about the patterns of growth and development --so that we stop relying so much on ceasless growth; but rather see that there is a time for development and the refinements that come with maturity, then we should be fine!

===

 

Science (or more simply, wisdom) can allow us to utilize our resource more efficiently, to recycle resources, and to restore ecosystem services providing more resources; to fully understand the dominion we now have over our providence, as was suggested through biblical wisdom a few thousand years ago.

 

We need to reassess and reevaluate our resources, and rethink the meaning behind the value of sustainability.

 

"They'll be fine...."

:)

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Science (or more simply, wisdom) can allow us to utilize our resource more efficiently, to recycle resources, and to restore ecosystem services providing more resources; to fully understand the dominion we now have over our providence, as was suggested through biblical wisdom a few thousand years ago.

 

We need to reassess and reevaluate our resources, and rethink the meaning behind the value of sustainability.

 

"They'll be fine...."

:)

 

While I admire your optimism I personally can't share it. Humans exploit other humans, that seems to be the nature of mankind. I need only look at the concerns over the economy etc and all the crap related to the upcoming elections in the USA to be sure of this. Money should not be finite, but it is, by design of those who have it. If I could simply print more money for the starving people in Africa I would, but the economy doesn't work that way and neither does the law.

 

Resources on the other hand are most definitely finite. Not much that can be done about all the waste going on now given that:

 

a.) the uber rich, banks, and the corporations (all interchangeable really) control everything and sustainability is not in their *immediate* best interest and most of them seem alarmingly incapable of cause and effect reasoning or foresight beyond yearly profit margins (thus here we are with sub-prime mortgage crashes, unemployed college grads drowning in student loan debt while tuition costs at state schools continue to rise, elderly people worried about the social security they paid into and were promised, soldiers returning home from war with no medical or social assistance, political crazies trying to find ways not to raise taxes on the uber rich and squeeze even more out from the already destitute ranks of the middle class, and yes starving children in the over exploited and long forgotten Africa, amongst other things)

 

b.) many people still don't believe in things like global warming, population control, or the abolition of things like (racism, sexism, religious intolerance, discrimination against homosexuals, etc)

 

I hate to say it, but mankind has always gotten this wrong in the past, and is continuing to do so. If anything our technology is more of a curse than a blessing. It seems to me to be more like a lit fire cracker in the hands of a toddler than a sword steadily held in the hands of a skilled martial artist.. We are f'ed as a species because on average we are stupid. There are plenty of smart people out there that have provided mankind with technological advancement that he simply doesn't have the emotional intelligence to be entrusted with.

 

If there is a god, then god help us - and soon, because we surely cannot help ourselves..

 

Cheers

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If I could simply print more money for the starving people in Africa I would, but the economy doesn't work that way and neither does the law.

 

Resources on the other hand are most definitely finite. Not much that can be done about all the waste going on now given that:

 

Yes, well the quote was meant to sound a bit sarcastic or ironic... or maybe sardonic?

 

But regardless, as scientist it is important to remind people that our seemingly hopeless situation is actually solvable. I like to....

 

Remind people about pyrolysis, which can be a new industry--providing new jobs--while also reversing energy dependance and climate problems, and also turn the deserts green again (to reduce the tendancy toward piratism). It is one "scientific" solution that addresses many problems (incl. 8 Millennium Development Goals) simultaneously.

 

With pyrolysis, people (overpopulation or refugees, immigrants, marginalized groups, unemployed, etc.) become a resource instead of a drain on the system.

 

So I try to remain optimistic; it's the moral imperative... and the only "viable" ;) option.

 

~ :)

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@essay,

 

I disagree. The only moral/ethical way to approach this is honesty and honesty is unfortunately pessimistic.

 

As a scientist I feel I am obligated to tell things as they are as opposed to placing rosy spins on things that in reality simply smell like shit because they are in fact shit.

 

I'm a research chemist and my projects get funded based on how much money they can bring in not how much help they can provide for mankind. That is to say treatment for an illness is far more likely to get funding from big pharma than a cure. That's because cures cut in to their profit margins...

 

Moreover patents are the devil. If I come up with a brilliant idea, my university just patents that, then it gets bought from them by major industries to prevent loss of profits. That is because they are all about profit - nobody cares what helps mankind if the help isn't bringing in money.

 

If you don't believe me look at what happened with the electric car and the buying up of patents for other greener technologies by big oil.

 

Sorry, but as a scientists, my scientific opinion is that mankind is getting this really wrong, and the data suggests that I'm correct. Look at the swift decline of the west right now & all the other examples I've mentioned earlier. Corporations - not science run this planet and they are doing it wrong.

 

What can I say, sometimes the truth hurts..

 

Cheers

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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.

 

Zero....you are implying that the problem is that there is NO food in the horn or africa. But that is clearly not the case. The problem is that there is NOT ENOUGH food in the horn of africa. Hence if there were signficantly less people then no would would be starving. Hence fertility control is a valid long term solution to the problem.

 

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

 

While western mining companies certainly do little to help the majority of Africans and indeed exascerbate conflicts and problem, I am not at all convinced that kicking them out of Africa would make a signficant difference. Those Africans that I currently impoverished and viloent would remain impoverished and violent. Africa's problems would remain little changed.

 

The only thing that would make any noticeable difference would be population reduction.

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Zero....you are implying that the problem is that there is NO food in the horn or africa. But that is clearly not the case. The problem is that there is NOT ENOUGH food in the horn of africa. Hence if there were signficantly less people then no would would be starving. Hence fertility control is a valid long term solution to the problem.

The problem is that resources are massively misused and the distribution is anything but even. there are many families with no food and they are starving - and too many people with much more than enough and an active interest in keeping the populace hungry and underfed. fertility control is not a solution - it is a draconian punishment for a problem that was created by the developed world, still benefits the global rich, and will be perpetuated. your "solution" is equivalent to punishing the victim

 

While western mining companies certainly do little to help the majority of Africans and indeed exascerbate conflicts and problem, I am not at all convinced that kicking them out of Africa would make a signficant difference. Those Africans that I currently impoverished and viloent would remain impoverished and violent. Africa's problems would remain little changed.

 

The only thing that would make any noticeable difference would be population reduction.

"do little to help" - no they actively destabilise and exacerbate the problem. From spin1/2's postings you could guess that her experience is based in southern africa - and thus the mining companies are the focus; my experience and knowledge of africa is mainly based in north and west africa and the villains are most certainly the oil industry. pluralistic democracies tend to support their population (to an extent) warring dictatorships involved in internecine terror are more than happy to accept the oilcos dollar and the mining cos rand whatever the consequences for the farmer, the small holder, and the fisherman. the western arms companies are the third part of a tragic cabal that has sought to slice up africa and divide the spoils

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The problem is that resources are massively misused and the distribution is anything but even. there are many families with no food and they are starving - and too many people with much more than enough and an active interest in keeping the populace hungry and underfed. fertility control is not a solution - it is a draconian punishment for a problem that was created by the developed world, still benefits the global rich, and will be perpetuated. your "solution" is equivalent to punishing the victim

 

 

"do little to help" - no they actively destabilise and exacerbate the problem. From spin1/2's postings you could guess that her experience is based in southern africa - and thus the mining companies are the focus; my experience and knowledge of africa is mainly based in north and west africa and the villains are most certainly the oil industry. pluralistic democracies tend to support their population (to an extent) warring dictatorships involved in internecine terror are more than happy to accept the oilcos dollar and the mining cos rand whatever the consequences for the farmer, the small holder, and the fisherman. the western arms companies are the third part of a tragic cabal that has sought to slice up africa and divide the spoils

 

I couldn't agree more. Well said.

 

Cheers

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