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Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 456 -- Environment.
Some interesting data on deforestation, from the 2007 Index of Leading Environmental Indicators (.pdf):
Sure, in poorer areas of the world, it's not looking so great-- if we assume that more trees are a good thing for the environment (I'll go ahead and agree with that assumption). But the trends are good (and have been good for many, many decades) in richer countries. Indeed, in today's developing countries, the trends are beginning to turn around the same way they turned around in the late 19th and early 20th century for the United States.
Meanwhile, there is no country with an annual per capita GDP of $4,600 or higher that is experiencing negative stock growth. Economic growth correlates strongly with environmental improvement. As noted here at WILLisms.com earlier this week, much of that correlation is simply due to maturing individual preferences. When consumers become wealthier and more sophisticated, they tend to value the environment above mere subsistence.
Again, things on our planet are not as dire as some make them out to be. Moreover, economic growth really does seem to be the best path to better environmental conclusions. So, let's do everything we can to grow the economy, here, there, and everywhere.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: American Health Care.
Posted by Will Franklin · 12 October 2007 12:28 PM
I think the digital age helps, too. How much so? No idea. But technology doesn't need as much paper as it once did.
Posted by: Hoodlumman at October 15, 2007 05:09 PM
The single best way that we can decrease the deforestation of the world is to improve the economic reality for the poverty stricken areas of the world.
We have two competing ways to do this. First, we can send billions to the UN to loot first, before they forward the rest on to dictators to line their pockets. That is the UN method of doing things and is what the Dems favor. Let the bluehats decide.
The alternative is that we can allow corporations to bring prosperity to these nations, import jobs, and create industries through Free Trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA, and so on. This has PROVEN TO BE SUCCESSFUL. But then you hear terms like "neocolonialism" or "ethnocentrism" or you hear how we are destroying local traditions and customs and ways of life of places where these people live good unspoiled lives and are happy unlike our big city fast paced lifestyles and how we are destroying their laid back culture with our McDonaldization of the world. Local customs that include abject poverty, unemployment, and massive deforestation and environmental destruction versus the thought of them having an economic model based on capitalism... Leftards hate free markets.
But another big piece of the puzzle is often overlooked. Part of why deforestation occurs is because forests don't feed people. Farms do. And many of these areas have no industry so they turn into sprawling small farms. So the way to stop deforestation is to produce more food on less acres of land. Produce a food surplus and it lowers prices and reduces the pressure to cut forests. That is what happened in the US that let to more and more productive farms. But it led to fewer and fewer folks working on family farms.
The left is squarely against pesticides and corporate farms. They want to use our corn surplus to make ethanol instead of feeding the world with our corn surplus and lowering commodity prices. It is just failed logic. Every single time the government or the UN or subsidies or state run economies get involved, it leads to deforestation and environmental destruction. Capitalism is going to save the environment, not destroy it. Or at very least, it will lift people out of poverty. The Environmental movement is incapable of doing either--helping people or helping the environment.
Posted by: Justin B. at October 16, 2007 09:54 PM