Re: MEDIA: Last night's NOVA/FRONTLINE special

From: John Marlow (
Date: Wed Apr 25 2001 - 23:18:47 MDT

Ooohboy. Africa. In a nutshell, here's the problem: It's always been
a mess, it continues to be a mess, and it probably always will be a
mess. Yes it seems like the humanitarian thing to do, to bring food
to the starving masses--and I do not argue against this. Who could?
But here is what happens--this causes the population to grow rapidly,
producing a far larger crisis which must be solved with far more
food, and so on ad infinitum. Eventually, by saving the first buch
you have rather directly caused the eventual and seemingly inevitable
death-by-starvation of a far, far larger number of people.

You hand them the tech to provide for themselves, they won't. They're
too busy being oppressed by their own or other governments and
slaughtered by warlords or neighbors.

The majority of the continent is a total write-off. Eventually
they'll eat the wildlife or destroy its food/water sources.

Kenya has it halfway together half of the time. A few of the northern
nations. The rest? Pfff.

We think we have problems? We have inconveniences. Just to be born
here (US) with all your marbles to decent parents is 99.999999% of
everything you could want, when you think about it.

Don't believe it?
Tour Eritrea.


On 25 Apr 2001, at 21:08, Spike Jones wrote:

> Brian D Williams wrote:
> > Last night NOVA/FRONTLINE aired a two hour special "harvest of
> > Horror" a program about biotech food.
> Harvest of Fear, yes, that was an excellent and surprisingly
> well balanced treatment. The star of the show was the Kenyan
> scientist, for she helped me realize that I did not even begin
> to understand the problem of starvation in Africa.
> The anti-GMers argue that giving the rural Africans GM will
> only make them dependent upon western technology. But
> what is the alternative? If the west gives food to the underfed
> Africans, it still has an enormous cost by the time it gets to
> its intended recipients, for the transportation costs are
> enormous. Rural Africa lacks the transportation infrastructure,
> such as trucks, which would be useless anyway for they
> lack adequate roads. Often supples must be hauled in
> wheelbarrows by hand. This in addition to the fact that
> the rural African farmers have their pride, and are not
> beggars.
> If the Greenpeacers withhold GM from the Africans, they simply
> allow them to starve. Since starvation is a particularly cruel
> form of death, the Greenpeacers would show tender mercy
> by simply shooting the hungry Africans. Do you suppose
> the Peacers would change their minds when the Africans
> began to shoot back? Perhaps Greenpeace would donate
> funds to build highways into the jungles and Diesel trucks to
> haul food?
> I haven't the answers to these vexing problems either, but
> the ELF/EarthFirst/GreenPeace position seems hopelessly
> mired in contradictions, unless they come right out and
> admit that they are anti-human. spike

John Marlow

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:56 MDT