Europe Going "Bio" Manic

Feb 28th, 2008, 12:05 AM
  #61  
 
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African families often have many children, and that puzzles many of us in the west.

In some ways, based on my experiences of rural Southern Africa, Family life is sometimes more "Civilised" than the west. Large extended families live together. The grandparents look after the children while the parents work. The elderly are revered and looked after.

In its simplest form it is their pension scheme. The more children you have, the more are likely to look after you in your old age.

Many (most?) countries in Africa are, to western eyes, a corrupt mess. People need to live, and until there is a viable alternative to subsistance farming, then I cannot see much hope of "progress". A starving man does not see that his plight is benefitting longterm prospects for a country.

Apologies - I seem to have completely left the original topic.
willit is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 12:32 AM
  #62  
 
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<<< The argument for biofuel isn't green: it's about US self-sufficiency >>>

It isn't even that - US plans for biofuel are more to support farmers than for self-sufficiency and as the costs in both money & energy of producing biofuel from corn don't add up

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02...ofuel_reports/

If the US wants to become self sufficient then it needs to substantially improve the efficiency at which energy is used
alanRow is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 06:15 AM
  #63  
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I just wonder how long the rest of the world will allow the U.S. to be energy hogs? and europe to a lesser degree perhaps
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 06:21 AM
  #64  
 
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"I just wonder how long the rest of the world will allow the U.S. to be energy hogs? and europe to a lesser degree perhaps"

Given how rich it is making those that have anything to say about it (i.e. the countries and companies that control the energy supply), I suspect it will last about as long as the US, Europe, and the rest of the industrialized world can afford to pay for it.
travelgourmet is online now  
Feb 28th, 2008, 06:31 AM
  #65  
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Or until China is wealthy enough to make a bid - then supplies could dwindle

George W Bush right now on his news conference is ballyhooing the benefits of free trade and NAFTA - thus it obviously benefits more the rich than the poor folk in the three countries

nuff said about NAFTA
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 06:38 AM
  #66  
 
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Free Trade - I can sell something in a poor company at a price lower than they can do it.

Therefore they go to the wall and end up in my factory packing beans for the European market
alanRow is offline  
Feb 28th, 2008, 06:55 AM
  #67  
 
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"ballyhooing the benefits of free trade and NAFTA - thus it obviously benefits more the rich than the poor folk in the three countries"

I categorically disagree with this statement, but I also recognize there is little you can do to change the mind of anti-free traders. Nonetheless, here goes:

1) Mexico has seen a 54% increase in per capita GNI since 2000, so overall incomes are rising, pretty significantly.

http://devdata.worldbank.org/externa...E=CP&CCODE=MEX

2) As can be seen from this chart, Mexico's Gini Coefficient (a measure of income inequality) has been falling since before 2000, and had reached its lowest post-WWII level by 2004.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Gini_since_WWII.gif

So, we have increasing per capita GNI and a decreasing Gini coefficient. That would seem to be at least minimal evidence that the lot of the poor in Mexico may be improving. Certainly stronger evidence than "if W supports it, then it must hurt poor people."
travelgourmet is online now  
Feb 28th, 2008, 06:56 AM
  #68  
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Just listening to Bush's new conference and he was talking about ethanol production bumping up crop prices

man i thought maybe he was showing a kind, more compassionate face and would go on to say, having just returned from malnurished Africa, that this had a deleterious effect on third world hunger

but he went on to say that rising crop prices were impacting folks like hog farmers

hog farmers - hogwash - even meat production hurts world hunger as producing red meat is about the least productive use of land and crops
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