Wednesday, October 14, 2009

On "there being enough to go around" - Fit the Second

TF, I confess. I am most astonished at your response.

". The idea being that if you wanted more, you'd have more because you would learn the required skills or obtain the necessary tools to acquire that which you wanted. The same holds true for those living in less than ideal habitats.

OK, so when the Japanese (as they did) sent their deepsea trawlers to Vanuatu and literally scraped the reefs clean of fish, the ni-Vanuatu were supposed to do what? Obtain the tools and skills to catch fish from the reef and surrounding waters? They already had those, but no fish. Should they go out and buy deepsea trawlers? Whatever for? They normally use small canoes and catch just enough fish for the evening meal. After the Japanese stole all of their fish, what should the ni-Vanuatu do?

When the Icelanders and Brits cleaned out the cod stocks from the Newfoundland Bank, the Newfounders were supposed to do what? Go fish the North Sea? Go fish round Iceland? Remember the so-called “cod wars” between Iceland and Britain? What should the Newfounders have done if Iceland had sent naval vessels to “protect” their trawlers on the Bank (and effectively to keep the Newfounders and British away)?

How about we consider the Somalis, or the Nigerians living in the Sub Sahara. In both instances traditional agriculture is impossible because of long-term (20 years plus) drought and encroaching desert. The tools necessary would include the ability to dig wells to a considerable depth, the energy to pump water in high volumes from that depth to the surface and an infrastructure to distribute the water to fields. How do you suggest that they should go about obtaining those resources? They have little enough money to grow and buy food as it is.

Genetically Modified (GM) crops? That is one answer. Would you buy and feed GM soy products to your family? Fine if you do. Would a Somali farmer be able to buy a drought resistant grain from the likes of Marsanto? Probably not, simply because the major thrust in GM crops is into weedkiller resistance so that the likes of Marsanto can sell both the seed and the weedkiller. Supposing that he could by such a crop, how would he afford it? If he is (as a matter of practice) accustomed to reserving part of his crop as next year’s seed how will he pay for the seed from Marsanto or whoever? Charity aid? Think how many Americans there are who preach “Give a man a net…”. Giving a man the seed is much the same as giving him the fish instead of the net. He plants his seeds, grows his crop, sets a portion aside to plant for next year. The following year he plants his seed… and nothing grows because one of the genetic “modifications” applied by the makers ensures that the seed is sterile.

But enough of that for the moment…

Those without natural resources are there by choice and for no other reason. Throw away the idea of being anchored to a particular spot of land by birth because if anyone really wants to move, regardless of the restraints, the human will to get things done wins when applied to most any challenge.

Now, TF, I have to ask; what in the world have you been drinking? Seriously! Did you really consider the implications of that statement?

I live in NZ because I was born here. There is little reason to leave.

There are a large number of Afghanis living in a shantytown close to the French end of the Chunnel. Why are they there? Because they are trying to get into Britain in response to exactly the motives you have suggested. Le Gendarmerie moved in a couple weeks back with bulldozers to “move them on”. Video coverage showed many of them disappearing into the trees not far distant. Comment said it will be a short while before the camp is “re-established”.

Why does the Australian Navy stop and turn back boatloads of people “taking a day trip” out of Indonesia heading for North Australia and West Australia? Is it because they are poor tourists who can’t afford the flight fare? Really?

How many people try to cross from Mexico into US every day? WHY are they trying to get into the US? Same answer. What is your response to those illegals TF? I know, because I have seen it often enough. You certainly do not want “lower peoples” in the US; certainly not from Mexico.

People live in Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, Palestine, Zimbabwe for the very simple reason that they were born there in the same way as you were born a citizen of the US. Why are they still there and not hightailing it to US, EU, Australia, NZ, or even South Africa or Brazil? Because they barely have sufficient resources to get themselves to the next town or the next refugee camp. Even if they can afford to travel to “better places”, would they be allowed to immigrate and stay? Like hell they would. And at that point look to your own attitude to those coming across the Texas-Mexico border for the reason. You are not alone, and I would probably feel the same about people trying to enter NZ.

But it does make the total lie of your statement.

The energy available to mankind is limitless whether you want to call it oil related, wind, solar, nuclear or "other". We need only use the inventive and creative minds God gave us to figure out the mechanics of it.

I don’t believe I made a specific point about energy. But there y’go. Yes, cheap sources of energy are running thin, globally. Good point! I wonder if the South African cropper who has just bought himself a clockwork radio would be looking to buy a Hummer if you were able to similarly repower it? Clockwork radios? They have been around for a while… I have not the knowledge, time nor ability to argue the laws of entropy.

The idea of not having enough food is also not real. There is the idea of "fishing to excess" and destroying one breed of fish; that is true. Then again, the oceans are able to sustain many life forms which have yet to be harvested for food; what are we able to do when we get creative is limitless.

In your backyard that might be true. Been fishing recently? I know that the places where 50 years back we could get in an hour or so enough fish to feed three families now might provide one or two fish for an afternoon’s fishing. If you go to those places now you might be lucky enough to catch one or two fish in an afternoon, and one of those might be of legal take size. You could revisit my comments earlier on fishing in Vanuatu as an example of that.

I know from experience that there are many places where the general idea of “having enough food” is true. I also know that there are many places where there is not. I have canvassed some of those already…

We better learn what is acceptable under Muslim Law because the way things are going we all are going to be subjected to the barbaric system they use the way things are going. Aside from the fact they intend to do away with any and all infidels, removing all non Muslims from the equation, we might not have to worry about running out of food, energy or a comfortable sofa upon which to enjoy the A/C.

Off topic and not even worth responding to in the present discussion.


In the news this morning - I will pick this up over the weekend - was statements that current estimates have over 1 billion people globally without sufficient food. I want to research that just a bit further to validate claims that the estimate includes/excludes the impact of "increased food cost". Bear in mind that if (as an impromptu example) the "price" of millet has increased then it would impact upon those who use it as a part of their staple diet. Bear in mind too that that price increase is simple Econ 101.


Eugene Tan said...

Why New Zealander get so upset? Mi Asian thinkee di Amerlick-kan play too much Yah-who Island thingy dats all. You want more fishee, you develop skills and go to see and get more fishee. You want more energy? Hm...

Oh well. Mi Asian don't care... I own-lee wan biggest, freshest, cheapest fishee. Mi no care where fishee come from. Mi want cheapest "lice", GM or not never mine. Mi no expect live forever. Farmer? Mi no care. Mi want me "lice" only.

Dere will never be enough to go around. God doesn't give. Why some birth can get diamond crusted silver spoon but when mi "birth-ed", mi no have? Mi dun mind chokee on that spoonee you noe...

Nothing is fail, so why New Zealander so angry... mi no understand.

The probligo said...

:) Eugene,

If I am angry, and I will admit to getting "testy" sometimes on this topic, it is not just the fishing and all.

It is the sanctimonious posturing, idealogical claptrap, and "I'm all right Jack" attitude, that some people have that gets my mainspring over-wound...

The probligo said...

Hm, now that I have eaten my breakfast...

There is a very fundamental dishonesty in this and I must face the fact that I am as guilty of it as any.

It is not a case of "want more fishee". The truth is that in the case I have met with directly there are no fish. We spent a week on Tanna a couple years back. I am a keen fisherman and asked if I could go out with one of the locals for a spot of fishing; I catch, he keeps. I was told that no one was allowed to fish the lagoon or reef. That explained why over the next few days we never saw a canoe on the lagoon. The reason for the ban? An attempt to allow fish stocks to recover from a month of trawling by "others". Every night. For six hours. A procession of eight to ten trawlers passing by each with sufficient power to light the whole island with electricity.

Who imposed the ban? The local villagers, through the elders.

Why were the trawlers there? Because other people would pay them well for what they caught. What fish wouldn't sell at their market littered the reef and beaches the next morning.

Want a different example Tef? Think about who benefits most from the ecological destruction of the Niger delta and the other Nigerian oilfields. Next time you buy dry-cell batteries cast your mind to 1984 and Bhopal; a disaster that has never been, will probably never be, cleaned up.

The list is almost endless, depending upon how trivial you want to make the examples. But it is not the list that I am on about.

It is the dishonesty.

Eugene Tan said...

Someone told me that integrity, honesty, and all other virtues are like that one bright star (up there) to guide us. To expect these virtues to be near us... I've sort of lost that doe-eyed idealism already. I'll do what I need to so I can sleep well every night. I'm not the moral/ethical police and I can't dictate what people do/say/think. And I've stopped thinking that I can/could/will/would/should/shall/wanna try.

People can stoop as low as they one but you can count on me not to engage them at that base level. Of course, I am as guilty of not caring as the perpetrator but do I care? Not at all.

The world is coming to an end. My only grouse is it is not soon, not fast, and not catastrophic enough.