Friday, March 14, 2008

Playing Chicken Little

Some of the usual suspects seem genuinely alarmed about China's development - not so much within a political /military context but because they worry the world is running out of resources or food. 'Can you imagine', they exclaim almost breathless, 'if 1.4 billion people in China had the same environmental footprint as us'?

I've heard the same argument being made about people in Africa. It's similar to somewhat unrealistic views that we in the west have polluted the rich cultures of developing countries to the point that they crave to become more like our recklessly consumer driven society. It befuddles me as it would seem the alternative they suggest is that we keep those in developing countries poor, starving and technologically backwards. For some fleeting moments I wonder if such views are motivated in some small way by racism.

Malthus is long dead. It is a wonder that respectability for his ideas haven't died with him.

No comments: