Comments on: The Mirror, Not Malthus: The Hunger Crisis and the Illusion of Scarcity http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Wed, 03 Dec 2008 22:47:02 +0000 #?v=2.3.2 By: Pangolin http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4661 Pangolin Thu, 24 Apr 2008 07:34:19 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4661 Those people are going to starve. You're proposal just asks for an adjustment in the date of that starvation. Putting the crisis off without adjusting the population growth doesn't fix anything. They believed the cargo cult noise that the West was feeding them and we were full of it. Malthus didn't own the math he just spoke up about it. Endless population growth isn't possible and those that have just will not give up for the have-nots. I could send my entire income to Haiti and it wouldn't change a thing because enough people wouldn't join me. We just aren't that good at solving problems. Those people are going to starve. You’re proposal just asks for an adjustment in the date of that starvation. Putting the crisis off without adjusting the population growth doesn’t fix anything.

They believed the cargo cult noise that the West was feeding them and we were full of it. Malthus didn’t own the math he just spoke up about it. Endless population growth isn’t possible and those that have just will not give up for the have-nots.

I could send my entire income to Haiti and it wouldn’t change a thing because enough people wouldn’t join me. We just aren’t that good at solving problems.

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By: Sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4555 Sharon Tue, 22 Apr 2008 21:18:59 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4555 I've got bikes and bike trailers, and Albany and Schenectady aren't that far away. The good thing is that I don't have that many bills - and I'll have fewer then. Yes, I've given it thought - and I think it is a non-issue - perhaps not for those who truly live at the very edge of civilization, but not for me. Sharon I’ve got bikes and bike trailers, and Albany and Schenectady aren’t that far away. The good thing is that I don’t have that many bills - and I’ll have fewer then.

Yes, I’ve given it thought - and I think it is a non-issue - perhaps not for those who truly live at the very edge of civilization, but not for me.

Sharon

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By: ham http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4550 ham Tue, 22 Apr 2008 20:45:16 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4550 hi sharon , your views on a post oil world are to be commended. living the rural life is great. however , have you ever given thought to how you will pay the bills and the taxes when no one will be able to drive to your farm to purchase your products ? it works both ways. hi sharon ,

your views on a post oil world are to be commended. living the rural life is great.

however , have you ever given thought to how you will pay the bills and the taxes when no one will be able to drive to your farm to purchase your products ?

it works both ways.

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By: Rosa http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4495 Rosa Fri, 18 Apr 2008 02:58:32 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4495 Idaho Locavore, that's what we're doing - I cut our food budget and we're sending half the difference to our local food shelf and half to Starthrower Foundation. It's one of those two-birds-with-one-stone changes - I had decided to cut our meat consumption, and we have never met our charitable giving goal (we still don't, it's a budget area my partner and I disagree on). Sharon, I have a post stuck in moderation because it has a lot of links in it, if you get time to look at it. Idaho Locavore, that’s what we’re doing - I cut our food budget and we’re sending half the difference to our local food shelf and half to Starthrower Foundation. It’s one of those two-birds-with-one-stone changes - I had decided to cut our meat consumption, and we have never met our charitable giving goal (we still don’t, it’s a budget area my partner and I disagree on).

Sharon, I have a post stuck in moderation because it has a lot of links in it, if you get time to look at it.

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By: Riot 4 Austerity » Blog Archive » Enough http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4494 Riot 4 Austerity » Blog Archive » Enough Fri, 18 Apr 2008 00:42:31 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4494 [...] causes of world hunger and poverty.* * *Richmond Bread Riot, 1860s* * *UPDATE: Also check out this insightful post [...] […] causes of world hunger and poverty.* * *Richmond Bread Riot, 1860s* * *UPDATE: Also check out this insightful post […]

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By: Idaho Locavore http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4492 Idaho Locavore Thu, 17 Apr 2008 22:35:15 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4492 Well, I went looking for information on Haiti's food situation, and found this horrifying article, dated March 6 of this year. "CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti (AP) - While millions of Haitians go hungry, containers full of food are stacking up in the nation's ports because of government red tape - leaving tons of beans, rice and other staples to rot under a sweltering sun or be devoured by vermin. A government attempt to clean up a corrupt port system that has helped make Haiti a major conduit for Colombian cocaine has added new layers of bureaucracy - and led to backlogs so severe they are being felt 600 miles away in Miami, where cargo shipments to Haiti have ground almost to a standstill. The problems are depriving desperate people of donated food. Some are so poor they are forced to eat cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable oil to satisfy their hunger. An Associated Press investigation found the situation is most severe in Cap-Haitien, Haiti's second-largest city. One recent afternoon, garbage men shoveled a pile of rotting pinto beans that had turned gray and crumbled to dust as cockroaches and beetles scurried about. The men had found the putrid cargo by following a stench through stacked shipping containers to one holding 40,000 pounds of beans. It had been in port since November." Since NOVEMBER???? No wonder the people have been rioting in the streets! This is not an unusual situation from what I've been reading - it is quite common for corrupt governments to hold up or hijack food aid and for it to never get to the people whose lives it is meant to save. Does anyone have any idea what can be done about this part of the problem? Well, I went looking for information on Haiti’s food situation, and found this horrifying article, dated March 6 of this year.

“CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti (AP) - While millions of Haitians go hungry, containers full of food are stacking up in the nation’s ports because of government red tape - leaving tons of beans, rice and other staples to rot under a sweltering sun or be devoured by vermin.

A government attempt to clean up a corrupt port system that has helped make Haiti a major conduit for Colombian cocaine has added new layers of bureaucracy - and led to backlogs so severe they are being felt 600 miles away in Miami, where cargo shipments to Haiti have ground almost to a standstill.

The problems are depriving desperate people of donated food. Some are so poor they are forced to eat cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable oil to satisfy their hunger.

An Associated Press investigation found the situation is most severe in Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second-largest city. One recent afternoon, garbage men shoveled a pile of rotting pinto beans that had turned gray and crumbled to dust as cockroaches and beetles scurried about.

The men had found the putrid cargo by following a stench through stacked shipping containers to one holding 40,000 pounds of beans. It had been in port since November.”

Since NOVEMBER???? No wonder the people have been rioting in the streets! This is not an unusual situation from what I’ve been reading - it is quite common for corrupt governments to hold up or hijack food aid and for it to never get to the people whose lives it is meant to save. Does anyone have any idea what can be done about this part of the problem?

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By: Idaho Locavore http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4491 Idaho Locavore Thu, 17 Apr 2008 22:27:26 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4491 “While 100 million tonnes of food will be diverted this year to feed cars, 760 million tonnes will be snatched from the mouths of humans to feed animals (9). This could cover the global food deficit 14 times. If you care about hunger, eat less meat.” Well, we are doing just that here. We're probably eating at least 50% less meat this year than last year and will probably lower that amount even more over the next few months. I have a feeling, however, that the only real effect this will have is to salve our consciences, because the whole global economic system is now geared towards food as a financial instrument, food as a basis for fuel and food as feed to be turned into meat. What little slack we will be able to make in the system will just be eaten up by these three astronomically large special interests as fast as it can be created, I'm afraid - unless literally millions of families decide to do the same and I just don't see that happening. At this point, probably the only practical way to actually get more food into starving people's mouths in a reasonable timeframe is for each family who is willing, to take direct action - for instance, to take the money we would have used to buy more meat or gasoline, find a reputable global food charity that doesn't skim 80% or more off the top for their "administrative costs" and as long as we can, send that money to them regularly. While we're at it, it might be a good idea to check our retirement accounts (for those lucky enough to have them) and any other investments that we ourselves do not personally manage, and as soon as possible try to do what we can to ensure that any food/commodity based investments are replaced with something that is not as likely to just further drive up prices. And working to waste less at home wouldn't be a bad idea, either. Any more ideas? “While 100 million tonnes of food will be diverted this year to feed cars, 760 million tonnes will be snatched from the mouths of humans to feed animals (9). This could cover the global food deficit 14 times. If you care about hunger, eat less meat.”

Well, we are doing just that here. We’re probably eating at least 50% less meat this year than last year and will probably lower that amount even more over the next few months. I have a feeling, however, that the only real effect this will have is to salve our consciences, because the whole global economic system is now geared towards food as a financial instrument, food as a basis for fuel and food as feed to be turned into meat. What little slack we will be able to make in the system will just be eaten up by these three astronomically large special interests as fast as it can be created, I’m afraid - unless literally millions of families decide to do the same and I just don’t see that happening.

At this point, probably the only practical way to actually get more food into starving people’s mouths in a reasonable timeframe is for each family who is willing, to take direct action - for instance, to take the money we would have used to buy more meat or gasoline, find a reputable global food charity that doesn’t skim 80% or more off the top for their “administrative costs” and as long as we can, send that money to them regularly. While we’re at it, it might be a good idea to check our retirement accounts (for those lucky enough to have them) and any other investments that we ourselves do not personally manage, and as soon as possible try to do what we can to ensure that any food/commodity based investments are replaced with something that is not as likely to just further drive up prices. And working to waste less at home wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

Any more ideas?

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By: Rosa http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4488 Rosa Thu, 17 Apr 2008 20:03:04 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4488 Sharon, when we were in Arizona I saw some WWI food administration posters in a museum and wanted to send you images of them, but couldn't find them. The one I really wanted to share isn't here, but the U of CO has an archive of war posters and I found several that tie into the direct link between overconsumption in the US and hunger elsewhere - I didn't realize until I started looking into this that we shipped direct food aid to Europe during and after WWI. There is absolutely no reason that we could not, right now, without any political changes, do the same thing for Haiti. Check out the wording on these: http://www.coloradocollege.edu/library/specialcollections/historicalcollections/wwi/FA029.html Buy it with thought Cook it with care Use less wheat & meat Buy local foods Serve just enough Use what is left http://www.coloradocollege.edu/library/specialcollections/historicalcollections/wwi/FA034.html Denying ourselves only a little means life to them When the Mississippi flooded eastern Iowa in 1993, Bangladesh sent us aid. I've contacted our senators and representatives about biofuels and that is not going to fly at *all* around here...but speculation laws may. I'll try again. Sharon, when we were in Arizona I saw some WWI food administration posters in a museum and wanted to send you images of them, but couldn’t find them.

The one I really wanted to share isn’t here, but the U of CO has an archive of war posters and I found several that tie into the direct link between overconsumption in the US and hunger elsewhere - I didn’t realize until I started looking into this that we shipped direct food aid to Europe during and after WWI.

There is absolutely no reason that we could not, right now, without any political changes, do the same thing for Haiti. Check out the wording on these:

http://www.coloradocollege.edu/library/specialcollections/historicalcollections/wwi/FA029.html

Buy it with thought
Cook it with care
Use less wheat & meat
Buy local foods
Serve just enough
Use what is left

http://www.coloradocollege.edu/library/specialcollections/historicalcollections/wwi/FA034.html

Denying ourselves only a little means life to them

When the Mississippi flooded eastern Iowa in 1993, Bangladesh sent us aid. I’ve contacted our senators and representatives about biofuels and that is not going to fly at *all* around here…but speculation laws may. I’ll try again.

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By: The Purloined Letter http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4486 The Purloined Letter Thu, 17 Apr 2008 19:21:29 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4486 What a powerful post. I've been incredibly anxious for the last few weeks about these issues and finally posted about them today (and since I hit the publish button, I've gotten a lot of hits from the IMF and the State Department....) But I ended with my hands up in the air. You gave me what I needed: direction and action. Went to hear Lester Brown last night here. Interesting to here his take on things, too. What a powerful post. I’ve been incredibly anxious for the last few weeks about these issues and finally posted about them today (and since I hit the publish button, I’ve gotten a lot of hits from the IMF and the State Department….) But I ended with my hands up in the air. You gave me what I needed: direction and action.

Went to hear Lester Brown last night here. Interesting to here his take on things, too.

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By: Anon http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4483 Anon Thu, 17 Apr 2008 19:00:18 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/17/the-mirror-not-malthus-the-hunger-crisis-and-the-illusion-of-scarcity/#comment-4483 "Hope's Edge" is a great book. According to George Monbiot's article "The Pleasures of the Flesh" (April 15, 2008): http://www.monbiot.com/ Excerpts - "There's plenty of food. It is just not reaching human stomachs. Of the 2.13 billion tonnes likely to be consumed this year, only 1.01 billion, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will feed people (4)." "While 100 million tonnes of food will be diverted this year to feed cars, 760 million tonnes will be snatched from the mouths of humans to feed animals (9). This could cover the global food deficit 14 times. If you care about hunger, eat less meat." A plant-based diet is the healthiest diet for humans according to T. Colin Campbell's well documented book "The China Study." The New York Times says about the book: "... findings from the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease are challenging much of American dietary dogma." ~Vegan “Hope’s Edge” is a great book.

According to George Monbiot’s article “The Pleasures of the Flesh” (April 15, 2008):

http://www.monbiot.com/

Excerpts -

“There’s plenty of food. It is just not reaching human stomachs. Of the 2.13 billion tonnes likely to be consumed this year, only 1.01 billion, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will feed people (4).”

“While 100 million tonnes of food will be diverted this year to feed cars, 760 million tonnes will be snatched from the mouths of humans to feed animals (9). This could cover the global food deficit 14 times. If you care about hunger, eat less meat.”

A plant-based diet is the healthiest diet for humans according to T. Colin Campbell’s well documented book “The China Study.”

The New York Times says about the book: “… findings from the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease are challenging much of American dietary dogma.”

~Vegan

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