Overpopulation Causes Poverty Essay

And even more of the earth"s "carrying capacity" is being used to make weapons, or toys, or crops for export all manner of things that, despite the wretched poverty of so many of the world's people, no one needs for survival.The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the earth has the capacity to grow food for some 33 billion people.Critics will protest that such tremendous yields would require the dubious efficiencies of monoculture, petrochemical fertilizers and genetic engineering and that is probably true.

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Enough arable land exists in India to give each person in the country approximately half an acre.

In famine-ravaged Ethiopia, each person could have three-quarters of an acre of arable land.

However, "Western standards" are by no means the only game in town.

The long-term trend has been for more human satisfaction to be provided with less pollution.

Does the fact that so many desperate people are moving into cities show that the worlds poorest nations are running out of land? Huge tracts of farmland are used to grow crops for export.

Often, the farmland that was once available to peasants has been bought up in multinational corporations, under the rubric of global free trade.Africa, the poorest continent, has 20.2% of the world's land area, and only 13% of its population.North America has a whopping 2.1 acres of arable land per person!The Malthusian theory was once thought to be, pretty much, relegated to the status of a curious footnote in the history of economic thought.Henry George's chapters on poverty and subsistence instand as the definitive marshalling of the abundant logical ammunition against it. D., however, an influential crew of neo-Malthusians brought the theory back.While it is true that many regions have experienced frightening rates of deforestation and topsoil loss, these problems result from land hoarding, not overpopulation.Around the world, deforestation and desertification result from peasants pushing into sub-marginal land while high-quality farmland is either held out of use entirely, or used to grow export crops.The total area or arable land in the world today, according to the CIA World Factbook, is 3.84 billion acres.The definition used is land that is under cultivation, or temporarily fallow (for less than five years) but it excludes abandoned land resulting from shifting cultivation.Ever-increasing numbers of people in the worlds poorest areas are moving into cities.This has placed great pressures on already-troubled nations.


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