Monday, May 05, 2008

 

A Self-Destructive, Suicidal System

All over the world, “modernization” and “development” are chewing up the Earth and spitting out garbage. Precious farmland and forests disappear at the rate of acres a minute (second?) to make way for more suburbs, factories, biofuel feedstock production yards (what else do you call them?), roads, malls, parking lots, dumps, and what have you. Politicians, capitalists, developers, captains of industry, and all the other movers and shakers practice some incredibly bizarre thinking. They want more people as labor (where are the jobs?) and as taxpayers, and also no doubt as cannon fodder for the killing fields, but they keep destroying the farmland that is needed to feed those people. Anyone with a functioning brain could see what’s wrong with this picture, but unfortunately people with functioning brains seem to be scarce among the ruling class.

Well, at least the Chinese have recognized that because they are trashing more and more of their farmland with each passing day, they need to secure it elsewhere. So now they are going to lease farmland in other countries to offset the agricultural capacity they destroy at home.

Of course, this isn’t going to solve any problems. What happens when the Chinese can’t get other countries to rent them enough farmland? Will they just start taking it? And what about the Japanese, who import 60% of their food? When imports come up short, as they certainly will in the near future, will the Japanese try to secure land in other countries, as they did in other parts of Asia in the 1930s and 1940s? Since so many countries depend on food imports to make up for their domestic shortfalls, following the Chinese example could make the world a real messy place. And I may as well mention that colonialism has been a common way of getting more land throughout history.

To get back to the title, then, what we have is clearly a self-destructive, suicidal system that can only end in severe conflict and global mass starvation. Thanks to the idiot politicians and business people who created this system and set it in motion.



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