Re: virus: Re: economix and food production

Tracy Harms (
Sat, 18 Nov 95 04:52:18 MDT

I was going to overlook Eric Hardison's hyperbole about humans raping this
planet, but when I read effectively identical stuff coming from Tyson Vaughan I
decided to speak up.

>An aside - I've heard that the average American is directly or indirectly
>responsible for the consumption of some 50 times the natural resources that
>the average Indian consumes during his lifetime. So while we may chastise
>Third World countries for allowing their populations to skyrocket, each
>American child will do the damage of *50* Third World children during his
>or her lifetime.

First of all, I'm suspicious of damn lies, er, make that statistics, so this
factor of 50 I take with a grain of salt from the get go. But let's accept that
for purposes of argument and move on, anyway. Where does the idea arise that
since an American "consumes" 50 times the resources, that therefore Americans
"do the damage" of 50 Indians? That's a non sequitur, UNLESS you reject any
interest in what is done with said resources, meaning that NONE OF THE BENEFITS

Hey, if that's the way you want to play, things are going to get REALLY ugly
REALLY quickly as far as discussion goes.

My proposal is that the interesting values to compare is NET CHANGE, not gross
"consumption". I'm not at all sure that such value changes can be quantified in
any reliable forms, which is a problem. But here I'm seeing Americans slammed
by means of a really cheap apples vs. oranges comparison.

And as one indicator on how unreliable and impossible these statistics are, I
ask you to ponder how much consumption occurs when people dispose of their
sewage in the open near other people's homes. Does the increase in disease for
those neighbors count as consumption? Even if it does, what sort of metric
should we use to compare that with the costs of a sewer line?

This whole thing stinks, if you ask me.