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Population Sources: The World Food Problem Leathers and Foster, 2004 World Hunger 12 Myths Lappe Collins and Rossett, 1998 Hesketh et al., New England.

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Presentation on theme: "Population Sources: The World Food Problem Leathers and Foster, 2004 World Hunger 12 Myths Lappe Collins and Rossett, 1998 Hesketh et al., New England."— Presentation transcript:

1 Population Sources: The World Food Problem Leathers and Foster, 2004 World Hunger 12 Myths Lappe Collins and Rossett, 1998 Hesketh et al., New England J. Med 353: 1171-1176 Wikipedia

2 Thomas Malthus 1798: Essay on the Principle of Population as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society –Population growth tends to outstrip the means of subsistence –Food increases arithmetically while population increases geometrically –The poor can be kept alive by charity, but since they would then propagate, this is cruelty in disguise.

3 Paul Ehrlich 1968: The Population Bomb “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines— Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death”

4 World Population


6 Human Population Density map.gif&imgrefurl= conditions.php%3Fformat%3Dprint&h=279&w=600&sz=15&hl=en&start=3&tbnid=s2UwthIUrW89qM:&tbnh=63&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dl ife%2Bexpectancy%2Bmap%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den

7 Demographic Transition First, high birth rates and high death rates Then, improved living standards, health cause death rates to drop Finally, low birth rates match low death rates

8 Demographic Transition 1750-1950: Occurred in developed countries 1950: Began to see death rates drop in developing countries 2050: Projected completion of transition

9 Demographic Transition Example: U.S. History –When agrarian society, people had many kids Source of security, labor

10 Demographic Transition Example: U.S. History –When became industrial, fewer kids/family Lowered infant mortality No need to rely on children’s labor More opportunities for women Happened without birth control



13 Global Fertility 1950’s:5 children/woman 1970’s:4 children/woman 1990’s:2.8 children/woman Replacement: 2.1 children/woman

14 Global Population Population growth rate is slowing down and will eventually stop Dip in 1960 due to 30 million deaths in China –Great Leap Forward Famine

15 World Population Projection Estimated to peak at 11 billion in 2200

16 World Population Growth

17 AIDS 40 million people infected with HIV –Many will die of AIDS Will not greatly impact global population growth Will Impact some countries Losses by 2020: –Uganda 45% –Rwanda 35% –Malawi 30% Malawi AIDS orphans

18 Global HIV

19 Food Production per Capita Food Production per capita is rising worldwide –But falling in Africa Food production is keeping up with population –Otherwise food prices would have risen –Food prices have dropped

20 Food Production in Sub-Saharan Africa Food Production in Sub Saharan Africa not keeping up with population

21 Per Capita Production of Calories, Fat, Protein

22 Progressivist View Things are good and getting better: – Worldwide standard of living – Education – Health – Trade People are an asset. Population causes shortages which raise prices, –stimulating entrepreneurs to satisfy the shortages. We end up better off as a result. Julian Simon

23 Progressivist View Two important indicators of progress and improvement in life are –Decreased Infant Mortality –Increased Life Expectancy

24 Life Expectancy

25 Revisionist View Adoption and spread of agriculture have trapped humanity in a spiral of –Population growth –Ecological destruction –Social tyranny. The problem stems from the anti-ecological culture (religion) of agricultural societies –humans are above and not part of nature (global ecosystem) –and therefore can destroy it at will. Civilization is based on Agriculture

26 Daniel Quinn 1992: Ishmael –Although population is 5.5 billion, we produce enough food for 6.0 billion even though millions are starving –Because we produce enough food for 6 billion, in 3 or 4 years there will be 6 billion people. –Then, even though millions are starving, we will produce enough for 6.5 billion. –Thus in another 3-4 years there will be 6.5 billion –To halt this process, must face the fact that increasing food production doesn’t feed the hungry, it only fuels the population explosion.

27 Social Equity View Problems of –poverty –overpopulation –ecological destruction Are due to –inequity of wealth –unfairness of economic and social systems Frances Moore Lappe, Food First

28 If the world were 100 people (2005) 51 male – 49 female 60 Asians, –14 Africans, –12 Europeans, –8 Latin Americans, –5 from USA and Canada –1 from the South Pacific 82 nonwhite –18 white 67 non-Christian –33 be Christian (Source: Family Care Foundation)

29 If the world were 100 people (2005) 80 live in substandard housing 67 unable to read 50 malnourished –1 dying of starvation 33 without access to safe water supply 39 lack access to improved sanitation 24 have no electricity –Most of the 76 with electricity use it only for light at night (Source: Family Care Foundation)

30 If the world were 100 people (2005) (Source: Family Care Foundation) 7 have access to the internet 1 has a college education 1 has HIV 2 near birth –1 near death 5 control 32% of the entire world’s wealth –All 5 U.S. citizens 33 attempt to live on 3% of global income

31 Both hunger and high fertility occur when: Poverty is extreme and widespread Society denies security and opportunity to people Infant mortality is high Most people can’t get land, jobs, education, health care, old age security Few opportunities for women outside of home Bangladesh mother

32 Children Labor force Chance for a job in city Security – major investment – rational choice

33 Women’s Education Powerful predictor of lower fertility Reflects opportunity in society

34 Male Poverty Low self-esteem Dominate women and children Thus more children

35 Examples Sri Lanka: –l ower price rice led to population decline Cuba: –l ow prices for food and health care reduced population rate from 4.7 to 1.6 Kerala, India: –lower price rice, kerosene 1/3 birth rate of average in India Literacy for women is 2.5 times average in India Kerala, India

36 Family Planning Birth Control is responsible for only 15- 20% total fertility decline –Thus population growth cannot be brought down simply by family planning or contraception –but it can speed the decline Contraceptive use in Developing World has increased –9% in 1960 –60% in late 1990s Demographic Transition requires improved –Health –Social Security –Education IUD: Intra Uterine Device

37 Sterilization Encouraged by Western donors for developing countries –Quotas are set –Incentives are used Cash, roads, transportation, latrines For hungry, choices are limited 1/3 of married women in India and China are sterilized Indian woman

38 Puerto Rico: La Operacion U. S. seized in 1898 Sugar companies set up vast plantations Small farmers evicted By 1925, 2% of population owned 80% of land, 70% of population landless’ Unemployment termed “overpopulation” by U.S. By 1940’s light manufacturing moved in attracted to cheap labor, low taxes

39 Puerto Rico: La Operacion Young women were key to labor force Problem was pregnancy Result: massive sterilization program Women coerced into sterilization without being told it was irreversible By 1968, 1/3 of women childbearing age were sterilized. Emigration and sterilization resulted in population drop with no increase in standard of living.

40 Bangladesh Intensive Family Planning in Matlab region Contraceptive use doubled Resulted in reduced birth rate Cost was very high: $120/birth averted –This is 120% of per capita gross domestic product –Not replicable on a national scale

41 China 1950s, 60s Under Mao –children encouraged –Fertility rate: 5.9 children/woman 1970-1979 new policy to cope with overpopulation –“one is good, 2 is ok, 3 is too many” –“late, long, few” Have fewer children later greater spacing between Fertility dropped steeply to 2.9 gress/china_ruling_party/key_people_events/html/default.stm

42 Fertility decline in China

43 China One Child Policy 1979 “one child” policy enacted –For urban areas Material benefits –if have 1 child Social & official pressure –If have more than 1 child 71% Chinese are rural –Multiple children are common Fertility rate has declined –But also declined in other Asian countries without coersion Human rights violation?

44 Birth Control Methods in China

45 Skewed sex ratio Sex ratio at birth (2000) –117:100 male:female Maternal Hepatitus B may account for much of the skewing Boys preferred –Men care for parents in old age –Women join husband’s family Care for husband’s parents Selective abortion of girls –Use ultrasound to determine sex –If first child is a girl, want second to be a boy –Illegal but suspected Female infanticide suspected –before ultrasound

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