Thursday, May 19, 2005

Malthus Kim

I was going to blog about something else, but then an article caught my eye. Enter this into the contest for the stupid statement of the year:

"Korea needs to secure superior farmlands in preparation for a possible food crisis," an Agriculture Ministry spokesman said. "Some people are skeptical because the nation's excessive rice stocks have recently become an issue. But the food security issue must be seen as a long-term issue."

First, how the hell are they going to "Secure superior farmlands"? Korea is building at a break neck pace. Not only that the government policy (official or not) is to do the exact opposite. The government plans to move south to the Chonan area, prime grade A Korean farm land.

Second, this again shows Korea's lack of commitment to lowering quotas and tariffs, particularly in relation to rice. The US alone over produces rice. All sorts of new rice production is coming on-line in Brazil where the Agro sector is booming. Finaly who knows how much China could actually produce once they adopt more modern efficient farming methods (heck most Chinese farmers are probably lucky to have ox).

Third, if this is such an issue for South Korea, why do they always hand over the goods when the North comes hat in hand, and bomb in the other?

To sum up, food for thought. One thing that always gets my temper up is all the environmental nuts screaming in Malthusian tones about how we are running out of "earth". How we are currently consuming resources at a pace that some doomsday is is set to be next week.

Consider Korea. It is a land of dense cities yes, but huge tracks of green space and mountains. The population density is considered high at 493 people per kilometer (using CIA World Fact Book data).

Now if everyone in the world, 6,446,131,400 people, in total lived in the same density as Korea, they would take up 13,000,000 km. How big is this? The size of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. That is right, it does not even cover all of South America! Not only would everyone enjoy much of the same amount of green as Koreans would, but also all of Eurasia, Africa, North America, and Australia would be wild.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it Greenpeace.


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