Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
This bothers me - not that a Malthusian backlash through pathogen mutation in an overcrowded world is in any way an improbable scenario - because there seems to be an assumption beneath it (though you may not have meant this) that industrial agriculture is rendered inevitable by population increase (see the agro-industry "We feed the world" propaganda to that effect).

Factory farming is not a necessity in view of high population, it's just a money-making operation. The world can feed a higher population than now without it (though we in the developed nations would need to consume less meat, just as we need to consume less energy).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 1st, 2009 at 08:35:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Factory farming has the "benefit" of "freeing" the rural population to move to urban areas, increasing the total labor force, competing for urban jobs, and forcing down  urban wages.  In a globalized economy this can occur extra-nationally as we've seen in the migration from rural areas of China to the Pacific Rim cities.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri May 1st, 2009 at 10:03:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Whereas intensive local agriculture has the "benefit" of providing greater employment, contributes less to fossil fuel use by requiring less transportation and has the potential to provide healthier food and living conditions for all.  To get from here to there profitably in the USA requires revisions to the agricultural policy as embodied in the five year plan recently passed by the US Congress and revisions to tax codes, etc.  

This, of course, will be opposed by the small group of wealthy individuals who benefit from the existing system.  Once again reform of election finance is important to enabling key reforms.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 1st, 2009 at 01:41:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series