Posts tagged ‘Bangladesh’

A Journalist Actually Addresses "Compared to What" When Discussing Child Labor in the 3rd World

, no less, a site I frequently mock for its economic ignorance.  This is from an article about Adidas totally automating the shoe-making process with robots:

But there's a dark side to all of this, which is what's going to happen to those communities when the sweatshops eventually close. In 1992, US Senator Tom Harkin proposed legislation that would block imports of goods produced by children under the age of 15. A year later, the Bangladesh garment industry dismissed 50,000 children in anticipation of the bill, which was never passed. A 1997 report by UNICEF tracked those children, and found that their situation had gotten worse, not better. As the report explains, the children wound up in "hazardous situations" where they were "paid less, or in prostitution."



I love maps like this one, and a year or two ago I linked an earlier version.  This one is from the Economist via Carpe Diem, and shows the name of the country whose GDP is similar in size to that of the state.

I have to criticize the map-maker, though.  They used Thailand at least four times on this map -- the original version managed to do it without repeats.  But I am amazed that Arizona ranks right there with Thailand.  This is not to diss the rest of the state, which has a lot going for it, but in terms of population and economic activity, a huge percentage in in just one city, Phoenix.

I do have to wonder whether New Mexico being matched up with "Angola" is really very flattering, and pairing Mississippi with Bangladesh is funny on a couple of levels.

The More Things Change....

Professor Lance Endersbee, via Tom Nelson:

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the climate in Europe was cold
and unpredictable. Crops failed. Famine followed famine, bringing
epidemics.  There was a belief that crop failures must be due to human wickedness.

But who were the wicked ones? 

was believed that there must be some witches who are in the grip of the
devil. Witches were named, Inquisitors tested their faith, and a large
number of poor souls were condemned and burnt at the stake. For decade
after decade, fires burned in most towns in Europe.

Fast-forward to our "enlightened" society today:

"Every time a child dies as a result
of floods in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be dragged out of
his office and drowned
," for causing global warming, rants UK
firebrand George Monbiot. Government leaders "should go to jail" for
failing to act more quickly to prevent planetary climate cataclysm,
insists Canadian eco-zealot David Suzuki. These assertions range from
simplistic and outrageous to straight out of Lewis Carroll.
tell impoverished Africans that global warming is the greatest threat
they face "“ when Al Gore uses more electricity in a week than 100
million Africans together use in a year. Those people rarely or never
have electricity and must burn wood and animal dung, resulting in lung
diseases that cause millions of deaths annually. Yet alarmists oppose
fossil fuel power plants, as well as nuclear and hydroelectric projects
"“ guaranteed that Africa's poverty and death toll will continue.

Warmer and Richer

Over at Climate Skeptic, I discuss a Cato study that finally gets at an issue I have tried to press for years:  That even if one accepts the worst of the IPCC warming scenarios (which I do not) the
cost of CO2 abatement, particularly in terms of lost economic growth, is far
higher than the cost of rising temperatures -- ESPECIALLY for the poor. 

Hurricanes are a great example.  The world is probably warming a bit due to man's CO2, but likely less than the catastrophic rates one sees in the press.  This warming may or may not increase hurricane severity.  But let's assume it does.  Let's say Asia faces an extra cyclone or two each year from global warming. 

Over time, trends in deaths from hurricanes and severe deaths have shown no correlation with storm frequency or severity.  Death rates from storms track nearly perfectly with wealth:  As wealth has increased in the US, severe storm deaths have dropped to nearly zero;  Where countries are less wealthy, they experience more death.  Bangladesh is not the site of some of the deadliest storms on record because they get hit by the worst storms, but because they are poor.  (figure source)


As a result, if we really face this tradeoff (which I doubt) the world still is better off richer with 10 hurricanes than poorer with 8.