Posts tagged ‘Bangladesh’

EASILY The Most Under-Reported Major Story of the Last 25 Years

The reduction in world poverty.

The global population living in extreme poverty has fallen below 750 million for the first time since the World Bank began collecting global statistics in 1990, a decline of more than 1 billion people in the past 25 years.

In a report released Wednesday, the World Bank said the extreme poverty rate had dropped to 10% as of 2015, the latest comprehensive data, and they estimate that the decline has continued over the past three years....

The report highlights the extent to which global poverty has shifted geographically. In 1990, nearly 1 billion of those living in extreme poverty were in East Asia, but decades of rapid economic development in China and other East Asian economies has brought that figure down to 47 million, a decline to a 2% poverty rate from 62%.

South Asia, with most of its population in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, has seen the number living in extreme poverty fall to 216 million from more than 500 million, to 12% from 47%.

Sub-Saharan Africa has made less progress. Its poverty rate has fallen to 41% from 54% since 1990, but population growth has been so rapid that the number of people in extreme poverty has climbed above 400 million, from 278 million in 1990.

I could say something snarky about Western advice given to Africa being pretty much the opposite of what caused much of Asia to escape poverty, but I will leave this a good news story.  We have had more articles in a week about what one judge did or did not do 30 years ago in high school than their have been in 25 years about this great good news.

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."

 

Angola?

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? 

It
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.
...
Eco-alarmists
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)

Figure1

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.