I knew there was a “blame America” line somewhere in Robert Emmons’ otherwise excellent article about overpopulation (“The Failure of COP26,” EW 1/13).
He said, “To be sure, developed nations (America chief among them) consume a majority of the world’s resources,” and, “developing countries, which consume far less, are suffering most from the catastrophic impacts of those enjoying a grosser domestic product.” How’s that?
That’s like saying no one can buy a home in America because Ted Turner owns millions of acres of land. No American uses topsoil or water from Africa, and no home builder uses wood stolen from South American forests — illegal loggers do that. The profits from commodities we purchase overseas are used as those governments see fit and some are very corrupt.
In 1900, petroleum in the Middle East was controlled by sultans, imams and sheiks who had absolute power and granted concessions to British companies. In the 1930s the modest proceeds were split 50/50 with the dictators. In 1960, the emir of Kuwait made $260 million, and he chose, purely at his own discretion, to use two-thirds of that to improve living standards in his kingdom.
Stable societies like Japan are able to purchase whatever they lack. Most “famines” in Africa are caused by warlords who steal food-aid shipments and disrupt commerce and government. “Developing countries” (60 years now?) with too many people create rivers of raw sewage, every known communicable disease, preventable AIDS, etc. American taxpayers, technology, and the Peace Corps are called on every day to fix others’ homemade problems.