[saymaListserv] Updates

Janet Minshall jhminshall at mindspring.com
Tue Oct 2 15:33:34 JEST 2001


Dear Friends,

This summer when we were exchanging messages about globalization and 
economics several of you wrote to me and asked for references for 
further reading. An excellent resource is just out.  The Economist 
magazine for Sept.29-October 10 has a twenty-seven page special 
section on "Globalization And Its Critics".
The section addresses almost every issue I've heard raised about 
globalization.  It does a very good job of presenting complex ideas 
relatively simply and of dismissing arguments that are popular but 
have no basis in truth.  The Economist is centrist (neither far right 
nor far left).  I use it for reference for those without a background 
in economics for this reason as both ends of the political spectrum 
tend to distort facts, figures and timelines to support their own 
perspective. This is the cheapest and most reliable intro to 
globalization and economics you can get and its on the newsstand 
right now.

You may also recall an abridged version of an article in The 
Economist by Bjorn Lomborg which I sent out in August.  Lomborg is a 
researcher and professor at the University of Aarhus in Denmark and a 
former "deep green" environmental activist.  In 1997, Lomborg set out 
to challenge the writing of Julian Simon, an economist who doubted 
environmentalists claims.  Lomborg found after thorough research, 
that the data generally supported the economist. He found further 
that the environmentalists were exaggerating and distorting info on 
the environment apparently to increase the fear factor as well as 
contributions to their own organizations.  Lomborg's book has now 
been published and economists and other researchers are going over 
his data.  So far his work has proven to be accurate both in details 
and in his conclusions.  "The accumulating power of the book lies in 
the sheer toll of carefully documented examples."  Lomborg's book is 
The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring The Real State of The 
World, published by Cambridge University Press $27.95 or L17.95 in 
paperback.  Read it if you wish to have a more realistic and hopeful 
view of the environmental issues we face.

Finally, I came across a very good editorial in a back issue of 
Newsweek magazine World View section, 7-30-01,p.25.It was written 
just after the large anti-globalization demonstration in Genoa, 
Italy.  His comments are both critical and supportive of the 
demonstrator's claims.  The single best argument he makes, however, 
is to show how middle-class Americans and Western Europeans are 
trying to impose their own fears and superstitions about genetically 
modified foods, pesticides and drugs on poor countries.  He quotes 
Mark Malloch Brown, Head of the United Nations Development Program, 
"It is unfortunate that the protesters have such a strong 
anti-technolgy bias" He cites a recent study just released by the 
UNDP, an astonishing report on development and technology 
(www.undp.org/hdr2001/) which urges poor countries to consider their 
own needs first and not follow the lead of those in the West who are 
not starving, do not have 1,000,000 people per year dying of malaria, 
and are already protected from communicable diseases which still 
ravage the poor. Malloch Brown argues that genetically modified 
staples  -- rice, millet, and cassava -- have 50% higher yields, 
mature 30 to 50 days sooner , are much richer in protein, and resist 
disease, draught, pests and weeds.  "Not one person has died as a 
result of eating genetically modified foods.  On the other hand, 
starvation kills millions every year".

Malloch Brown adds as illustration, "By fully exposing itself to the 
capital and technology of the First World in the '80s and '90s, East 
Asia actually doubled the living standards of its people, a process 
that took the West more than 100 years to accomplish.

If any of you have questions or comments please respond.  If you are 
more comfortable doing that "off the list" thats just fine.  Love, 
Janet






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