a quarter of world species face extinction
May 20, 2002 9:50 PM   Subscribe

a quarter of world species face extinction and for some reason the bush administration refuses to fund UN backed family planning programs opinions?
posted by specialk420 (25 comments total)

 
mammals that is... my bad.
posted by specialk420 at 9:51 PM on May 20, 2002


I'm a little unclear on the connection here. Are you saying that more abortions will help to save the endangered mammals?
posted by bingo at 10:10 PM on May 20, 2002


uh.. bingo... that might be one way to look at it.
posted by specialk420 at 10:12 PM on May 20, 2002


well...uh...is that the way you were looking at it? Because otherwise I don't get this post at all.
posted by bingo at 10:15 PM on May 20, 2002


C'mon, bingo, you're smarter than that. The obvious connection can be stated as such...
From the first article...
Human activities, notably the destruction of habitats and the introduction of alien species from one part of the world into another, are identified as the main cause of this loss in "biodiversity".

From the Second....
The loss of U.S. funding will have a devastating impact on UNFPA’s efforts to save women’s lives and provide family planning in more than 140 countries around the world. Experts indicate that $34 million in family planning funding is enough to prevent 2 million unwanted pregnancies, nearly 800,000 abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths; almost 60,000 maternal illnesses and more than 77,000 infant and child deaths.

Oh, and more abortions? did you even read the links???
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:33 PM on May 20, 2002




Family planning is not just abortions. Family planning is rationally raising a small, sustainable, happy, healthy family through rational use of birth control methods, including simple education. It is a very inexpensive way to improve people's lives and reduce the societal and environmental stresses causes by large, poor, ignorant, unhappy, unhealthy families.
posted by pracowity at 10:38 PM on May 20, 2002


You're wrong. Family planning is all about abortions. Good abortions, mind you, but abortions, none the less.

Less talking, more abortions.
posted by holloway at 10:42 PM on May 20, 2002


Okay, abortions and birth control. I'm pro-choice and I recycle, but I'm still not sure that the connection between family planning and the extinction of mammals is so crystal clear that it doesn't even need to be justified.
posted by bingo at 10:43 PM on May 20, 2002


seperate but entirely related issues, bingo - feel free to post opinions on either or both.

family planning does not = abortion, i'll look for links on the successes of family planning in thailand which have greatly improved the quality of life for humans and perhaps in some small way helped the quality of life other mammals.

don't worry

hehehee :)
posted by specialk420 at 10:54 PM on May 20, 2002


I was hoping the local squirrel population would become extinct: they keep digging in my flower beds. And they accost me in the park begging for food. They're like rats up here. I think we could do without the non-migratory water fowl as well. They sort of stink up my lake when they stick around all the time. Come to think of it the deer are getting to be a problem as well...especially when they come kicking and screaming through my bloody windshield.
posted by greyscale at 10:57 PM on May 20, 2002


Why should we support family planning programs in impoverished countries overseas? To give couples (especially women) control over the number and spacing of their children? Why, no - we should support it because those African peasants - the ones who often don't manage to consume enough resources to keep themselves alive - are responsible for loss of biodiversity.

Family planning is NOT population control, and ethical family planning advocates are sensitive to this distinction. Human rights abuses in the name of family planning are well-documented. Hence, the environmentalist approach (as opposed to one that emphasizes women's choice) is a rather disingenious way to sell the UNFPA's plan.
posted by isomorphisms at 11:26 PM on May 20, 2002


a quarter of world species face extinction and for some reason the bush administration refuses to fund UN backed family planning programs opinions?

Well obviously because Bush = Evil. Hasn't that already been established ad nauseum on this board? (And, by the way, if you wanted a serious discussion of the subject, perhaps providing some sort of link to Bush's reasoning ... instead of just saying "for some reason" ... might have been helpful - presenting only the perspective of UN bureaucrats whose funding is threatened is not exactly a balanced beginning is it?)

The evidence is that two, and pretty much only two things have worked to make a serious dent in population expansion: Developing a nation's economy (as per capita income increases, families have fewer children), or intense, enforced birth control (essentially, abortion - a la China).

And indeed, let's quote the article: The loss of U.S. funding will have a devastating impact on UNFPA’s efforts to save women’s lives and provide family planning in more than 140 countries around the world. Experts indicate that $34 million in family planning funding is enough to prevent 2 million unwanted pregnancies, nearly 800,000 abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths; almost 60,000 maternal illnesses and more than 77,000 infant and child deaths.

While the "experts" don't say whether this is per year, per five years, or over a decade, let's just say it is a single year they're talking about. The total number of new additions to the population that will be prevented is 2,800,000 (the maternal deaths and illnesses, and infant and child deaths that are prevented actually mean that the $34 million helps to add to the population problem, not just prevent it ...). Sounds a bit cold to say so - but that is the logic this FPP uses ... UN Program needed to help limit population because other species are dying off. However - do examine that number. Assuming a population of 6 billion, the UN program will reduce growth by a whopping .04%. I fear that likely won't have any impact at all on the poor animal species.
posted by MidasMulligan at 12:40 AM on May 21, 2002


Assuming a population of 6 billion, the UN program will reduce growth by a whopping .04%.

Of course, the current rate of global population growth is not 6 billion per year. It's more like 85 million per year. A reduction of 2.8 million is therefore a reduction of about 3.3%

Also, I think the 800,000 abortions are counted amoung the 2 million unwanted pregnancies, so the growth rate is only decreased by 2 million per year. About 2.4%.

Either way, Midas, you're off by a couple orders of magnitude. For what it's worth.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:39 AM on May 21, 2002


Assuming a population of 6 billion, the UN program will reduce growth by a whopping .04%.

Of course, the current rate of global population growth is not 6 billion per year. It's more like 85 million per year. A reduction of 2.8 million is therefore a reduction of about 3.3%

Also, I think the 800,000 abortions are counted amoung the 2 million unwanted pregnancies, so the growth rate is only decreased by 2 million per year. About 2.4%.

Either way, Midas, you're off by a couple orders of magnitude. For what it's worth.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:39 AM on May 21, 2002


according to this article the Bush decision has to do with fishy goings on in China. Which doesn't mean it's not an abortion-issue-covering whitewash, just that we've got a semi-plausible excuse...
posted by hob at 2:08 AM on May 21, 2002


MetaFilter: Less talking, more abortions.
posted by dong_resin at 2:19 AM on May 21, 2002


Y'all know that experts now believe world population is due to peak this century regardless, right?

In any case there's no evidence that human population per se is the problem, but more how that human population abuses or conserves the planet's resources. The latter is not necessarily a straight correlation with the former -- a smaller population, less discriminate, could do more damage. Certainly the early period of industrialization seems to be the most dangerous for any society. And Midas is certainly correct in that birth rate seems to drop as a trailing indicator of economic modernization -- as a society develops a strong middle class, concerned with long-term economic goals, it tends to have fewer kids. Efforts to reverse the correlation such that a middle class develops as a result of a lower birth rate have proven unsuccessful -- raw agricultural poverty makes children more of an asset than a liability. So the way to reduce the population is to eliminate raw agricultural poverty, not the other way around.

Certainly the Bush administration is not avoiding family planning funding because they don't like the environment (what an awesomely silly thing to accuse them of). They may have higher priorities than environmental conservation, which doesn't mean they're against it.

And in terms of family planning, buried in this article are a number of whopping assumptions. First, that the family-planning problems of the world are the United States's responsibility. According to whom? Don't tell me the European Union can't come up with a measy $34 million. If other nations want to spend more on this effort they are certainly welcome to do so -- nobody's stopping them. The only question is whether they can strong-arm the United States into "sharing the burden", i.e. volunteering to reach into our pockets and take out money. So magnanimous, and it's wrapped in sanctity that could make you throw up. I wouldn't be opposed to this spending, but I'm sick of the rest of the world thinking they get to budget our money, and whining like baby jesus if we so much as raise the point that we may have other priorities. If it's so goddamn important, do it yourselves.
posted by dhartung at 5:01 AM on May 21, 2002


Bush just wants all those threatened tigers and pandas to practise abstinence. Don't they know that it's what Jesus taught?
posted by riviera at 5:26 AM on May 21, 2002


Well obviously because Bush = Evil. Hasn't that already been established ad nauseum on this board? (And, by the way, if you wanted a serious discussion of the subject, perhaps providing some sort of link to Bush's reasoning ... instead of just saying "for some reason" ... might have been helpful - presenting only the perspective of UN bureaucrats whose funding is threatened is not exactly a balanced beginning is it?)

Obviously you are on the wrong board MidasMulligan, if this poster had put something on Bush's reasoning, this would have been an intelligent discussion, unlike the usual aimless Bush-bashing that goes on here at good ole' MeFi.

I'm looking over this article and noticing the first link looks much like when Greenpeace said that 80% of the rain forests will be gone in something like 20 years (which isn't even possible) and then recanted saying that they lied. hmmmmm, sounds like somebody's trying to push an agenda, again?!?
posted by the_0ne at 5:27 AM on May 21, 2002


It's called nanotechnology -- building molecules atom by atom, to order, free -- and it's less than a century away.

... The human race must pursue that glorious vision -- if necessary, die trying. We dare not throttle back the machine at this point. It's a cranky old machine, jerry-built, run by committee, and very low on fuel. If we permit it to so much as stall, we'll never get it running again: there just aren't enough metals and fossil fuels left in the ground to start over.


I'm inclined to agree with Spider Robinson.
posted by revbrian at 5:36 AM on May 21, 2002


You know... species become extinct all the time, but there are also new species being created.
posted by ph00dz at 5:38 AM on May 21, 2002


Whatever the Bush Admin's true motivations, little good can come from UN cooperation. Better to fund other organizations.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:40 AM on May 21, 2002


$34,000,000/280,000,000 = 12 cents per US citizen. The nerve of those bastards! What do they think America is, rich or something?! Let's scream and shout about it! Down with the UN! Down with birth control! Down with assisting the poor! Fuck the world! Pass the doughnuts!

> but there are also new species being created

Indeed. That's why we shouldn't mind people starving to death, either; there are always babies being born.
posted by pracowity at 5:45 AM on May 21, 2002


Obviously you are on the wrong board MidasMulligan, if this poster had put something on Bush's reasoning...

If any...

...this would have been an intelligent discussion, unlike the usual aimless Bush-bashing that goes on here at good ole' MeFi.

Astounding. Instead of whining about how your pet Bush is always getting the shaft, why don't YOU and the other Bush-babies provide examples in the thread of what his "reasoning" is on environmental issues? It can't be that tough, if he's really the champion of the rational that you'd like to believe him to be.

Most of us know Bush for what he is, an orifice for big business. If you have some other information, provide it. Otherwise we'll assume none exists.

And oh, the "balance" thing. Unfortunately, the MeFi Bush-apologists crying out for "balance" want exactly the same "balance" as the guy picking your pocket suggests: "Here...you've got two ten dollar bills, I'll just take one. That's fair..."
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:13 PM on May 21, 2002


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