Tuesday, October 09, 2007

People Facts

As any politician knows, the way that a fact is presented has a major effect on the way that you expect people to respond to it.

I saw a presentation on global consumer trends today. I emphasise the word global.

With a tone that seemed to be somewhere between concerned and disappointed, the presenter pointed out that 43% of people now live in countries with birth rates that are at or below death rates. The implication was certainly that this was a major problem.

An alternative way of presenting exactly the same information could have been to say that 57% of the people of the world now live in countries where the population is still increasing. And presumably still increasing at a faster rate than land and oil and other resources.

I have no comment on the statistics other than to point out the irony. The presentation's final slide was about the basic human need for peace and quiet and personal space.


Ann said...

I don't see the point in me attending in a couple of weeks time. Think you've told me all I need to know.

The last slide worries me. That isn't possible when I'm in the office.

Anonymous said...

I too noted the fact that some of the obvious facts were ignored:

1/ it said circa 65 countries have 43% of the population - that is shrinking. There wasn't a mention of 2 countries (almost 35% of world population) that is not showing any signs of slowing down.

2/ only people in the developed world re-cycle. Untrue - people in developing countries re-cycle more as several lives depend on that. Whoever has thrown old newspapers or Coca Cola bottles away rather than sell in a developing country?

3/ obesity isn't a desease of affluence. Unhealthy eating does not come from affluence but poverty!!!

Faisal said...

Interesting point about obesity. I am not so it's entirely correct. Isn't it a function of poor nutrition, which seems to afflict the poor in affluent countries (where the poor don't have as much choice or access to nutritional info and have the dregs of production, such trans fats and junk foods--costing virtually zero to churn out, dumped on them) and the rich in poor countries (where the ability to eat, and overeating, even, is a status symbol)?

Faisal said...

If you are talking about the distended bellies of the truly starving, that is not obesity, but a medical condition.

RNB said...

JFK you are right. I have spoken to the anonymous poster. I did this when he wandered over to borrow some food off me :)