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December 29, 2004

Helping Out « GWOM »

Ace links to Michele trying to understand the magnitude of death from the tsunamis in South/Southeast Asia.

I've got an easy way to understand it!

100,000 people dead. That's a mere one tenth of the number of babies aborted each year in the United States alone.

One Tenth.


Posted by Nathan at 02:25 PM | Comments (6)

It's amazing how issues can be so easily confused in the simple mind.

Posted by: Leonidas at December 29, 2004 02:33 PM

How does it stack up next to the number of people dying as a result of the 'no-condoms-please' policy?

I guess you're right: 100,000 dead really isn't that big a deal.

I don't know how people like you sleep at night.

Posted by: Yepp at December 29, 2004 04:50 PM

How many people have died from the "no-condom policy" again?

Zero? Oh, yeah, because sex is voluntary, and responsible sex (only inside a life-long commitment) is 100% safe if neither has a previous marriage.
How many people have died because they trusted the people that said condoms would make them safe?

Probably closing in on a million by now, just in the US...

Posted by: Nathan at December 29, 2004 08:11 PM

Oh, and I sleep in a bed. You?

Posted by: Nathan at December 29, 2004 08:22 PM

But the real suprise is that 30,000 or so children die each day of starvation in the world and there is no news coverage about it at all. Is that because we have become complacent about it? Are the pictures not as sensational. Or just that we expect it to happen every day and we don't expect tsunami waves to hit?

Posted by: Guy at December 31, 2004 12:41 AM

Is that number correct?
That would be nearly 11 million children dying every year. Only children, and only from starvation. When you add in disease, wars, disasters, car accidents, adults, how many people would that be per year?

This site says that only 8 million die from starvation each year, and that 6 million of those are under the age of five. That would be more like under 20,000 children dying of starvation each year.

But to actually address your question, I think the reason it doesn't get as much attention is that we are inured to the idea. That's much the same as passing all sorts of gun control laws even though more people are killed with household objects like golf clubs and hammers than guns, even though more than twice as many people die in car accidents than with guns, even though more children die per year in swimming pool accidents than by guns. Or why AIDS gets so much funding when more people die of cancer. Or heart disease. Or malaria (worldwide). Whereas, yeah, a tsunami that kills more than 100,000 in a matter of minutes shocks us in a way that starvation doesn't. There haven't been many disaster movies that detailed a few hundred people dying from starvation every few hours. Death unexpected stirs the emotions more.

Part of it is also that it would be impossible to eliminate death from starvation. So many people die of starvation because of political decisions of leaders, or disruption of normal shipping channels, not amount of food available.

I wish I had a better answer. There's no reason to give up trying to solve the starvation problem, though, of course.

Posted by: Nathan at December 31, 2004 05:21 PM
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