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Lethbridge Herald {Newspaper} - 1974-01-10,Lethbridge, Alberta irwlay, Jinuiry 10,1974 World^s greatest problem The population explosion continues virtually unabated despite all the concern that has been expressed about it in recent years. Every second there are two additional mouths to feed; every day there are 200,000 more births than deaths. Optimism is fading fast that enough food can be produced to feed the multitudes. Some experts estimate that even now two-thirds of the children in most developing countries are suffering from malnutrition and that if all the available food were equally distributed everyone would be malnourished. What hope is there of meeting the needs of a doubled world population by about the end of the century‘s The truth is that a food crisis exists now. In 1973 the combined wheat reserves of the exporting countries fell to a level equal to only about four weeks of world consumption. The world is now living from harvest to harvest with nothing in store in case of bad weather and crop failures. A single bad harvest in any of the major grain producing areas spells unprecedented disaster. And despite all the technological advances, the world is still at the mercy of weather conditions. One of the major sources of optimism about feeding increasing numbers of people was the Green Revolution — vastly increased yields of grains as a result of improved varieties and better agricultural practices. But this dream seems to be going down the drain. The chemical fertilizer necessary for this increased productivity ~ as Anthony Lewis points out in an article elsewhere on the page — is in short supply and becoming scarcer because of the energy crisis. In this World Population Year governments are finally recognizing the urgent need for some form of universal and drastic family planning — 20 or 30 years too late. Even if some plan could be devised for applying the brakes the momentum will carry the world into what is almost certain disaster. China, for instance, has about as effective a program of birth control as exists anywhere, imposed by a dictatorship and accepted by an extraordinarily obedient people, which has merely slowed growth. China’s population, like that of the world’s, is expected to double by the end of the century. Probably the doubling won't occur. The mass starvation that look place in Ethiopia and in Africa’s Sahel region in 1973 may portend nature's own crude answer to the problem. But it is surely not the answer most people would be satisfied to accept with equanimity. The search for a better answer in this World Population Year can expect, then, to have enthusiastic support. France flies its colors 1' The French decision to act unilaterally on the energy question is not too surprising but it is disappointing nonetheless. The times seem to call for a less competitive and a more concerted approach than that shown by France in its 20-year agreement with Saudi Arabia for oil in exchange tor armaments Only recently U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissmger warned that worldwide depression and economic suicide lie ahead it industrial nations persist in dealing separately with the energy crisis He proposed a high-level energy action group of the United States, Western Europe, Japan and Canada to work out a program of collaboration to overcome the medium and long-term energy shortage. What Mr. Kissinger said about the danger of isolated approaches and the need for co-operative action was met with a generally positive reaction. But France has chosen to pursue its own advantage in typical Gaullist disdain tor Its partners in the European Economic Community and its great postwar benefactor, the United States. De Gaulle's dreams of a resurgent France becommg one of the major powers, irritating as they often were in their' manifestations in policy, could be tolerated in the past. This latest expression ot Gaullism, however, is almost unbearable because of its arrogance and stupidity. The industrial nations need to stand together in coping with the energy crisis and France needs to be in the cooperative arrangements. What good will il do France to have an agreement to have all the oil it needs if the world economic and trade systems collapse? Americans have to declare war WASHINGTON - "It won’t work, ’ Wanamaker said on the bus last night. “What won't work?” “You can't make people sacrifice gasoline, heating and everything that goes with it without declaring war." “Are you crazy or something?'’ I asked. “You're not asking the United States to go to war?” “I said ‘DECLARE WAR,’ not go to war. We have to make the people believe we're at war before they would go along willingly with the harsh measures the government is laying on them.'' “How can you declare war and not go to war?” I asked him. “It’s easy. We went to war in Indochina without declaring it. This time we can declare it but not go to war.” "Wanamaker, are you suggesting we declare war against Indochina?” “Hell no, that would never fly. No one would give up anything if we declared war there. We have to declare war against a country that everyone hates and that is trying to screw us all the time." "What country do you have in mind?” “France," Wanamaker said.    ~ “You want us to declare war on France?’’ I asked in amazement. “It’s the only county I can think of that Americans would be willing to drive 50 miles an hour to defeat." “But what excuse would we have to declare war on France?” I asked. “France insulted Henry Kissinger in Brussels.” Gosh sakes madam.. I’m not an oil sheik!! Fm a member of the Lethbridge Shrine Club!!’ Fertilizer shortage seen indefinitely By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator BOSTON — Every once in a while a world trend of profound importance gets underway without making ■ headlines. According to authorities on agricultural production, something like that may be happening in their field ri^t now. The chemical' fertilizer on which the world increasingly depends for food is in short supply, and getting shorter. Raymond Ewell, professor of chemical engineering at the state university of New York in Buffalo and a recognized ejcpert on fertilizer production, has recently returned from Asia. He gives a vivid example of the problem there. India used about 3.5 million tons of chemical nutrients in 1973. This year, Ewell thinks; she wilt have to make do with 2.5 million. The missing 1 million tons of fertilizer, a staggering proportional cut, will reduce India’s grain harvest by some , 10 million tons, a tenth of last year’s total. Underdeveloped countries are by no means the only ones feeling the scarcity, though its effect on them may be especially devastating. Farmers in the American midwest are clamoring for fertilizer; the U.S. department of agriculture estimates we may be short more than a million tons this year. The shortage is worldwide. The oil crisis is an immediate reason for difficulties in fertilizer production. But the problem goes much deeper than that — to the whole contemporary pattern of growth in population and affluence, and the resulting pressures on agriculture. In all of human history until just yesterday, demand for more food was met by expanding cropland. But now the arable land has just about ran out; there is certainly no more worthwhile acreage available in the most densely populated areas of the world. And so, an increase in our food supply has to come from more intensive cultivation of the available land. In the drive for bigger harvests, the volume of commercial fertilizer used on farmland has increased phenomenally. In 1945, for example, American growers of com used about 7 pounds of nitrogen — the most important fertilizer element — per acre. Just 25 years later, 1970, they were using 112 pounds of nitrogen; 16 times as much. The Green Revolution that we hope will feed the growing millions in the underdeveloped world depends on such massive use of chemical fertilizers, not just on the new varities of rice and other grains. This fact has made worldwide demand mushroom, and production has not kept pace. Ewell figures that plant capacity for making nitrogen fertilizer has grown 6 per cent a year in the last few years, and consumption 9 per cent — with use now limited by supply. The energy crisis is a major dislocating factor at the moment, because it takes' energy in large amounts to make nitrogen fertilizer. It all comes from ammonia, which in turn is made with a hydrocarbon, usually gas or oil. It takes a ton of oil to make a ton of ammonia, which converts to two or three tons of fertilizer depending on the type. ‘"The principal raw material of modern U.S. agriculture is fossil fuel.” That statement, doubtless surprising to most of us, was made and proved by a group of agricultural scientists in the magazine Science last November. Some of the energy input results from the increased mechanization of American farms, but the largest single factor is the use of nitrogen fertilizer. The recent shortages in Middle East oil have had an immediate effect on fertilizer production. Japan, which has been the largest ej^rter of nitrogen nutrients, is said to have cut shipments by about 30 per cent — to the distress of China, Indian and Indonesia, which depend on her supply. Zooming energy prices will have a permanent impact on fertilizer economics. The authors of the study in sicence, writing just a few months ago, forecast “significant changes in agriculture” as fuel costs “increase nearly fivefold by the turn of the century,” In oil, that has already happened. Eighteen months ago urea, one kind of nitrogen nutrient, was selling for $50 a ton. Ewell, while in the Philippines, saw officials there grab some from Poland at $225 a ton. They could do so because the Philippines has foreign exchange available. India does not and hence cannot compete that way in the market. “The Indians should be us ing at least 10 million tons of fertilizer,” Ewell said sadly. “They have the seeds now, they have the land, they’re getting the water ...” A year or two ago, Ewell was relatively hopeful about meeting world fertilizer requirements. Now he says flatly: “The present worldwide shortage will continue indefinitely — at least for the next five years 'and probably for the rest of human history.’' His long-range pessimism is based not on the energy crisis but on the forbidding requirements of capital and technical manpower to build fertilizer plants on the scale that would be needed. Perhaps, as one thinks about it, the scale is most significant — the expanding world population pressing on the limits of land and agricultural technology. What can be done? Assure fertilizer plants of enough diminishing oil and gas supplies. Think again about the Green Revolution and dependence on chemical fertilizer; consider new ways of using natural fertilizer. And most of all, act to hold down world population growth. “That is an act of war,” I admitted. “Remember now, we don't do anything to France when we declare war except beef up the home front. We will tell people that every time they turn down their thermostats Pompidou will catch a cold. We will appeal to the Americans to endure food shortages so that someday they will march down the Champs Elysees again. We will point out that every tank of gas we save means one less bottle of wine on a French table. “We will organize paper drives and scrap collections. Our entire nation must be persuaded to bring France to its knees.” “It could work,” I said. “We could make war pictures showing French atrocities committed on American tourists.” “Our newspapers could dévote pages to all the indignities the French have heaped on the Common Market," Wanamaker suggested. “We could have Bob Hope head up a bond drive," I said. "Raquel Welch could start a stage door canteen,” Wanamaker said. “Once the energy crisis is over and everyone feels they’ve done their part to defeat the French,” Wanamaker added, “then we could declare peace.” "With honor, of course,” I said. “Of course we'll have to rebuild Prance after the war,” Wanamaker said. "But you said we aren’t going to do anything to them except declare war. Why should we rebuild France if we haven’t hurt it?” “Because the United States always has to rebuild a country after we defeat it. What kind of animals do you think we are?” John Turner warns against psyching the economy By Bruce Hutchison, Herald special commentator In the printed text of John Turner’s recent New York speech these frightening words appear; "The greatest threat does not come from an energy crisis as such but from the danger of psyching our economies into a recession.” Frightening, yes, words of fire to ignite the mind, and rather sad since the author already has been psyched to the uttermost depths of his psyche — a brilliant and honest young man who was convinced that he could hold the ministry of finance and the affection of the taxpayers, too. But then, the whole nation, the continent and the world are well and truly psyched, Mr. Turner perhaps less than the average inhabitant. After all, he seems to stand alone in Ottawa against the ultimate financial psychosis that would gut the treasury, his citadel under siege by cabinet and opposition mth, battered like Ozymandias’ statue in the desert but still standing, quoting President Roosevelt to the American businessmen, fearing nothing except fear itself. Look on his works, ye mighty, and do not despair. And never doubt ttie triumphs of political psy-chery, that modem science which has continued to push the living standard of America upward even while it turns the thermostat down. No matter if the house is cold when the continental economy is red-hot. No matter if the dollar has lost 53 cents in a dozen years when economic growth, the true test of any just society, is gaining all the time and will not falter unless we psyche ourselves out of inflation into recession as we did so often in the prepsychic salad days of our youth. No matter if the world machine, with oily Arab hands at the throttle, is in reverse gear when America moves forward, at reduced road speed and in a smaller car, to be sure, but forward all the same, propelled by psychology if not gasoline. We’re all right, John. In truth more than all right; better off than any people on earth but still complaining, still worrying, still criticizing our governments, not sufficiently psyched even yet after three distinct stages of psychic education In the first stage we believed all the official economists’ figures, in the second disbelieved all, and now, in the third, believe and disbelieve Simultaneously, accepting all contradictions as valid, all opposite conclusions as mystical elements in a unity beyond human comprehension, under-■ stood only by governments and other mystics ~ a religious experience, no less, not to be questioned, only to be enjoyed. So, with faith enough, we can enter the final state of Nirvana and psychery in ex-celsis where the Stanfields cease from troubling and the prickly Trudeaus are at peace and even the gloomy croaks of the Lewises are heard no more in the swamp. All this and prosperity, too guaranteed by indexed pensions, industrial strategies, budgetary deficits, ministerial blueprints, bond interest at 7.5 per cent, price increases at ten and the forecasts of Statistics Canada without charge, only one minor threat remaining, that we shall become unpsyched. But not if Mr. Turner is given the chance to prevent it. And if he cannot, who can? Brood deeply, oh ingrate voter, on his hard and lonesome task as he psyches a wandering cabinet back to reality, soothes Mr. Stanfield or Mr Lewis alternately when non-confidence votes require and somehow pays his staggering bills; a task that Mr. Turner must do alone, with small help from anyone, with nothing but the faint hope of the taxpayers to support him, with the nation recumbent and mercifully anesthetized on the psychoanalyst’s couch, its painless bed of nails. Certainly we're all right, John, a little dizzy but all right and thriving on your prescription. Nevertheless, one last miracle has yet to be psyched. When some Canadian politician, committing the supreme heresy, defying all the rules, trusting all the obvious facts, shall admit that he, and everybody else, has been wrong about almost everything, that unpsyched and living again within our means we may live the better for our recovered sanity — why then the nation will rise up and bless him. Dare we hope that Mr. Turner is such a man'’ cra^ capiTf India’s family planning fails—new five-year plan By Walter Schwarz, London Observer commentator H7Î by HtA Im NEW DELHI - India has been forced to lower its sights in family planning. Hopes of slowing down the peculation explosion through programs like mass vasectomy and free condoms have fared so badly that in the new five-year plan sUrting this year (1074) the urgethAS had to be kittled down. Under the existirig plan the birth rate wm to have been brought down from » per Uiownnd to 32 per thouMDd by llf73, and to ft per thousand Ml. B«t these tarfets remained ■> bMvily antnlfllM (the rate U itUI at N ptr tbouMnd), that the new urgeu have bc«n made more modest. AlUmugh abnoft twlct as nnchinoiNT is to be spent on the program in the new plan, U aims at a birth rate of 30 per thousand by 1179 and 2S per thousand by 1«64. Even theie new Urgeta ■ sUnd little chance of fulfilment unleu there is scientific breakthrough. Indian scientists are wwklng on possible panaceas ilk« the "rooming-;iifter pill,” inocnlation against pregnancy, and new types of intcr-uterine loops. But none of these has got beyond the «• perfmenUl stage. In recent years the economy, grmrlng at abcut 3.9 per cent a year, has Just kept ahead of the population growth of more than two per cent a year. But now a Mrfes of reesnt ceoMimic crisei has brought growth almost to a halt. These include the Bangladesh war, the droughts and the oil crisis. The real income of the average family actually went down last year (1973) as a result of unprecedented inflation which is believed to be pushing more than half of the existing population below an officially-accepted minimum level of subsistence. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has now given the health and family planning mrtfolios to one of her ablest young ministers — Doctor Karan Sinfh, Although he b(^ tf redMlnff the Urf«to tte insists that greater realism as well aa more «rgency will He hopes ps of village doctors — “half way between the city practitioner and the barefoot doctor,” who will be the spearhead of the new population policy. But Doctor Karan Singh’s new approach still looks too mitch like the latest in the series of new fashions and gimmicks that have characterised India’s family planning programme for decades. Unhappily, almost every economist in India is now pivdicting that the new plan stands very little cbanM of fulfilling its targets. The overwhelminf lesson that has emerged after tm decades of efforts to restrict population growth in India is that until families are better off and better educated they will continue to have too many children. What dn you mean your wife borrowed il to <îhoppinn? The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th SI S Lethbridge, Alt»rla LETHSfilDGe HERALD CO LTD PfOpriitOfS and PuWISher* S«cond CliM Mail Registration No 0012 DON H PILLING Uanigmg Editor CLEO MOWEfiS, Editor *nd PubllS^e'■ OOhiALD R DORAM General Msnager nOV F MILES Advariislrtg Manager DOUGLAS K WALKtft Ediiwiai P*9e Editor ROBERT M FENTON Circuiahoti M«n«g«r KENNETH É BARNETT Bum new Manager "THE herald serves THE SOUTH" ;