Rich & Rainforest Nations Compared

Kathy said, "Comparison of some rich countries and a few rainforest nations brings out various interesting facts".

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"Let us start with what Mr. Wilson stated at the beginning of his speech, namely that the world's population is exploding, having already reached a figure of 6 billion by the year 2000 and so there will be no space to accommodate the increased population and so on".

 "Let us look at Table 1 which gives the details of the World's Population figures together with the Population Density -

that is - the number of persons per square kilometer of the world and

compare those figures with those of some well-developed countries and a few rainforest nations".

Click here for Table 1 which shows the details of the world population figures for 1950 and 2000. (Opens a new window)

"The world's population was:

  • a little over 2.5 billion in the year 1950 and
  • a little over 6 billion in the year 2000.

  • This represents an increase of 238% over the population figure of 1950".

    "The population density of the world per square kilometer was:

  • 19.5 persons in 1950 and

  • 46.4 persons in the year 2000.

  • This again represents an increase of 238% over the world population density of 1950".

    Against this reference, let us compare some well-developed countries' population figures:

    Some well-developed countries -
    Population increases from 1950 to 2000 :

    UK - population increases by 118.74% at the lower end and

    Canada - population increases by 223.23% at the higher end.

    The population figures of the other well-developed countries like US, Germany, France, Japan etc are somewhere within this range.

    If we look at the increase in the number of persons per square kilometer from 1950 to 2000 in these countries, the percentage figures are almost the same:

    from 118.75% for UK to 226.67% for Canada, with the other rich nations' figures falling within this range again.

    But if we look at the actual numbers, some interesting observations can be made.

    No of persons per square kilometer in 1950 and 2000:

  • At the lower end, Canada's figures have increased from 1.5 to 3.4 persons and

  • at the higher end Belgium's figures have increased from 285.8 to 339.5 persons

  • Only Norway (10.6 and 14.6) at the lower end,

    with US (16.6 and 30.8) and

    Sweden (17 and 21.7) at higher end

    were the countries, which were below the world figures (19.5 and 46.4) as far as number of persons per square kilometer in 1950 and 2000 was concerned.

    All the other well-developed countries are having figures higher than the world figures for both 1950 and 2000.

    What about the rainforest nations? Let us look at a few of them.

    Their populations have increased as Mr. Wilson has said, with

  • Guyana's increase at 176.45% being at the lower end and

  • French Guiana's increase at 676.46% being at the higher end

  • as compared to the world population increase percentage of 238%.

    The number of persons per square kilometer in these countries have increased more or less in the same ratio, namely from:

  • 172.73% for Guyana to

  • 633.33% for French Guiana.

  • In terms of the actual number of people per square kilometer, we are in for a surprise:

    French Guiana's population increase from 1950 to 2000 might have been 676.46%,

    but the number of people per square kilometer has increased from a mere 0.3 to 1.9 only!

    With the exception of Indonesia, all the other rainforest nations under review are showing similar results, with the number of persons per square kilometer being less than the world figures for both 1950 and 2000.

    Only Costa Rica's figure for the year 2000 is more at 73.2.

    Wilson sprang up to say, "This comparison does not mean anything".

    "The US and the other developed countries are being sought after by people from developing nations and under developed nations as the destination nations for immigration and hence you have to take such incremental figures also into consideration as far as population figures of well-developed countries are concerned".

    Susie said, "Oh! Mr. Wilson, come on. This incremental population from the developing countries is not going to cause a big increase in the population figures of the developed countries, nor are they going to reduce the native countries' populations drastically".

    "Ok, anyway, let us have a look at some other parameters. Here are the various tables giving statistical information on them".

    "From Table 2, which compares the Per Capita GDP of the well-developed countries with those of the rainforest nations, we find that the per capita GDP level of the rainforest nations are quite low as compared to those of the rich nations".

    Click here for Table 2 giving the GDP comparisons between a few well developed countries and a few rainforest nations. (Opens a new window)

    "From Table 3, we find the figures of:

  • births and deaths per 1000 population,
  • life expectancy at birth,
  • infant deaths per 1000 live births and
  • total fertility rate per woman.

  • Click here for Table 3 for vital life statistics for a few well developed countries and a few rainforest nations. (Opens a new window)

    A married couple having just 2 children will be the most ideal condition as in that case the population will neither grow nor diminish, that is the ideal population replacement rate".

    "Most of the rich countries have favorable figures in all these parameters -

  • infant death rates are quite low,
  • life expectancy at birth is 70 years or more,
  • births and deaths per 1000 population are also low".
  • "But the total fertility rate is less than 2 for all the countries except the US for whom the fertility rate is the ideal figure of 2.1".

    "In the case of the rainforest nations the figures are mixed with some favourable and some unfavorable figures".

    "The fertility rate varies from the almost ideal figure of 1.9 for Brazil to almost the double of that ideal figure - 3.7 for Belize".

    "The life expectancy at birth is satisfactory at 65 years or more in most of the cases".

    "The number of deaths per 1000 population is low as compared to those of the rich countries, but in two parameters they lag behind the rich countries".

    "The births per 1000 population is 2 times or more as compared to the figures for the rich countries and

    the infant deaths per 1000 live births are 5 to 6 times more than those of the rich countries".

    "In the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo, all the figures are on the unfavorable side".

    "What do all these figures mean?" she asked the audience.

    "They mean that the countries must do everything to improve their economic health, nothing else. After all the GDP figures show the comparisons in crystal clear language" quipped Wilson.

    Kathy asked the audience, "Is it so or are there any more parameters for comparison?"

    When there was no reply from the audience, she continued, "Well, there is at least one more parameter of comparison between the rich countries and the rainforest nations".

    "That is the rate at which the rich countries emit CO2 (carbon dioxide) and other harmful Greenhouse Gases into the atmosphere at such high rates so as to cause Global Warming and severe Climate Changes,

    while the rainforest nations do not do so or

    if they do so in some cases, they are at a much lower level without causing damage to the environment".

    "What do you have to say for that?" she asked Wilson.

    Wilson replied with a smile, "When their industrial development is not so high, their pollution level is going to be low".

    "But the US and the other rich countries are dependent upon oil, coal and other fossil fuels for their energy needs and this causes the emission of CO2 and the other gases. To prevent this, the rich nations will have to spend huge amounts of money in alternative technologies, which is detrimental to their economies".

    "Well, well, well", there was a mocking voice and slow hand clapping again in response to Wilson's reply from somewhere.

    When everyone turned around to find the source, they were astounded to find Patrick doing the slow hand clapping this time. In an obvious imitation of the action of Wilson earlier in the evening, Patrick said:

    "Mr. Wilson - the management expert!"

    "You would like us to believe that a very rich nation like the US is not able to find the money to solve this problem. Right?"

    "So, according to you, money is the common enemy for both the rich nations and the rainforest nations".

    "The rainforest nations do not have enough money to improve their living standards and the rich nations do not have enough money to reduce pollution, right?"

    "Oh Dear, dear me".

    He turned his head at an angle, held his hands by the cheeks, opened his mouth to form an 'O' and twisted his facial expression as if he was in total awe of the 'expert', again in Wilson's imitation.

    Near pandemonium broke out as a result of Patrick's mock acting.

    That such an innocent looking kid could produce such a sarcastic expression in sheer imitation was too much for the audience to believe.

    People exploded in uncontrollable laughter and fits of cough. Every one stood up, some clutching their abdomen and bending forward, some removing their spectacles and trying to wipe the tears which started streaming from their eyes in response to their inability to stop their laughter and so on.

    Kathy and Susie almost went hysterical in laughter, while Wilson spontaneously and very sportingly rushed to Patrick, lifted him and showered kisses on him. He also went into uncontrollable laughter.

    Shaking his head in disbelief he said, "This devil is very special and is a sheer genius!"

    The audience's enthusiasm, which was initially low and had warmed up as the session progressed, now presented a carnival atmosphere due to Patrick's act.

    Discussions continued on various other economic indicators of nations. With Kathy and Susie providing various statistical figures as and when required, they took sides for and against different parameters.

    They put forth their points of view with animated gestures and spirited arguments several times, moderated on a few occasions with some lighthearted banter also. It was a totally friendly atmosphere.

    Time now for a final summary by Kathy and Susie.

    Susie said with a smile, "Well, we had a very entertaining and an educative evening session".

    This was greeted by laughter and applause from the audience.

    Kathy continued, "As we saw today, it is a complex subject. We need to study all the issues pertaining to the rainforest nations".

    "We have not taken all the rainforest nations into consideration and all the economic parameters for comparison".

    "But one thing we can say and that is" -

    "Rome was not built in a day but it could be destroyed in a day".

    "Similarly, we have to understand that it has taken several centuries for the rainforests to develop such tremendous biodiversity. We can easily destroy them within a matter of a few years".

    "Let us not do it".

    "And let us not spend our time in arguing whether or not rainforests are destroyed, or whether they are destroyed at such alarming rates or not".

    "Let us do every thing in our capacity to save the rainforests for the sake of these cute little kids and the future generations".


    This time everybody including Wilson joined enthusiastically in chorus saying "Ready".

    Susie said with a smile again, "With that understanding, let us celebrate Patrick's birthday now".

    Everybody started clapping and singing "Happy birthday to you" for celebrating Patrick Simpson's 9th birthday.

    Rainforest Club (Opens a new window)
    The people form a rainforest club to discuss the ways and means to make their contributions for saving the rainforests of the world.

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