Opinions

The "Villain" introduced himself. "Hi, I am Stuart Wilson".

He started expressing his opinions quickly:

"I am not impressed by the statement that the world's rainforests are being destroyed at an alarming rate".

"I have always felt that all those people and institutions who have been making such statements from time to time have been exaggerating the situation. They mean well for the sake of humanity but I am afraid, it is not going to serve any purpose".

 

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"World Population is exploding", he continued, "It had already reached a figure of 6 billion by the year 2000 and it is still growing. Some estimates say that it will reach 9 billion by 2050, while some other estimates say that it will be around 14 billion by 2050".

"But the earth's area is not going to increase, so how and where can you accommodate all the people?"

"They will need space to live, earning opportunities and income to survive, good infrastructure and sanitary conditions for proper healthcare, opportunities for learning and so on".

"How are you going to provide all these facilities?"

"Answer : All this can be done only if you have the necessary funds and a proper plan".

"We do not need an expert's opinions on this. Many of you already know this".

"In less developed societies, people survive by engaging in labor intensive agricultural activities, where efficiencies and productivity are low and hence income levels are also low".

"So people are primarily concerned about their survival all the time and have a very little opportunity to develop their standard of living. Due to this there may be tensions from time to time among different sections of the people".

"People of different rainforest nations may be having their own opinions and carrying out debates on the subject to solve the problems".

"But in a modern industrialized society, people need not worry about their survival, since all their basic needs are taken care of, so that they can devote their time and energy to pursue their financial, career, educational and social goals efficiently and improve their standard of living".


"I am not saying that all the rainforest nations are primitive societies. Some of them are developing countries and some others are under developed nations. They could do well to follow the example of rich nations like US, Canada and some west european countries in trying to improve their standard of living".

"Yes", said some in the audience expressing their opinions.

He continued, "Have you thought about it?"

"When a nation's standard of living goes up, its population goes down. That's why the population of rich countries like US, Canada and many west european countries are low".

"Unfortunately, populations of many of the rainforest nations are high, primarily because they are poor".

"When a person is poor, she cannot afford many things and primarily a good education. With good education, comes the ability to think and plan ahead of time, so that even if she is poor, she could use the available resources skillfully. But women in poor countries are not in a position to take such intelligent actions because of such constraints".

"Hence they have to deliver more babies even if they do not wish to have children immediately, since they have to abide by the wishes and opinions of their family members for the sake of safety --- to insure against the possibility of infant deaths --- as also to have more working and earning members in their families".

"It is all a chain reaction".

Again many in the audience said "Yes, that is correct".

"So, what can they do to improve their standard of living?" he asked the audience and waited for their opinions.

"They can use chain saws and bull dozers to speed up the matter", a man said and chuckled. There was laughter from the audience in which Kathy and Susie also joined.

"Right" the speaker said with a chuckle, then he continued, "They have to find the resources with which they can create the industries, schools, colleges, hospitals and other productive assets and build them to increase their wealth".

"If they have many and varied resources it will be fine, they can make their plans suitably based on such different resources".

"But if their only resources are rainforests and no other worthwhile assets, what can they do?"

"A poor man in a similar situation tries to get a loan, if possible, from his bank if he has some assets, however small they may be, which he can then pledge with the bank as a collateral against the loan or he can sell a part of his assets to get the required cash for his immediate needs".

"The case of the rainforest nations is no different. There will be no choice for them but to utilize them to fund their wealth creating projects".

He continued with a smile, "So, my recommendation is the same as our friend over there said a little while ago - use chain saws and bull dozers to speed up their countries' progress".

This was greeted by laughter again by the audience. It appeared that their opinions were converging.

"That way, there will be some reduction in the areas of the rainforests no doubt, but I do not see anything wrong in it. As they make progress and their prosperity increases, they can go in for a reforestation program later on in a planned and systematic way".

Again many persons in the audience said, "Yes, why not? He is right".

Was the speaker skillfully shaping the audience's opinions to his way of thinking?

He continued, "The industrialized countries have made heavy investments in research and development, in creating the industries, in finding newer technologies and producing better and efficient products".

"Without modern management practices, such results cannot be achieved. Management essentially means that you maximize your output and productivity by utilizing the minimum of resources".

"As a management consultant to SME's (Small and Medium Enterprises) for over 20 years, I always advise them to follow this practice. But in their opinions they always feel that their needs are plenty, but their resources are either scarce or non existent".

"So, the management's challenge is to find ways to use the available resources optimally to match the problems crying for a solution".

"By trying to find an optimal solution, an enlightened management team uses responsible practices to strike a balance between the various pulls and pushes and demands against the available resources so that every one benefits".

 "But this may not satisfy everyone everytime and there will be some grievances. That is unavoidable. Every section has to make certain sacrifices at some time or the other for short terms, in order to achieve long term gains".

"The management of rainforest nations is similar".


"Their managers - whether they are politicians or professional managers of the various government institutions - have to exercise their various available options in terms of their resources optimally to arrive at a workable solution".

"Definitely there will be grievances to some sections of the population or the other and protests from various quarters, whichever way they try to solve the problems. Since in their opinions, the problems have not been solved".

"But as I said earlier, if long term gains are the goals, one has to bear with certain short term sacrifices".

"So, simply saying that the industrialized countries are decimating the rainforests or that they are paying low prices for timber and making hefty profits will not serve any purpose. It will result only in sermonizing and nothing else".

Thunderous applause greeted this statement of the man. It appeared that he had touched a chord with the audience.

After Wilson sat down, Kathy stood up with a smile and asked the audience, "So all of you are agreed on this point that the industrialized countries have a right to buy their raw materials at the lowest prices from whichever sources they can get them?"

Many persons immediately replied "Yes", but a sizeable number of them felt a little uneasy about the matter, while many others in the audience remained quiet keeping their opinions to themselves.

She continued, "OK, Let us look at the issues involved here".

"Mr. Wilson talked about various points which affect the rainforest nations. He mentioned about raising their standard of living by going in for industrialization".

"As a management expert, the ideas and opinions expressed by him clearly shows his experience in his field and he has received the admiration of all of us".

Applause greeted her statement and the audience looked toward him with a new friendliness in contrast to the irritation exhibited by a few persons earlier and smiled at him. He smiled back at them.

"In your opinions, what are the parameters of high standard of living?" she asked the audience in general.

Answers came in quickly from different spots:

  • High Income
  • Long Life
  • Good Health
  • High Class Education
  • and so on.

    Kathy said, "OK, Let us compare the various parameters of standard of living among the well developed countries and the rainforest nations and then we can find out where we stand, right?"

    "Right", replied the audience.

    What were their findings?

    Where do the rainforest nations stand in comparison to the well developed nations?

    To find out, click on the link :
    Rich & Rainforest Nations Compared (Opens a new window)

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