Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It's just a statement of fact with a lot more reality behind it than your silly Calvinist notion that the Bangladeshi could construct a comprehensive levee system to keep the sea out if only they were as disciplined as the good old Dutch.

Claiming that the West is rich because of colonialism flies in the face of the facts, given that the colonies were money losers and that lots of western nations never had colonies. But I guess the wealth of Sweden is built on the backs of the poor sods of St. Barth...

The coastline of the Netherlands is 451 kilometres, the coastline of Bangladesh is 710 kilometres. The Rhine/Meuse delta makes up about a third of the Dutch coastline, whereas the Ganges/Brahmaputra delta makes up most of the Bangladeshi coastline, and stretches into the neigbouring state of West Bengal in India. The peak discharge of the Rhine and Meuse combined is 16,000 cumecs, the combined peak discharge of the Ganges and Brahmaputra is 106,000 cumecs (the Missisippi has 56,000). Those are averages. The Netherlands had a per capita income of $6000 in 1950, when it was just rebounding from WWII, going up to $26000 in 1997, when the Delta Works were completed (estimates using y 2000 dollars). Bangladesh has a per capita income right now of somewhere around $450 using the same measure.

But Bangladesh has a far greater population as well. Total real GDP is the thing (PPP if there is lots of manual labour involved I guess), not GDP per capita. And as I mentioned, the Bangladeshis have a far greater incentive of getting it done.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Sep 9th, 2009 at 12:44:06 PM EST
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