Empirical Information Links for Philosophy 106


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Below I am listing links to sites with mostly but not exclusively empirical information relevant to issues of the global distribution of resources. I make no claims about the reliability of the information, but some of these sites do offer a place to start research.


http://www.fao.org, a UN food and agriculture site that has studies of food supply relative to population.

http://earthtrends.wri.org/searchable_db/index.php?theme=8 , a searchable database about agriculture. One data table that is relevant can be accessed at http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/data_tables/agr2_2005.pdf .

http://www.unfpa.org, a UN site with stuff on women’s rights & food.

http://food.nationalgeographic.com/ National Georgraphic site to do with feeding the world in light of projected population increases.


http://www.un.org/esa/population/unpop.htm, a newer UN Department of Economics and Social Affairs Population Division web page with lots of useful links.

http://esa.un.org/unpp/, a UN data for 2004 update to population estimates with links to print out different scenarios and to a page with an executive summary.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-london-population2_goeringaug27,0,4602930.story is a Link to an article from the Chicago Tribune reprinted in the Lincoln Journal Star on 9/8/08. It discusses an article in the British Medical Journal suggesting that having one or fewer children might be "the simplest and biggest contribution anyone can make to leaving a habitable planet." The article notes that this is more true for people in developed nations like ours since we use 160 times the carbon per person as those in Ethiopia.

Distribution and Politics

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:20040942~menuPK:34480~pagePK:34370~theSitePK:4607,00.html, a world bank site about debt relief.

http://www.smallplanet.org/ is a website aimed at the political economics of hunger and famine. The site includes stuff like this opinionated chapter of a new Oxford University Press book about the causes of hunger which argues that the issues are primary about political power, economics, and distribution of food, not scarcity: http://www.smallplanet.org/worldhungerchapter.pdf.

http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/Africa/August-08/Sudanese-Food-Exports-Hard-to-Swallow-.html has a page about food exports from Sudan where there is much starvation. The article has links to further articles in the New York Times among other sites.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reform Wikipedia's entry on land reform.

Non-governmental Organizations with Info on Various Programs and Problems

Like any other group of people with a common purpose, the websites of these organizations reflect their goals and interests. This is something you might want to take into account in assessing the information they provide. This does not, however, mean that much or all of what they say on their sites is false. It just means that you should use background knowledge and other sources of information to put the information presented in context to assess its credibility.

http://www.oxfam.org/, the website of Oxfam International.

http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/, the website of Doctors Without Borders.

Terms/Types of Information to Search For:

The following labels are useful to search for if you are looking for information on types of progams to reduce starvation/resource insecurity and also the kinds of factors which can lead to it.


land reform

cash cropping

agrarian reform

debt relief

There are many other sorts of things to look for when you do your research for the exam. The people at the reference desk of the library can be very helpful in looking for fruitful sources of information.

© 2008, 2010 msv@unlserve.unl.edu