Monday, November 06, 2006

Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom

So, I sent off my job application this morning. Cross your fingers that I at least get an interview.

If you're interested, here's the writing sample I submitted. It's kinda crap, and even though several friends suggested I make edits, I didn't edit it. I'm lazy. What can I say?

Excerpt from
China’s Dilemma: Population, Politics, and Environmental Degradation

China is an enigma, a young country with an ancient history. The policies of past leaders have greatly and, perhaps detrimentally, influenced China’s present. Population growth has soared from the late 1940s and will continue to rise unless carefully considered measures are taken. The pressures this growing population places on the environment are enormous, causing desertification and soil erosion, deforestation and loss of biological diversity, air pollution, and water pollution and shortages. However, human rights and the reproductive rights of women are what make finding an effective population policy most difficult and most important.

Three ways to control population growth are (1) limiting the number of offspring, (2) increasing the ages between offspring, and (3) postponing the age at which women start having children. The Chinese government has applied its authoritarian, heavy-handed, top-down style to each method. The government has imposed a strict, if not always obeyed, one-child policy. It controls how far apart women can legally have a second child, and the government has imposed laws regulating at what age people may get married in order to postpone the age at which women can start having children.

Surveys indicate that less-educated couples generally have families above government quotas (Qu and Li, 179). Because one-half of all peasants are illiterate and only 0.18 percent of the population is university students, “the low intellectual and cultural levels of the general public” make the environmental impacts of huge total population increases worse (Smil, 13). In order to improve the situation, universal primary education (at the bare minimum) is necessary. In addition to primary education, voluntary family planning including reproductive health care for all women should be provided. The Chinese government should educate women so that they understand they have more options than early marriage and babies. In addition, proper health care and advice for when the women finally decide to have children are essential.

Unfortunately, universal education and health care services are not free. Paying for the implementation of this policy is attainable, because the structure is already in place. Using proceeds from the Pollution Levy System (PLS), which charges a levy based on an industry’s reported pollution emission levels, could pay for some, if not all, of the costs of implementing the education/ health care policy. In this manner, a short-term pollution reduction policy will help pay for a long-term solution. If the PLS does not provide enough funds, other “polluter pays”-type taxes and fees could be levied.

Literature Cited

Smil, Vaclav, China’s Environmental Crisis: An Inquiry into the Limits of National Development (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 1993).

Qu, Geping, and Jinchang Li, Population and the Environment in China (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 1994).
Don't you feel edumacated now?
There are, like, a million other things I want to blog about today. I'm not going to blog about them, because, more than likely, I will need topics for later on in the week.
But, here's a little list of some things floating around in my head:
1) Rick Santorum is gay.
2) So is Doogie Howser.
3) People who say they are vegetarian, but eat chicken, piss me off.
4) I was not totally cruising the hot guy in the Explorer last night. Really.
5) I think double pointed needles are going to be the bane of my existence.


  1. I know! I don't eat beef or pork, but half the people insist on calling me a vegetarian anyway. Pisses me off on behalf of real vegetarians. You can't pick a bird off of a beanstalk!

    Re: dpns -- the metal ones are slippery, and will fall out of your work if you're not careful. But the bamboo or wood ones are too not-slippery, and you spend half your knitting time scooting your stitches around. This time, I'm opting for slippery. I'll let you know if you lose my mind.

  2. Anonymous6:00 PM

    Was Doogie Howswer coming out that big of a shock??? hehe

  3. 'China is an enigma'? Not a paradox?