The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 7, 1985 · Page 30
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 30

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 7, 1985
Page 30
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The Salina Journal Sunday, April 7,1985 Page 30 Africa: The tragedy will continue for millions WASHINGTON (AP) - Lester R. Brown says Africa was essentially self-sufficient in food production 15 years ago. Today, he says, the huge continent "is going downhill and 'Currently there's nothing to arrest that" trend. With the population increasing, more hands are chopping down trees for firewood. As the number of trees declines, less water is returned to the atmosphere and there is less rain. Drought and deserts take over. "It's an oversimplified formula, but Brown thinks it's real — and tragic for millions of Africans. And he says it could happen in other, parts of the world. "Africa is the first place where things are breaking down on a continental scale," Brown said in a recent interview. "It may not be the last. Central America may be next, the Andean countries, the Indian subcontinent — population growth, soil erosion." Brown is president of Worldwatch Institute, an independent non-profit research organization based in Washington. Since he founded Worldwatch in 1974, Brown has looked regularly at global resources and how those affect human destiny. Per capita grain production in Africa peaked in 1967 and gradually has declined, dropping off even more in the last few years because of horrendous drought that has plagued much of the continent. "To put it another way, last year, of Africa's 531 million people, 140 million were fed entirely with grain from the outside (of Africa)," Brown. said. "This year, it'll be more." No amount of emergency aid, no huge tonnage of wheat, rice or corn will solve the lingering causes of Africa's current misery. Brown, who worked for the Overseas Development Council and the Agriculture Depart- ment before starting Worldwatch, cites three basic reasons for the decline in African per capita food output: • The fastest population growth of any continent in history. • As far as can be determined, the most rapid soil erosion anywhere in the world. • The neglect of agriculture "almost across the board" by African countries whose governments' policies favor consumers rather than addressing rural problems. But this is not singularly an African problem. Other poor countries also have opted for cheap food policies during their development. Some, Brown said, were able to change policies. If farmers have incentives to care for their land and can profit by doing so, a country might be able to increase its production and rely less on foreign aid and commercial imports, he said. Brown cautions that in Africa's case, it is a much deeper problem than that. The continent's vast resource base — soil, water, forests — is eroding so rapidly. A report out of Ethiopia in 1978 by a U.S. aid mission, for example, said the country was losing one billion tons of topsoil a year from the highlands. Brown said that any agronomist would recognize that with such losses Ethiopia was headed for disaster. "But it doesn't mean very much (to the general public) until it translates into people starving to death on your TV set in your living room — and then, suddenly, there's a human dimension and it begins to mean something," Brown said. Brown said that most of the things that need to be done in Africa — apart from the short-term humanitarian relief work — are of a long-term nature such as planting trees and family planning. Mid America Inn Restaurant SUNDAYBRUNCH 11 am-2 pm Free Sundae 1842 N. 9th Saline, KS Time To Use Life as orphan inspires top teacher ^COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Therese Knecht Dozier, the winner of the 1985 National Teacher of the Year award, says her background as a waif in Vietnam who was adopted by an American soldier inspires the children she teaches. ; Dozier, 32, the • daughter of a • .Vietnamese wom- • Jan and a former • ^German SS offi- • r cer, was sold to a . ^Chinese business'•man as an infant and adopted at age 2 from a ^French orphanage, then raised in ^Florida. "I have always been conscious of rrhaVing been given a chance to •make something out of myself," she has said. "Teaching is my way of repaying the debt." . The teacher at Irmo High School . near Columbia said Thursday her 10th grade world history students are "very interested and very curious" about her life, which gives , them a better perspective on the obstacles they face. Word of Dozier's selection from DEALERSHIPS "AVAILABLE. GRAZER THE ULTIMATE IN MOWING • Up Front Mower • Zero Turning Radius -» I/C Briggs & Stratton Engines "(11 hp, 16 hp, 18 hp) ,• Floating, adjustable Decks (42 inch, 52 inch, 62 inch) • Easily Accessable for Service • 8 Models, including 3 Com- merical • Attachments include: Dozer 'blade, snow blower, grass bag and dump box. For more information call or . write: Caldwell Imp. Co. Inc. Box 295 S. 75 Hwy. Burlington, Ks. 66839 Phone 316-364-5327 among finalists from 50 states leaked out Thursday when a public relations company mailed a letter containing details about the winner, who will be honored later this month in Washington. The competition, sponsored by Encyclopedia Brittanica Inc. and run by the Council of Chief State School Officers, is in its 34th year. "I've known for quite some time. It was supposed to be a secret," said Dozier, who will be presented with a crystal apple April 18 by President Reagan. "It's very hard to keep something this exciting inside. I can tell people now. "It's the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me. For me, I have to emphasize, it's due to the students I teach." Teaching for most in the profession is a "calling," she said. "They go into it because of something in their heart." Dozier was born in Saigon to a Vietnamese mother and a former Waffen SS colonel who fled Hitler's Germany during the closing days of World War II, when the Allies were arresting Nazi officers. Artists, scholars win fellowships NEW YORK (AP) - Two-hundred seventy scholars, scientists and artists — ranging from the son of writer James Agee to an artist who specializes in trash — were named Friday as recipients of the 1985 Guggenheim fellowships. The fellowships, totaling more than $5.4 million, will fund a year's work by each recipient for projects proposed when they applied for the grants. Julian Beck, artistic director of • the Living Theatre, will study the philosophy and metaphysics of the theater; his wife and colleague, Judith Malina, will work on the second volume of her diaries; Joel Agee, son of the late critic and playwright, will translate plays by Kleist; writer Annie Dillard plans to write a nonfiction narrative set in Pittsburgh. Other recipients include performance artist Spaulding Gray, writer Jamaica Kincaid, playwright Shirley Lauro, writer Noel Perrin and artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles, who once shook hands with every sanitation man in New York and called it art. The majority of the fellows teach at colleges and universities. Twelve teach at the University of California at Berkeley. Salina'sOnly24hr. TEL-fi-RfYFE QB5-D55S Santa Ft- & Iror. Sa..i.a 82 (^America Nin'li Hi Magnolia M.mb.i FDIC "He tried to hide his identity by joining the French Foreign Legion," she said in an earlier interview. 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