Karol Gives Poverty A Stern Talking To travel blog


In the film "Guns Germs & Steel", the economic development of Papua New Guinea is very low, it could even be said that it's not developed at all, as portrayed in the film. The documentary profiled people in the highlands of Papua New Guinea using primitive technology such as stone tools, bows and arrows, and boats made of tree trunks. Though most of Papua New Guinea is portrayed to be undeveloped in the film, parts of the country are shown which are more developed. People were shown having more advanced technology such as cars. It seems as though most of Papua New Guinea is undeveloped with only scarce patches of development throughout the nation.

According to Professor Diamond, nations like Papua New Guinea are much less developed than industrialized nations as a result of their lack of means of agriculture geographically available to them. The two most important things that he considers are cereal grains and farm animals capable of domestication. Cereal grains allow a society to develop surpluses of crop, efficiently feeding the people, and allowing for advanced development of a society since the people can focus on advancing rather than focusing on attaining food. The other essential factor to the development of a society, according to Professor Diamond, is the availability and ability of domestication farm animals. These not only increase farming efficiency but also provide another source of food, whether it be milk or meat. Efficiency in food production is necessary for a society to develop as it allows more time and effort for societal advancement.

Professor Diamond goes on to explain that Papua New Guinea had a disadvantage for economic development because there weren't any indigenous cereal grains in the country nor was there an availability of animals which could be used as food sources or for the production of food. What Papua New Guinea did have were trees that produced a plant which was not very nutritious. The people did not a good source of protein and had to eat spiders to supplement their poor diets. I addition to lacking food resources, Papua New Guinea also lacked the 14 key farm animals capable of being domesticated. They did not have cows, horses, goats, or donkeys among other such animals to help in food production. The only animal that the people had, according to Diamond, was the pig. Unlike the bigger animals, pigs could not be used for work to increase food production and farming efficiency nor could their coat be used for clothing. Other civilizations such as Mesopotamia, have been far more advanced as a result of their efficient farming practices which were a direct result of their availability of cereal grains, but more importantly animals. Unlike Papua New Guinea, Mesopotamia has 13 of the 14 essential farm animals, and they also had cereal grains. Such allowed Mesopotamians to have efficient production of food and therefore more time to spend on social and economic development and advancement. When the land became overused the Mesopotamians had the ability to move. The people of Papua New Guinea are confined on an island, so even if they had availability of resources, if they overused the land, they could not move to find more.



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