To anyone who is willing to take a moment to step away from their personal lives and take a look all around us, it is abundantly clear that humanity
finds itself in a truly dire state of affairs, today, at the beginning of the 3rd millennium CE.
I think it is safe to say that all of us now can look back at the past mistakes we have made through the things that seemingly divide us, our race,
gender, class, religion, nationality, and understand that these factors stand in pale comparison next to the similitude of our shared identity as one
species of intelligent and sentient beings upon this same planet. Without denying the many barriers that still do stand in the way of our global
cohesion, it is clear that we are all essentially part of the same community that shares a citizenship of this Earth, and indeed the universe at
Today, perhaps more than ever in the past, people place a tremendous value on the life of the individual. Personal autonomy and the freedom to express
ones individuality are amongst some of our most treasured shared values. We need only to look within ourselves to see how much importance we place on
our own personal dreams and aspirations, the plans of our future, and our rights to enact upon these ambitions. And yet we are surrounded by millions
of people who have been denied access to these same values wholesale. People who we have somehow managed to ignore, or exclude from the fact of our
I would like to take this opportunity to express some of the most basic goals that any community would and should
aspire to achieve and how
easily attainable these goals are to current humanity. Through all of this I will also show the extent to which humanity has failed itself.
Any community should be able to provide the following for all of its constituents:
Adequate food and water for an acceptable standard of basic
A reasonable living space, ie. a home, for
Basic education to allow for the pursuit of life
Provide for the energy needs of its
It is interesting to note how often issues such as global poverty, malnutrition and the like are touted by politicians and the popular media alike,
yet they unanimously ignore the feasibility of solving these issues. Indeed it could be argued that the above problems are presented in such a way as
to convince the average person in the developed world that these are indeed near impossible obstacles to overcome.
Yet the only obstacles standing in the way are, MONEY
. Both of which, we have clearly have an abundance of. Labour is a
non-issue, there are more than enough people around to make all of these things happen, you only need to look at the abundance of young people today
looking to spend a year somewhere in a foreign country, earning only enough to get by, and working to make a difference.
THE SCALE OF MONEY
To get an understanding of how much money is being passed around the world, I will only present to you some of the most superfluous and wasteful of
such transfers. I could have included an absence of conflict and war to the list of basic necessities, but look at what is being spent on killing:
- $5 Billion - the cost of the war in Iraq every month 1
- $2 Trillion - the combined cost of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan 2
- $1.1 Trillion - the amount the entire globe spent on war in 2004 3
- $379 Billion - annual revenue of Wal-Mart 4
- $62 Billion - one persons net worth 5
Less than the annual revenue of Wal-Mart
- $250 Billion - much talked about, little done about, the total of Africa's debt
. This debt causes untold suffering for millions of Africans and their economies, and every year huge
meetings between the world's powers meet to discuss how to overcome this 'insurmountable' problem.
- 924 million people worldwide, or 31.6 per cent of the global urban population are living in slums
I do not have a figure that includes all
of the worlds homeless, but the vast majority of these do live in urban areas. This is clearly a huge
challenge the world must face, because building adequate housing is inescapably an expensive task.
The South African government have in recent times made the housing of the poor one of their prime objectives, and have in so doing build hundreds of
thousands of low cost houses that would meet the minimum requirements for a descent, if basic, family home. This is what they look look like:
They cost about R35 000, or $3 700 each to build I believe these costs could be reduced if the model were applied around the world. But assuming this
amount, it would cost about,
- $3.5 Trillion to provide universal housing for those without (at a liberal estimation).
About the cost of the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan plus one years global military expenditure.
[edit on 17-10-2008 by The_Modulus]