Skeptic, believer or uninterested ignoramus, put all the talk and rhetoric about climate change aside and there is simply no doubt that our planet earth cant sustain the lifestyles and ideals that those in the developed world live.
This is not to even consider the lifestyle – the ‘idyllic’ lifestyle (as sold to them by western media) – that the developing world is trying to emulate (our lifestyle) – as its exploding population tries to mirror our consumption and growth, waste levels and obesity.
Consider this: 19 centuries had passed before humanity’s size grew to its first billion people. The next billion was amassed in the following 150 years. In the 60 years that followed to lead us up until now, 4.5 billion more people would inhabit the earth as well.
Pause for a second… and realize just how much our population has exploded in recent times. Then consider: Some time towards the end of this year, humanity’s size will eclipse 7 billion….
Undoubtedly, anybody can imagine what kind of effect this staggering growth, of all things, has had, is having and will have on our earth. One child dying every 5 seconds from hunger or malnutrition (for example) is barely the tip of the iceberg (pun intended).
Consider the fact that: As traditions, culture, history and ethnicity are threatened, countries like India & China, (who together account for 40% of the world’s people) are together producing over 300 million tones of waste (with China alone projected to produce as much as 533 million tones by 2030, its landfills reaching capacity by 2020) as they flail wildly in the current of western growth, further marginalizing their poor, further denying basic human rights.
Brazil and Russia shun real issues like the rate of homicide (regularly in the vicinity of 50,000 per year in Brazil – or just under 137 per day); education (in Brazil, an average of 7.2 years per citizen in 2006); and poverty (in Russia a shocking 25 million – whose billionaires continue to buy the world’s most expensive houses, and build the world’s most expensive boats), in favour of economic growth and status.
Also part of the frontrunners in the race to consume the world (along with India and China) Russia and Brazil (the conglomerate of ‘emerging superpowers’ as mainstream media so gleefully labels them, abbreviated to ‘B.R.I.C’) are too being invited to join the developed world at the table of greed and consumption.
And consider this: Even the citizens of the world’s biggest proponent of glorious capitalist consumption and growth – the U.S of A – can enjoy a nation-wide figure of almost 15% of its population living below the poverty line, (almost 40 million – comparable with France as a percentage!); the rate of people living without health care or insurance eclipsing 50 million, as their favourite economic model ensures that the average price of goods steadily rises, while our wages (across the whole developed world) remain at 1970 levels.
(This of course, excludes the elite, with their hands on the controls of the marginalization machine – with the average payout for chief executives soaring past the $10 million mark). Its not really working out for humanity now, is it?
Meanwhile, the US government continues to ignore public opinion (approval ratings for the Iraq war for example, not more than 11% of the population of any European country, but who cares? – Its your planet); go to war (no need to mention, im sure); and squash countries in its hegemonic path (like Nicaragua, who after choosing not to allow the US to control the outcome of its 1984 election, would then be branded as a ‘nation supporting terrorism’ – America’s favourite tool of oppression – while the US suffocated it with excruciating slowness, ensuring that it leads the western hemisphere in the poorness stakes – second only to Haiti, another US ‘success’ story). All at the peril of humanity itself, and the home that sustains it all.
Need there be any reminding of current, never-ending wars – Afghanistan, Burma, Kashmir, Somalia and most of east Africa etc (and why? – food scarcity is one reason, as their populations explode) – and the partnering dictatorships (or complete lack of government) ensuring a people’s demise.
Not to mention also, past wars and western government backed dictatorships, leaving many countries in ruins (Haiti, Iraq, Vietnam anyone?).
Things just don’t really seem to be working out for our race, now that the dust is settling, and everyone’s starting to take notice. The ‘elites’ in power are well and truly out of ideas (NB: riots everywhere across the world – this is assuming that society has free will or the people, an audible voice – but something’s amiss here, isn’t it?) ….
Yet on and on we go, always wanting more, buying into the system that is destroying our home, slaving away, obsessed with money and earnings, only to inject it back into a bloated, poisoned, cancerous undemocratic, unequal, system of utter stupidity and corruption. Why are we so sure that ‘developing countries’ actually want to emulate the ‘developed’ world? What’s so great about the model we’ve installed?
What will it take to convince us all to scale down our excessive lives? To lose our obsession with money, status, material possessions? To place our most important values in line with ensuring the future of our earth and all of its inhabitants? Why do the importance of community and oneness, love and peace, pale in significance to selfishness and self-promotion and perpetuation? Why do we need to be so massive, when we can be efficient and harmonious?