Monday, April 24, 2017

Seven and a half

 Countries, sized by their part of world population  

As of today, seven and a half billion people live on this earth, and it's been just five years since we passed seven billion.

There were five billion less when I was born.  That's billion, with a 'B'.

We are not evenly distributed.  Today, more than half of us live in urban settings, and that has rearranged things.

Cities are specialized and must have everything brought in, especially food.  Cities that do produce goods are focused; they may produce furniture but not medical supplies, cars but not fuel, clothes but not paper goods or plastic or energy or entertainment or ....

The logistics of getting everything to everyone is the critical element of lifestyle in the developed world.  Just-in-time manufacture/inventory/delivery are today's business essentials.

Countries, sized by their portion of world consumption  
Wealth is of course not distributed evenly.  "… for the citizens of most countries today, the success of their economy in the harsh world of global competition is of paramount importance." ~ Deanne Julius

In the 'developed' world today, folks will pay more for trash pickup and sewer service than those in the developing world will have for their total household income.  We'll use more water in a day per household than the developing world will use in a month or two.  "I remember when I was 14, carrying a 20 litre water can on my head, filling it from a river some thirty minutes away. When I came to Canada, I was shocked by the extravagant use of water here." ~ Sieru Efrem

Countries, sized by their share of preventable deaths
(infant mortality, child and teen mortality from 
commonly treatable diseases).
Imagine covering your family's needs for food, clothing, school, transportation, healthcare, and housing ... with $100/month.  "There is no work here, and when you do find a job, you earn pathetically low wages. I'm a factory watchman, and I earn the equivalent of eight dollars for a 12-hour day." Pirana 

A fellow I met recently told me about his life in the Malawi (south-eastern Africa); he had been a factory worker making $60 a month. As we looked around the shopping center in southern Maryland where we'd met, he said 'look at all the jobs' meaning all the businesses and restaurants in view. 'Why would anybody complain?'

Our seven and a half billion fellow-residents have little in common when it comes to lifestyle.  While we do want to ensure a safe and healthy world for our children, what about the rest?  Are they our concern?  Does our lifestyle impact theirs?

The only way for a tiny group of people to become obscenely rich is for huge masses of others to be kept chronically poor. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The only way for a tiny group of people to become obscenely rich is for huge masses of others to be kept chronically poor.

Seems that happens a lot. Disappointing.