Damn, Earth Day snuck up on me this year. I always think it is later in the month, probably because I just kind of wish it would GO AWAY.
It is time for Hanna’s annual Earth Day Rant. Examining how silly I think our current environmental movement is. And my rant for this year is misplaced objectives that the focus on “saving the planetâ€ creates.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so let me get this conversation started with a very precise 1,000 words:
Global warming did not do this. Buying “greenâ€ products will not fix this. And I highly doubt this child or her mother and father cares who Al Gore is.
Now that I have your attention, let me share a few statistics with you:
- 3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease (not from chemical runoff – this is mainly feces borne diseases).
- 84% of water-related deaths are in children ages 0 — 14.
- Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.
- 884 million people, lack access to safe water supplies, approximately one in eight people.
- An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the typical person living in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.
- Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes–one child every five seconds.
- Poor nutrition and calorie deficiencies cause nearly one in three people to die prematurely or have disabilities, according to the World Health Organization.
- In 2006, about 9.7 million children died before they reached their fifth birthday. Almost all of these deaths occurred in developing countries, 4/5 of them in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the two regions that also suffer from the highest rates of hunger and malnutrition.
- Based on enrollment data, about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57 per cent of them were girls. And these are regarded as optimistic numbers.
- Nearly a billionÂ people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their own names.
What it would take to fix it
- We spend 450 billion dollars in one year on giving stuff at Christmas. It would only take 10 billion dollars to provide clean water to the world forever.
- Less than one percent of what the world spent every year on weapons is needed to put every child into school. (see the schooling source above)
- An estimated 104 billion dollars will be spent by consumers in 2008 on green products & services. Source: Forbes Oct 2008 – How many mouths do you think that would feed?
While we work so hard to “save the environmentâ€ (which doesn’t need saving, as I pointed out last year, it’s our own asses that need saving), people are dying. For god sakes people, stop shopping! Put down the credit cards, pull out a heart. This year, don’t buy a tree, don’t buy a fuel efficient car, don’t buy lattes in recycled cups. Buy a human life instead. Donate what you would have spent on saving the earth to saving its people.
And you know what, a funny thing happens. When we stop buying crap – when we stop shopping, we stop using resources, which reduces our “carbonâ€ footprint and then we accomplish the point of Earth Day anyway. Â (not to mention when death rates go down (especially children), birth rates do tooÂ which helps to slow the overallÂ world population.)
Here are the charities I donate or give to every month. Please consider adding one of them into your “greenâ€ budget.