Poverty.com and Wikipedia show the dimension of this really big problem in our world. Not mentioning the videos showing bare and naked poverty. I think I do not have to talk more about the problem...
The reason: Overpopulation, insufficient resources and unbalanced distribution of resources.
I think these are three reasons:
Let's imagine for a moment that there are only 1000 people living on the planet - let's say in a single group. They could produce a big amount of garbage and just move when the resources got used up. There will be many years passing along until the people get back to the same place and the nature will have recovered completely.
The only thing I do assume here is that people know how to make fire, how to get fed up, how to make clothes and how to build houses - so some primary skills are required. But that's it - no real further problem and a stress free living.
- Insufficient resources
Let's imagine for a moment that people in general have the resources to leave the planet and find other planets like our earth to settle down. I can't avoid thinking of Star Trek here. It may be more complicated and more effort required - but either can be more interesting - something for adventurers. In relation with this solution is the more efficient usage of the existing resources so that everybody consumes less energy and products.
- Unbalanced distribution of resources
At poverty.com they write, that "Almost all of the deaths from hunger and disease that you see on this site can be stopped. The cost to do this is about $195 billion a year, according to the United Nations".
Well, the solution attempts are basically removing the causes. However, to solve the problem sustained and lasting in any case each single person has to take the responsibility for the own contribution. Everyone has to contribute to the solution.
Some additional thoughts on the different solutions:
- Stop/reduce increase of population
I think, this is the cheapest and most easy (if we could speak of "cheap" and "easy" here) solution to implement. If not done by taken responsibility it could be forced with operations or by finding a once-to-take medicine. Biggest problem: Some people must be kept fully "intact" to avoid extinction. Which people should that be? And who should decide that?
- Explore new resources
When using up the resources we could find new and other resources that can be used to produce energy or we could explore new planets to gain additional resources. Problems with this solution: Exploring new earth-like planets can be expensive because they are probably very far away. Bringing resources from other "dead" planets to the earth I do consider short-term-thinking because then the garbage on our earth will increase and population also. So this is the way also the economy in general wants to go: Grow, grow, grow - But there can't be infinite growth.
- Balance distribution of resources
As written on poverty.com $195 billion a year is enough to stop this suffering and "Twenty-two developed countries below have pledged to work towards each giving 0.7% (a little less than 1%) of their national income in international aid, which would raise the $195 billion".
This is very good news and I hope it's true. My doubt is that the price will increase with the years passing by. And the paradox thing is: The "developed" countries do exploit poorer countries and then they should pay it back. Why not stopping the exploitation? Fortunately there are attempts to solve this at the root.
Related posts: Finding the proper priorities, Crash course, The resource problem.