If you’re just getting oriented to The Big Problem, here are four basic facts and some useful resources.
- Every year 60 million people die – all causes, all countries, all classes in total. One third – about 20 million – will die before their time because of poverty.
- Nearly all of those poverty deaths can be prevented by basic infrastructure like biosand filters, rocket stoves, composting toilets and so on.
- We have less than 100 years of forest left, never mind global warming, increasing pollution and hyper-consumption. Supporting 1.5 billion middle class people is nearly killing the planet, never mind trying to find the resources for 7 billion. This gap is culturally forbidden to discuss.
- The west is bankrupt because as the rest of the world recovers from colonial oppression, they flex their muscles, increase political pressure, and push for a more equal world – making us poorer. Rather than getting poorer gracefully, we have been borrowing at a national and individual level to make up the gap. We are running out of people to borrow from.
Resources you might find useful.
- Infrastructure for Anarchists and Simple Critical Infrastructure Maps help peel apart how our industrial-technical-political civilization really works.
- Soft Development Paths and The Future of Poverty examine what we might really do about poverty. The infrastructure component can be seen at Ending Poverty with Open Hardware. Appropedia is an open store of appropriate technology and appropriate infrastructure know-how.
- Collapsonomics examines the reality of our financial plight. The Future We Deserve is a collaborative futures project, including an open source book, which is starting a real conversation about solutions.
I hope you will find this useful. You can find out more about me.