G8 summit 2005

To solve world problems

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QED
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G8 summit 2005

Post #1

Post by QED »

The G8 Summit will be taking place at Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland from 6-8 July.

The UK government has promised its electorate to focus on poverty in places like Africa and the problems of climate change while it has presidency of the G8. This focus is in response to public pressure and I am pleased to see this happening. I am not so optimistic about the cooperation to be expected from all other governments. I'm sure that everyone coming to this forum shares the deepest concern for humanity in one way or another -- but how can we translate this feeling into greater actions?

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ST88
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Re: G8 summit 2005

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Post by ST88 »

QED wrote:I'm sure that everyone coming to this forum shares the deepest concern for humanity in one way or another -- but how can we translate this feeling into greater actions?
Does it always come down to money? The biggest problem in Africa, as far as I can tell, is that the colonial powers left the impression that it was politically feasible to rape the environment and exploit the people as long as you have a military to back you up. Some Africans learned this lesson well, and we can see the effects particularly well in Nigeria.

Right now there is a food crisis in several African nations, like Burkino Faso, Niger, and Mali, where reports have surfaced that farmers have actually run out of seeds to plant. And there is a locust storm making its way across North Africa.

I'm in favor of raising the profile of the Peace Corps, but this won't be enough. Unfortunately, most of the work has to be done on the diplomatic level. Our current Administration has shown time and time again that diplomacy is an art that eludes them. One need only look at the example of John Bolton to see how this Administration views the way that diplomacy should work.

The real model for African states is South Africa, which overcame its paraiah status to become the largest economy and arguably the freest society on the continent. Ironically, it is probably the length of time it was under an opporessive political system -- and the era in which it was freed -- that made the most difference.

I think the best things that the average person can do (someone who isn't going to go to Africa to give direct aid), is a) purchase products from those nations that have been practicing "good" government (like Kenya, South Africa, and Madagascar - determine for yourself who's doing well; these are my examples), b) find out which people in government share their views and support them (& pressure them), and c) limit consumption of processed beef. Cattle grazing is killing both South America and Africa; it is a primary source of deforestation (and the overproduction is none too good for the rural West in the U.S., in my opinion). I think most African beef exports go to the EU and southeast Asia, but I'm not sure about that, and I'm sure some packaged beef products make their way onto U.S shelves.

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Post #3

Post by QED »

Thanks ST88, ethical purchasing is creeping into our culture with "fair trade" items available in many supermarkets. it's a definite step in the right direction. C'mon guys and gurls, a bit more WWJD is what we need here to sort this mess out ;)

Modern economists seem to think that the best way to help developing nations is to continue on the path of rampant globalization. They seem to expect all the extra wealth we generate to somehow rub-off on the poor. Well, in an economy with unrestricted access to resources this can be justified to an extent.. I've often argued myself that if you get richer it doesn't necessarily make me poorer, especially if you provide me with a job. B but as a global project, the finite resources of the Earth will impose a drastic bottleneck and we'll likely put us all out of business before we reach a decent minimum standard for everyone. For example, it might take everyone in the Western world owning a dozen SUV's to ensure that everyone in Africa at least has a bicycle.

Should we look to technology to provide direct assistance? Many are sceptical of this and I agree that it rarely offers us a panacea, but it is something the West is good at, and with the right focus and motivation I'm sure something good could come out of it. Are there any better ideas going?

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Post #4

Post by Joe »

I live in a third world country where we, 2 adults and 2 children, can live quite easily on about $2.50 per day. This creates a dilema for the developed countries who see this as a problem which creates a trade imbalance. Products from here can be produced and profitably exported while imports from the developed world have a very limited consumer base. As a result the developed world brings in businesses to take advantage of a low cost work force, and gradually increases the earnings of a small percentage of the population. Along with this they bring inflation and the necessity of an increased infrastructure, new taxes, etc. Of course a few get wealthy and many are reduced to poverty as wages across the board are not increased.
Profits, or more to the point, corporate profits appear to be the motivation behind all these efforts to improve the life style of the third world inhabitants.

Although I could elaborate on this to a greater degree, I hate typing so I will leave it for some others to add to.

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Post #5

Post by Simon_Peter »

Hello,

Saving the third world..

Well what is wrong with the third world. Is it disease, political climate, business exploitation or the arid environment. What should we tackle first. What is the most urgent priority. What power do we have to make changes. Personally i think we should make their lives as comfortable as possible. Allow them to travel to the modern world. And give them opportunity's to escape their hell.

Every big business should be helping them, in any way they can. The governments should be using our money to help them. Quite frankly not enough is being done.

Matt Bentley

Post #6

Post by Matt Bentley »

The most important thing we could do to make people's lives better is establish a Marxist form of government where everyone get's equal food, currency, property ect. That would get rid of poverty and there no longer would be homeless people, there'd be no children starving to death because there parents are too poor to pay for food. Everyone would be equal and there would be no rich snobs looking down on the poor and middle class, which would literally make every man equal. That, in my opinion, is the first thing and most important issue we need to address.

Seccondly, we need to do something about all the wreckless pollution we are relesing into the air that is causing Global Warming, threatening some marvelous species of animals into extinction, even threatening us. We need to look into alternative fuels. Driving less. Recyling plastics, glasses, papers ect. We also should car pool and take the bus too.

Thirdly, we need to get rid of religon, as all it is doing is causing us to kill eachother and inhibiting science from reaching its potencial. The sooner we abandon our ancient myths, the better off this world would be. Imagine what this world would be like without Christian zealots advocating against stem cell research and discriminating against homosexuals. Or without suicide bombers blowing themselves up to try and guarantee themselves a spot in Allah's gardin. We would get so far and accomplish so much if we abandoned our myths.

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Post #7

Post by Goat »

Matt Bentley wrote:The most important thing we could do to make people's lives better is establish a Marxist form of government where everyone get's equal food, currency, property ect. That would get rid of poverty and there no longer would be homeless people, there'd be no children starving to death because there parents are too poor to pay for food. Everyone would be equal and there would be no rich snobs looking down on the poor and middle class, which would literally make every man equal. That, in my opinion, is the first thing and most important issue we need to address.
The problem is that is that then there is no motivation to work harder for other things. No motivation for those carrers that are difficult or dangerous , or highly skilled.


Thirdly, we need to get rid of religon, as all it is doing is causing us to kill eachother and inhibiting science from reaching its potencial. The sooner we abandon our ancient myths, the better off this world would be. Imagine what this world would be like without Christian zealots advocating against stem cell research and discriminating against homosexuals. Or without suicide bombers blowing themselves up to try and guarantee themselves a spot in Allah's gardin. We would get so far and accomplish so much if we abandoned our myths.
That will never happen. People will always want to be reassured or just find a connection to 'something bigger'
“What do you think science is? There is nothing magical about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. So which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?�

Steven Novella

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Post #8

Post by Fisherking »

Matt Bentley wrote:The most important thing we could do to make people's lives better is establish a Marxist form of government where everyone get's equal food, currency, property ect. That would get rid of poverty and there no longer would be homeless people, there'd be no children starving to death because there parents are too poor to pay for food. Everyone would be equal and there would be no rich snobs looking down on the poor and middle class, which would literally make every man equal. That, in my opinion, is the first thing and most important issue we need to address.

Seccondly, we need to do something about all the wreckless pollution we are relesing into the air that is causing Global Warming, threatening some marvelous species of animals into extinction, even threatening us. We need to look into alternative fuels. Driving less. Recyling plastics, glasses, papers ect. We also should car pool and take the bus too.

Thirdly, we need to get rid of religon, as all it is doing is causing us to kill eachother and inhibiting science from reaching its potencial. The sooner we abandon our ancient myths, the better off this world would be. Imagine what this world would be like without Christian zealots advocating against stem cell research and discriminating against homosexuals. Or without suicide bombers blowing themselves up to try and guarantee themselves a spot in Allah's gardin. We would get so far and accomplish so much if we abandoned our myths.
Communism? No thanks.

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