Archive for August, 2009

Ending Hunger Worldwide

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Here are some interesting facts from the Sept 2009 issue of The Rotarian, showing where we are in the struggle to alleviate starvation around the world:

  • Nearly One in Seven people around the world – about 963 million – do not have enough food to maintain healthy, active lives.
  • About 25,000 people die every day from hunger related causes.
  • More than 60% of hunger stricken people are women.
  • Every 6 seconds, a child dies from hunger
  • Seven Countries: India, China, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia, represent 65% of the world’s starving people.
  • Malnutrition contributes to more than half of the 9.7 million annual deaths of children under 5 years.

But the news isn’t all bad:

  • Scientists predict that global food production will outpace population growth by 2030
  • Between 1970 and 1997, the number of hungry people worldwide dropped from 959 million to 791 million.  (but between 2007 and 2008 ,the number of undernourished people in the world increased by 115 million, due to the skyrocketing cost of food and oil).

So, clearly humankind’s efforts to alleviate this scourge from our planet have been working, yet we still have a long way to go.

It should be noted that we do not have a global food shortage…  researchers say there is enough food in the world to feed every human.  The issue is not so much that we don’t have the food… its more that we don’t have the will.  Profits are more important than children dying, so food is destroyed instead of being shared with those in need.

Also, it should be noted that it would take about 5-10% of the world’s annual military budget to eliminated extreme poverty around the world.

So as the world comes more together, as we become a tighter knit world, we will spend less and less on war, and more on more on peace and making the world a better place.  It won’t be long until we have eradicated extreme poverty and starvation from our planet for good.

*Source – Facts of the Matter: Hunger.  Jason Grotto.  September 2009, The Rotarian.

Give Peace A Deadline

Friday, August 28th, 2009

For as long as we’ve had war, we’ve had people wishing and working for peace.  Yet the concept of world peace remains an vague notion, with as many definitions of world peace as there is people to define it.

Earlier this year, an organization called P5Y.org, or Peace in 5 Years, began their mission to achieve a clearly defined a target of world peace, as well as quantitative ways to measure the progress as we move towards this goal.  World Peace, according to p5y, is defined as “an end to politically organized deadly conflict”.  The deadline for world peace is Feb 14, 2014.

Along with the website p5y.org, the organization has released a book called “Give Peace A Deadline”, and an abridged version can be found by clicking here.

Give Peace A Deadline

Give Peace A Deadline

By taking a business-like approach to the issue of world peace, p5y offers many solutions to achieving world peace within 5 years, including tools and methods to help coordinate many of the thousands of organizations already working towards this goal.

Peace in 5 Years… wouldn’t that be amazing!  It is definitely a bold goal, yet why not try it.  To get involved, and take the pledge for help achieve peace in 5 years, visit p5y.org.

Docs in Review

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Flow: For the Love of Water

Flow: For the Love of Water is a documentary that deals with water-related issues, like water pollution, water shortage, and the privatization of water supplies. This is an excellent documentary, with a wide range of guest speakers. While most of the topics covered were negative, they offered some glimmers of hope interspersed with the downers.

Two key stats the movie makes are:

  • Over 1.1 Billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water
  • The UN estimates that it would cost $30 Billion/year to provide the world with clean water, while we spend $100 Billion/year on bottled water (which is usually unregulated and untested).

One highlight was about Ashok Gadgil, a Physicist and Professor at UC Berkeley, who devised technology to inexpensively disinfect drinking water in developing countries, giving 3rd world communities access to clean, affordable water.

Another highlight of this movie is how a grass-roots organization called Citizens for Water Conservation were able to shut down a Nestle bottling plant that was sucking the rivers and streams dry in Michigan. Nestle was draining the water, not paying anything for the resource, and regular citizens organized and were able to shut the factory down. Power to the people.

In the end, the documentary makes the point how what we need to focus on are simple, local solutions, like rainwater trapping, instead of relying on dams and desalination, which are often wasteful and damaging to the environment.

To find out more about this excellent film, visit FlowTheFilm.com

Home


Home is a documentary about planet earth, and how humankind has been systematically destroying it. Most of the cinematics are excellent, providing an overhead view of many scenic places around the world. The narration focuses primarily on the negatives, offering doom and gloom to the viewers. Another film pointing out the problem we face: too many greedy, ravenous humans.

Some stats this movie provides:

  • 1/2 the world’s wealth is in the hands of the wealthiest 2%
  • 1 billion people are starving
  • The world spends 12 times more on military than on foreign aid

Only in the last 10 minutes or so do the filmmakers provide some positive notes, like how we need to change our lifestyles and embrace moderation, intelligence and sharing. All of this is excellent advice, but barely compensates for the 80 minutes of disheartening information.

As optimists, we can look at the devastation, destruction, pollution etc. that we inflict on ourselves and the world around us as the cost of progress. Progress that will lead us to an era where we have the power to make right the wrongs we’ve done to planet earth, where we have the ability to rise above our meager wantings, and foster a world of prosperity, not just for ourselves, but for all life on earth.

A full, free copy of Home can be found on YouTube at  http://www.youtube.com/user/homeproject

Site Redesign Complete

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

You can stop hitting your f5 button every 30 seconds, and go back to living your lives as best you can, since the day you have been awaiting  is here, now.   Yes!  It has finally happened…  the redesigned web page has now been rolled out.   Apart from some minor improvements that will be touched upon over the next little while, the overall redesign of u4ya.ca is now complete.

As you can see, there is more dynamic content… just look at those amazing flash banners…   aren’t they fabulous?  And how about the collection of good news… that alone is good news in itself.  This site redesign has really brought u4ya.ca up to the cutting edge of the Internet (+/- 5 years).

All joking aside, expect to see more frequent posts, videos coming more often, as well as coverage of special issues, like the Global Voting System.  So, be sure to bookmark us and visit often.

Peace!