Seven billion on earth. Most live in poverty. Make a difference.
I’ve just read Dan Brown’s new book ‘Inferno’. Enjoyable – if you like that sort of thing. This blog is not a book review and I will not reveal the plot but it does deal with the very theme of this week’s sign.
The population of the world.
Seven billion is a huge number – inconceivable to most people. The MCG holds close to 100,000 people for the Grand Final or the Boxing Day Test and that’s a big crowd – now imagine 100 MCG’s, 1000 MCG’s. It’s not a number we can easily imagine – well try 70,000 MCG’s. That’s roughly the population of our planet.
Now take 56,000 of those stadia (5.6 billion people) and tell them that they have to live on less than $10 a day.
15,680 of those MCG’s worth of people (over 1.5 billion humans) live in absolute poverty, that is below US$1.25 a day.
The numbers are mind boggling – we cannot possibly fathom them. To make it easier let us imagine the world’s population as 10 people.
Of those 10 people – 8 of them would live in poverty.
Of those 10 people – 5 of them would live on under $2.50
Of those 10 people – 2 (and a bit) of them would live on under $1.25 a day.
Of those 10 people – 5 live in cities and 3 of those 5 live in slums.
Of those 10 people – 2.5 of them live without electricity.
Of those 10 people – 3 of them have enough food to eat each day, 7 of them don’t.
Of those 10 people – 1 of them (actually less than 1 of them) has more than $300 in a bank account.
The figures are terrifying. Look at these facts –
In 2008 the population of Europe spent US$11 billion on ice cream. Experts estimate to supply safe water to all the people of the world would cost US$9 billion. Less than what one continent spends on ice cream!
It would be around US$19 billion to give everyone a basic education and access to basic health care and nutrition. Only slightly more than what Europe and North America spend on pet food (US$17 billion).
In 1998 (last reliable figures) the world spent approximately US$800 billion on military acquisitions. One tenth of that would eradicate the need for foreign aid spending and give EVERYONE on the planet access to basic healthcare, water, food AND education with billions of dollars to spare.
Now I know that I cannot change the world – neither can you (unless you happen to be Barak Obama or someone like that, in which case ring me, we NEED to talk) but you can change your world – the little sphere you live in.
If we all changed a little then those changes would reverberate across our planet. Imagine the change if one of those 10 people (or 10% of the world’s population) decided to make a difference. Not only would they change but the lives of millions of others would too.
What can we do? What difference can you or I make?
Take a look at the Global Poverty Project’s website for some simple ideas. Here’s link to their blog on what everyday people can do…
Make a difference!
You cannot change the world but you can change you and if enough ‘yous’ change then so does the world.