Monday, 17 May 2010

Thirsty World

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. ~ Mohandas K. Gandhi

The fundamental notion that environmental sustainability is only achievable through mass control on population growth, is one that needs some challenge. The reason is simple. People are not the problem. It is consumerism that strips the earth of the ability to recover in time, that is.

One of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals is Environmental Sustainability and interestingly, whilst many of the development goals look at what is happening in the developing world, here is one for the industrialised nations of the world. It is about balance, not necessarily about whole-scale reduction in lifestyle, but that key realisation that as Gandhi says, "is about satisfying need, not greed."

When we consider that fashionable "designer" waters are predicted to be an $86.5 million industry by 2011, let's also bear in mind that 42% of the rural poor around the world, still, don't have fresh, clean drinking water and that 2.6 billion people do not have access to safe clean sanitation on a planet that where the land surface is 70% water. There is plenty of water, but much, much, work to do.

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