Sunday, March 6, 2011

Prevent Poverty and Prevent Unsustainability

If you live in a wealthier nation  it is quite likely that you lifestyle is subsidized with the labour and health of poorer nations.  It is quite baffling in todays world that nations are still led by dictators that suppress the rights of its citizens. 

Our way of life is subsidized in the products that we purchase.  Our I-Phones come at the expense of Foxcomm Chinese factory workers under great duress, with workers often committing suicide.  Yet Apple is a reputable business right?  Our fatigued pants come at the expense of the turkish workers that man the sandblasting machines, sufferering lung diseases due to the sand they have to work with.  Our  chemicals and plastics come at the expense of the health of workers in Louisiana, which has been dubbed cancer alley due to the high rate of cancer in the area.  Our organic foods come from Spain where African workers are paid $2/hr.  Our shoes come from child labour.  Our plastics are recycled at the expense of others health, as they have to be melted releasing poisonous chemicals.

The majority of the worlds resources reside in the poorest nations, how is that possible?  Companies are allowed to extract resources, with the countries citizens never seeing a cent.

The nations poorest have little money and as a result are forced to buy the least expensive food.  Quite often the cheapest foods will not be the healthiest fruits and vegetables but rather the processed junk food.  These processed foods often have very little nutritional value that you often get hungry again right away, leading to higher obesity rates. 

Due to the lack of laws regulating proper urban design or plant emissions, ghettos are created.  Impoverished citizens can only afford to live in these inhabitable locations.  People living in these "communities" are forced to drink contaminated water, and breathe smog filled air.

If we put in and enforce international laws to prevent humanitarian crimes and poverty we will dramatically reduce the option of unsustainable practices.  When companies have to adhere to laws and ensure their workers and surrounding citizens health do not degrade, you will see the quality of emissions from smoke stack and water disposals dramatically increase.  People will not have to live downwind of pollutants and chemicals, this will only serve to increase their standard of living and decrease the governments health care costs. 

When you have to pay workers fair wages you can eliminate the need to manufacture poisonous chemicals that no one wants to work with.  If you can't expose your workers to dangerous substances, you develop safer alternatives.  These alternatives will most likely be safer to both living beings and the environment.  When fair wages and humane working conditions are mandatory, businesses will seek to save money through sustainable practices that increase efficiency.

When businesses can longer provide products readily at the expense of others backs, this also changes consumer habits.  The consumers of wealthy nations can no longer rely on impoverished people to make products inexpensive for them.  Since products will inevitably rise in price, this will force consumers to think more about what they are buying.  They will explore more greatly opportunities of reusing or fixing a product, whereas before they would have just thrown it into the trash.  When you have to feed the whole world, consumers will not be able to buy as many meat products since the land normally being used to feed livestock now has to be used to feed starving humans.

When every single human being on the planet is provided health care, food, shelter, sustainable transportation and is not being oppresseed you reduce the need for the billions of dollars being spent on militaries and defenses.  When the whole world is happy who is going to attack you?

No comments:

Post a Comment