Human Poverty, Ecological Considerations and Consequences

Essay by eternidad4@hotmail.cCollege, UndergraduateA-, August 2007

download word file, 3 pages 2.5

Human poverty is a major problem. As poverty continues to persist in the world the environment will continue to suffer the consequences. Issues about environment, economics and politics are inter-related through the way humans interact with their surroundings and with each other.

Human activities are resulting in mass species extinction rates higher than ever before, currently approaching 1000 times the normal rate. Human caused climate change is threatening an even worse future. At the same time, the inequality in human societies is extreme and vast. The United Nations Human Development Report in 1998 revealed that, “Globally, the 20% of the world’s people in the highest-income countries account for 86% of total private consumption expenditures while the poorest 20% a minuscule 1.3%.” To highlight this inequality further, consider that approximately 1 billion people suffer from hunger and some 2 to 3.5 billion people have a deficiency of vitamins and minerals. Yet, some 1.2

billion suffer from obesity. One billion people live on less than a dollar a day, the official measure of poverty. However, half the world, nearly three billion people, lives on less than two dollars a day. Yet, just a few hundred millionaires now own as much wealth as the world’s poorest 2.5 billion people” (HDR, 1998). Anup Shap said in her article “However, there is often a mainstream belief that for poor countries to develop, environmental concerns have to be sacrificed, or is a luxury to address once poverty is alleviated. Therefore, the approaches to such issues require rethinking. The overloaded phrase “sustainable development” must recognize the interconnectedness between human beings and the environment if true environmental and social justice is to be obtained” (Shap, 2005, 2). She is saying the idea that the environment is of little importance in countries that are trying to become more developed...