“[T]here is more than enough water to go around and meet all of humanity’s needs.”
-Page 13 of the United Nation’s Human Development Report 2006, Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/hdr06-complete.pdf
“The world has the technology, the finance and the human capacity to remove the blight of water insecurity from millions of lives”.
-Page 28 of the United Nation’s Human Development Report 2006, Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/hdr06-complete.pdf
“Of course, water consumption in rich countries does not diminish water availability in poor countries. Global consumption is not a zero-sum game in which one country gets less if another gets more.”
-Page 35 of the Human Development Report 2006,Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/hdr06-complete.pdf
“Globally, there is more than enough water for domestic purposes, for agriculture, and for industry.”
–P. 123 of World Bank’s 2007 World Development Indicators report athttp://tinyurl.com/2epton
“At the start of the 21st century we have the finance, technology and capacity to consign the water and sanitation crisis to history just as surely as today’s rich counties did a century ago.”
-Page VI in Foreword of the Human Development Report 2006, Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/hdr06-complete.pdf
“There is more than enough water in the world for domestic purposes, for agriculture and for industry. The problem is that some people – notably the poor – are systematically excluded from access by their poverty, by their limited legal rights or by public policies that limit access to the infrastructures that provide water for life and for livelihoods.”
-Page 3 of the Human Development Report 2006,Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/hdr06-complete.pdf
“Our planet produces enough food to feed its entire population. Yet, tonight, 854 million women, men and children will be going to sleep on an empty stomach.”
-Address by Dr Jacques Diouf, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) at the World Food Day Ceremony in Rome on October 16, 2007, at http://tinyurl.com/3yfszk on page 2.
“In a world richer than ever before, it is unacceptable that people can be left to die of starvation.”
-Copied from the report of the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Jean Ziegler, March 16, 2006, page 8 at: http://tinyurl.com/38rdgz
“We do not have the excuse that we cannot grow enough or that we do not know enough about how to eliminate hunger. What remains to be proven is that we care enough, that our expressions of concern in international fora are more than rhetoric, that we will no longer accept and ignore the suffering of 840 million hungry people in the world . . . We already produce more than enough food to provide an adequate diet for everyone.”
-From the Foreword of the State of Food Insecurity in the World – 2002, Report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations athttp://tinyurl.com/2f667h .
Where did we get the idea that there wasn’t enough for everyone? This idea was widely disseminated and popularized by someone who lived way before the most wonderful inventions and technological advances occurred. Back in the late 1700’s, economist Thomas Malthus advised the world that the human population would always increase faster than the world’s ability to feed that population – that there would never be enough to go around – and the world listened. Malthus’ has been cited as one of the most 100 influential people in history. Seehttp://tinyurl.com/ytysvr andhttp://tinyurl.com/ysdtth
As you’ll see in Malthus’ own words copied below, he even advised the powers-that-be that they should NOT attempt to alleviate suffering or illness caused by poverty because such suffering and illness would helpfully kill off what he considered to be the excess population. Instead, Malthus recommended that the powers-that-be actually help and encourage diseases to flourish among the poor. This way, those remaining well-to-do humans wouldn’t have to witness the suffering of the have-nots (because the have-nots will have died off.) Don’t take my word for it – read it in Malthus’ own words, in two excerpts copied below from his most famous publication entitled An Essay on the Principle of Population (which can be read for free on the internet in its entirety at the links following the quotes):
“Finding, therefore, that from the laws of nature we could not proportion the food to the population, our next attempt should naturally be, to proportion the population to the food. . .” http://tinyurl.com/2yjdjv
“To act consistently therefore, we should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavouring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this mortality; and if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction, which we compel nature to use. Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague. In the country, we should build our villages near stagnant pools, and particularly encourage settlements in all marshy and unwholesome situations. But above all, we should reprobate specific remedies for ravaging diseases; and those benevolent, but much mistaken men, who have thought they were doing a service to mankind by projecting schemes for the total extirpation of particular disorders. If by these and similar means the annual mortality were increased from 1 in 36 or 40, to 1 in 18 or 20, we might probably every one of us marry at the age of puberty, and yet few be absolutely starved.”
Many have criticized Malthus’s theories, both then and now, with the most logical critique coming from the famous American inventor, mathematician, engineer, map-maker, philosopher, scientist & all around jack-of-all-trades, Mr. Buckminster (Bucky) R. Fuller. (You probably know him as the inventor of geodesic domes, which have been called one of the strongest and least expensive forms of shelter, see
Fuller noted that:
“Thomas Malthus, of 1800, could not anticipate that 100 years later, refrigeration would preserve foods so satisfactory that they could reach safely and economically all the world’s stomachs.” Page 11 athttp://tinyurl.com/2kvr6v and
“Malthus could not foresee that refrigeration and hermetic packing would hold foods in good condition for indefinitely prolonged periods, which foods in his time often rotted in the fields because there were not enough local consumers, and would perish before reaching the masses who dwelt at too great a distance thereby to be sustained.” Page 3 at http://tinyurl.com/2kvr6v
In summary, there IS enough for everybody. As Fuller noted:
“We are blessed with technology that would be indescribable to our forefathers. We have the wherewithal, the know-it-all to feed everybody, clothe everybody, and give every human on Earth a chance. We know now what we could never have known before-that we now have the option for all humanity to “make it” successfully on this planet in this lifetime.”
-Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller quoted on p. XVII in the book Buckminster Fuller Anthology for the New Millenium.