Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Of Environmental and Social Gulfs of Power: Privilege and Impoverishment

Washington's Blog today reports on Naked Capitalism on Scientists' Confirmation that Dispersants are Increasing Gulf Contamination. It is a good overview of the ongoing environmental and social disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

The Guardian reports that Oil Companies and Banks will profit from pseudo-environmental schemes that privatize land in developing countries for oil and banking exploitation, while rewarding them for their exploitation. Here is an excerpt for this article on the gulf of power and access supporting authentic environmental and social activists on the one side, and corporate power on the other:

"Greenpeace claimed last week that Indonesia planned to class large areas of its remaining natural forests as "degraded land" in order to cut them down and receive $1bn of climate aid for replanting them with palm trees and biofuel crops."

Last, but not least, Michael Snyder from the Economic Collapse Blog (whose post I found on blacklisted news) reports on the economic and social gulf separating the vast majority of the world's population, who are increasing impoverished and marginalized and, on the other hand, the transnational elite reaping benefits from pillaging the world's human and natural resources:
"Synder writes: "The following are 20 statistics that prove that the wealth of the world is increasingly being funneled into the hands of the global elite, leaving most of the rest of the world wretchedly poor and miserable….
[links are provided by Snyder to document all of these stats]
"#1 According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the number of “least developed countries” has doubled over the past 40 years.

#2 “Least developed countries” spent 9 billion dollars on food imports in 2002. By 2008, that number had risen to 23 billion dollars.

#3 Average income per person in the poorest countries on the continent of Africa has fallen by one-fourth over the past twenty years.

#4 Bill Gates has a net worth of somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 billion dollars. That means that there are approximately 140 different nations that have a yearly GDP which is smaller than the amount of money Bill Gates has.

#5 A study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research discovered that the bottom half of the world population owns approximately 1 percent of all global wealth.

#6 Approximately 1 billion people throughout the world go to bed hungry each night.

#7 The wealthiest 2 percent own more than half of all global household assets.

#8 It is estimated that over 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where the income gap between the rich and the poor is widening.

#9 Every 3.6 seconds someone starves to death and three-quarters of them are children under the age of 5.

#10 According to Gallup, 33 percent of the people on the globe say that they do not have enough money for food.

#11 As you read this, there are 2.6 billion people around the world that lack basic sanitation.

#12 According to the most recent “Global Wealth Report” by Credit Suisse, the wealthiest 0.5% control over 35% of the wealth of the world.

#13 More than 3 billion people, close to half the world’s population, live on less than 2 dollar a day.

#14 CNN founder Ted Turner is the largest private landowner in the United States. Today, Turner owns approximately two million acres. That is an amount greater than the land masses of the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Turner also advocates restricting U.S. couples to 2 or fewer children to control population growth.

#15 There are 400 million children in the world today that have no access to safe water.

#16 Approximately 28 percent of all children in developing countries are considered to be underweight or have had their growth stunted as a result of malnutrition.

#17 It is estimated that the United States owns approximately 25 percent of the total wealth of the world.

#18 It is estimated that the entire continent of Africa owns approximately 1 percent of the total wealth of the world.

#19 In 2008, approximately 9 million children died before they reached their fifth birthdays. Approximately a third of all of these deaths was due either directly or indirectly to lack of food.

#20 The most famous banking family in the world, the Rothschilds, has accumulated mountains of wealth while much of the rest of the world has been trapped in poverty. The following is what Wikipedia has to say about Rothschild family wealth…. "

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