Posts Tagged ‘girls eduation’

So the rich are giving money away…

September 8, 2010

So Warren Buffet & Bill & Melinda Gates are   convincing the  uber-rich to  ‘share the wealth’ & level the playing field …as we say.  Too bad we can’t convince them to be Peace Corps Volunteers (or VSO) for about a year or so.  You really learn so much when you live in a community in a developing (read: Third World Country) community for a few months.

I know what it’s like to be middle class and have a handle on how the world would be better.  I gave up my life to experience how people really live.  It’s a tragedy.

For one thing—-fresh water  availability is at a global crisis.  One reason is deforestation & climate change—& the reason for this is  too many people chasing too few resources (the water) in any given location that is habitable.     & in most places, the reason this is happening is that women search for fire wood for cooking fuel.  No joke.   In some cases, solar cookers are helpful. In many cases in Africa, they  don’t like the texture of baked or dry food.   They like their foods fried in oil.  Energy Efficient, ceramic lined cookstoves (what we in the U.S, might call ‘bar-b-que grills) might help alleviate the fuel shortage. This also addresses deforestation & water conservation, and the alleviation of flooding.   However, currently, there is no political will locally to encourage this?  Why? The MEN who make the rules just don’t care…. So—& this is going to take at least s decade—

We have to convince  people to  want to understand what  is destroying their environment(s) and what THEY CAN DO to make where they live sustainable.

Plus, cooking for a crowd is expensive.    We have to convince men to not only want smaller families, but to do what they need to do to  have smaller families.  Birth control  alone is not the answer.  Educating women—-when they are girls, about environmental and social realities—is the  fundamental answer.  That’s right: providing appropriate environmental education—-combined with skill training to make value-added products— to girls and women, empowering women….-is the solution. That means training teachers—& grandmothers (the most influential people in any community) how to convey information to young girls.

This means supplying educational materials to these people, and a way  for the teacher/trainers to live, & giving them social status. We sure can’t do this from the U.S., where we are still—-after over 50 years (we policy makers first noticed this when the  Soviet Union…you remember them…right?  Launched Sputnik)…scientifically illiterate.  Maybe we can get  Germans & Japanese to volunteer to live in these God-forsaken places.

At the same time, we have to convince political leaders that they will look really really good if they promote sustainable energy solutions.  I urge  anyone reading this to  go visit Malaysia & Thailand.   In less than 50 years, these 2 jungle like countries are modern places. They have transportation and communications infrastructure.  They have high literacy rates.  Most people have access to modern health care methods.  They even (this is no joke) have dog groomers!  Funny?  This is an indication that people have expendable income.

Unfortunately, what is going to happen is…the rich are going to give their money to other rich people:  people who manage arts and cultural institutions. Are they NOT deserving?  I am not saying that. What I am saying is, however…if they want to keep the arts alive in perpetuity, they must  make sure all people on this earth are economically secure enough to not become refugees or start wars.

What are wars about?  Resources…plain & simple.  Who gets to manage scarce resources.  We are still no ‘getting it’.  We in the U.S.A. are still taught that if we can pay for resources, we deserve them. What about the others who can’t? We will pray to GOD in churches for their salvation.  I am not joking.

Every now & then, when people learn that I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, they express their altruism  and ask what they can do to ‘level the playing field.’ I always mention recycling.  I mention  supporting groups that provide direct aid to communities overseas.  Now, I am telling all the do-gooders & potential do-gooders to copy my blog & send it on to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as Millenium Challenge. Ask them to address the crisis problems…