There is not a flower or bird in sight, only a small screen on which lines are moving, while the child sits almost motionless, pushing at the keyboard with one finger. As a learning environment, it may be mentally rich, but it is perceptually extremely impoverished. No smells or tastes, no wind or bird song (unless the computer is programmed to produce electronic tweets), no connection with soil, water, sunlight, warmth, the actual learning environment is almost autistic in quality, impoverished sensually, emotionally, and socially. John Davy

There has always been a certain amount of poverty amongst humans and charitable people have tried to alleviate its worst excesses. Today poverty includes the problems of the growing cities and commensurately declining quality of life which affects all. Even the rich suffer from pollution, overcrowding, traffic gridlocks, infernal noise and chemicalised, pesticide, algicide, herbicide, fungicide poisoned food and endlessly recycled water that appears sparkling fresh and clean because Alzheimer disease causing aluminium has been added. The incidence of cancer is at an all time high despite the worldwide efforts to find a cure. Tuberculosis, respiratory and many other fatal diseases are making a comeback. Less than 10% of humans die from old age despite all the advances in pharmacy and medicine.

It is not surprising that institutions, universities, governments and individuals are denying, dismissing or downplaying the cause and effects of pollution, deforestation, global warming, climate change etc. because they are largely financed, or in jobs, and or sponsored by precisely the vested interests that cause the problems in the first place. Their response is that they only serve markets and demand for goods and services that are fed by ongoing human population increases.

Since 1760, i.e. the beginning of the industrial age humans have increased in numbers by nearly 1000% or tenfold. During the same time industrial activities/economic activity has increased more than 10,000% or 100 times. This shows the extraordinary exponential effect of socio-economic "development" in relation to population increase which has caused and is causing global warming and environmental, habitat and bio-diversity destruction.

The untold truth about poverty is the fact that today there are such large numbers of humans on the planet - all of whom want the same standard of living as is marketed and advertised by the global western media - that the injustices can no longer be corrected. If everyone of the 6500 million humans who are now increasing at more than 80 million a year had the living standard and energy/food consumption of the average American middle-class:


The dire consequences of the end of oil in the world are not just the problems of petrol for cars, trucks, aeroplanes, ships, tractors, harvest combines etc. but the fact that all agri-chemicals and fertilisers which now feed the world can no longer be manufactured. You may say, great; this means that we have to go back to a healthy and nourishing organic agriculture. Unfortunately this is not possible because it will lead to a reduction in global food harvests by about 500%. Only onehundred years ago organic farming with horses and mules produced five times less bushels of wheat, rice and other crops per acre. And more than 60% of all crops were needed to feed the horses and farm animals.

Thus the irreconcilable paradox is that "development" and "charity" which in themselves quite rightly advance the expectations of humans for a better standard of life in a progressive sequence are negated by the limits of our planet.
It would be unkind to invite onehundred people for lunch and only serve food for ten; the planet Earth has given everything there is to the extent that its natural eco-systems and bio-diversity have been sacrificed beyond capacity to feed, house, clothe, employ, transport, defend and entertain ever more humans. Yet poverty has persisted not because the rich take too much. Nobody can eat that much more than his neighbour. It is the consequence of too many. Even if all the food in the world were equitably distributed, there would still be a massive shortage as is demonstrated by the fact that more than 54,000 humans die from malnutrition every day - up from 12,000 a day in 1972.

Wealth is the parent of luxury and indolence, and poverty of meanness and viciousness, and both of discontent.
Plato (427 BC - 347 BC), The Republic

Those who have a social conscience will notice that many advocates of "development" and "charity" are big business or people with specific business interests. They want prosperity for all so they can sell their goods and services in ever larger markets. You may say; what's wrong with that? Unfortunately it brings us back to the overall problems of increasing deforestation, natural habitat destruction, bio-diversity extermination, pollution and resource depletion.
It is unequivocal that all money is made from environment damaging, habitat and bio-diversity destructive human activities.
It is a quantum question.
Less humans will consume less and hence cause less destruction. It is difficult to assess how many humans would constitute a harmonious co-existential balance within a global eco-system that gives equal rights and habitat to bio-diversity. All one can say is that the most recent time when the damaging impact of humans was at a level which did not cause the concern we have today, was perhaps just before the second world war. At that time less than one third of today's number of humans shared the planet with bio-diversity at a much less threatening level.

The only decent, honest and ethical way to reduce poverty is to invite as many people to the table as it can accommodate. It means reducing global over-population through freely available free contraception, free abortion on demand, abstention or sexual practices that do not lead to reproduction. Of course that does not include paedophilia or anything that is not mutually agreed.

Unfortunately the parochial geo-political national interests have produced a world that is now so over-populated that all resources are or will sooner or later become insufficient. This has not shown up for all because resources are quantified in terms of money instead of need. So that the over-populated rich nations who dominate the global finances simply keep on buying the resources from countries that in reality need them for their own people. The day will come when the resource rich countries will realise that you cannot eat money. That will be the day when all over-populated nations will starve.

The other paradox is the fact that humans share the planet with millions of fellow species, plants, trees, animals, insects etc. who have exactly the same right to live on this planet as humans. For thousands of years humans lived in a co-existential balance with bio-diversity. Only since the oil-fired industrial age have humans started to over-populate to such an extent that the global imbalance is now so extreme that all bio-diversity will be extinct before humans come to their senses and then it will be too late. Statistically and following the prognostications and endless promises of the Worldbank, UNDP and other organisations and individuals that say "that poverty can be eradicated" all humans could end up as millionaires in a desert.

"It may seem charitable to exterminate mosquitoes to save human lives were it not for the fact that for millions of years mosquitoes were part of the natural eco-system balance causing no harm and lived in their own natural habitat which humans have disturbed, invaded, poisoned and polluted. Felix Leisinger, Founder of Equal Earth"