Divide your income by 1,000 and that’s how much you need give, in order to save the world; and this is how you can do it. The average in the rich part of the world is about $40 per year. How much is for you?
If you think about it, this is nothing compared to what beautiful things we can achieve by donating this much to people in need. We do however need to know for what we’re giving our hard earned money, right? Now, here’s how things stand today and how this money works for our own benefit as a whole.
The Problems We’re Facing
We are currently living in a period of great uncertainty. Climate change is upon us and we are going head first into something the world hasn’t seen in over 3 million years. Namely that CO2 levels in the atmosphere have reached levels higher than 400 parts per million, which will lead to rising temperatures and extreme weather patterns. Of the total amount of greenhouse gases we produce each year, about a half is absorbed by the oceans. This may sound as a good thing, but unfortunately this makes the water more and more acidic, which in turn stops life from developing. Not good at all.
Not to mention that we are now 7.2 billion people world wide. By the middle of the century it is estimated that this number will reach 10.8 billion. The problem is that we can’t even feed the current population, let alone another 3,6 billion. We currently need 1.6 planets to feed everybody. We don’t really notice this because 1.2 billion people are starving in third world countries. We are also running out of water. These are things which don’t care about borders or national wealth. They will affect everybody and very soon, mind you.
On the other hand, in order for everybody to have access to energy, equal to that used by the average person in the US, the total output must triple from what it is today, and it must be done with renewable sources.
The Root Cause We Need To Tackle
In order to even stand a chance at preserving this world and not destroying it completely, we have to work together and make a sustainable future for ourselves and all life around us. But to do so, we have to bring every part of the world to a relative equilibrium in terms of well-fare, and this is why.
If we look at the developed part of the world: North America, Europe, Japan and Australia, we can see a lot of positive changes. First of all, the population is actually dropping, which is a good thing for the planet. High levels of education, good infrastructure, high life expectancy. More and more people are adopting green ways to produce energy, but nevertheless, they are the ones who consume the most. The US for example uses up roughly a quarter of the world’s energy, even if it’s just 5% of the population.
Now, for things to change for the better, we need to make the whole world reach this level of development. The regions with the biggest problems are Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Here everything is bad. Huge populations and growing, high mortality rates, low infrastructure, famine, disease, low education; you name it. In order for these places to have an economic growth and a sustainable future; they need stability first of all.
We can debate on what it’s needed in order to create a good economy, be it education, infrastructure or what have you, but everybody will agree that stability is a key primordial factor for everything. Before equal rights, before education, before infrastructure, electricity and highways, people need an insurance that they won’t die at any given moment, either by conflict or disease.
The Simple Solution
The good thing is that conflicts are dying down all over the world. We are currently living in one of the most peaceful eras in history and let’s hope it stays this way.
Malaria, AIDS and Tuberculosis on the other hand are still wreaking havoc in the developing world and keep these countries at a low developed state. Because of these diseases, companies are reluctant to invest in these countries and local governments are struggling to get by, not being able to escape the poverty trap they’re in. It’s a vicious cycle of misery which can’t be broken from the inside.
For a government to be self sufficient and able to sustain its own health system without the need of outside help, the GDP per person per year should be somewhere around $1,200. Below this figure, there simply isn’t enough money to sustain a functioning country. And just so you can put things into perspective, the Congo’s GDP per capita in 2014 was $306 as compared to the US’s $46,400 or France’s $42,500.
Taken on average, the total amount of money all poor countries around the world need to pass the $1,200 threshold is about $40 billion per year. Now we have to keep in mind that this amount gets smaller and smaller as time passes and investments are made. Knowing that there are about 1 billion people living in the rich world, that would sum up to $40 per person.
Another way to think about this is to take the GDP per capita, which in the high developed world averages around $40,000 per year, and donate .1% of it, which is $40. If this amount is still to much for you, you can calculate how much you make in a year and divide it by 1,000 and give that once every twelve months to the World Health Fund. This way you can save millions of lives and put the planet on track to become a sustainable and wonderful world. Some have called this “The bargain of the planet”; that’s how cheap it is to save it.