Jan 19, 2010

Prioritizing life on earth... are we winning?

When are we going to get the arithmetic right, and distinguish what threatens us mightily from what threatens us barely at all?

Bob Ellis, ABC - Fewer deaths occurred in Hiroshima in August 1945 than in Port-au-Prince Haiti last week and more people will die there soon than in Rwanda in 1994. Yet the modern global world was unprepared for it, so busy were they with terrorism, which has killed fewer people in the last thirty years than quarrelsome Americans with handguns in the last eight months.

Thirty per cent of earth's carbon asphyxiation comes each year from bushfires yet billions will be spent on installing electronic peekaboo machines in airports instead...Why are we spending so much of our money on them, and so little on bushfire prevention or flood rescue?

Why are so many people dying because we find a young stranger's jockstrap more interesting than the end of life on earth?

When will we get our priorities right, and learn how useless the free market is in dealing with tsunamis, earthquakes, Aboriginal health, African AIDS, Middle Eastern pogroms, Chinese tyranny and the sort of shameful poverty that breeds terrorists everywhere and sends them walking in explosive underpants out of universities into airline waiting rooms?

When will we understand that twenty dollars a week is better spent on tax-funded air ambulances and Elvises and hot rocks and wind power and stem cells and solar cars than on oil magnates who are killing the planet as we speak?

Are some people making money, perhaps, out of emphasizing the unimportant and spinning the planet's fate into invisibility?

While you've been reading this three Haitians have died under heaped-up stone unrescued and an AIG executive has earned two hundred dollars for helping wreck the world economy, and he'll earn three thousand more in the next hour while twenty more Haitians die

Read more by Bob Ellis, ABC (warning a little cynical)