Wicked Problems: POVERTY

This past week we talked about the damaging effects poverty has on the world.  There are many accusations as to why poverty is such a prevalent issue; from “global warming” and “climate change” to “it is what it is”, these reasons shape our views on what poverty is and how (if possible) we can cure it.  Although poverty is a global issue and different climates and environments do have an effect on the economic standing of every country and culture, we cannot blame poverty on uncontrollable weather phenomenons alone.  Because there is so much economic depression in third world countries, the only way to really bring people out of this poverty is by giving them access to the necessary resources they need in order to thrive and survive.  One of the major contributions to a healthy lifestyle is access to and the ability to utilize clean water.  The necessary means to living a long healthy life are not available for use in a large percent of the world’s countries, which causes desperation (leading to soaring theft and murder rates), depression, and death, all factors that contribute to the definition of “poverty”.  If we helped people in these third world countries gain access to clean water, proper nutrition, and legitimate energy sources, they could be taking the first steps into their new lives.

The argument in the article about how coal is causing acid rain and different detrimental  environmental problems can be completely debunked by a few facts. First, in the 1970’s, acid rain was an issue due to the combination of burning particles combining with the air, however closer to the 1990’s, coal companies figured out a way to filter the air going out of the coal factories with devices called scrubbers.  Now that these filters are in place and have been used for decades, our air has never been cleaner.  Second, there are issues in Ghana (an impoverished country) that involve the health of its citizens.  In the country of Ghana, incubators for new born babies are not available to keep the babies protected and warm, so instead the people are forced to try to warm their babies using wood and dung fires, which is in turn, killing the people.  These things are extremely unhealthy to burn and breath in, while all the arguments about burning coal and fossil fuels are underway, we are forgetting the bigger issues.  Burning fossil fuels is a much healthier and safer option for these people rather than burning animal feces around their fragile new born babies to try to keep them warm.

If we choose to take a step back and examine the real problems going on in the world, we will see that compared to the suffering caused by poverty deforestation and animal rights barely have a place on the scale of importance. Although poverty is an ultimately incurable problem, if we were to start educating the people in these countries about different life skills and trades, a dent would be made in the scale of poverty.  Teaching people how to be self-sufficient is the first step to developing these undeveloped countries, which will give the people the means to provide for themselves and their families, which in the end will begin bringing people out of poverty.

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