Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty and GDP


Here I am, Chicago Illinois, first time ever in USA soil. Things are getting pretty interesting, right now I'm on a Starbucks, there's a free hot spot and thanks to that I can live blog. I hold my tea paper cup and it says:

Starbucks is committed to reducing our environmental impact through increased use of post-consumer recycled materials. Help us help the planet.

Funny how this could have been a perfect starting point for last year's topic: the environment. I wonder if that really helps the environment. Of course the use of post-consumer recycled materials has been proved to cause less environmental impact than brand new materials. But is that really the point? What's the real cost of a product? It turns out that poverty and environment are really interconnected topics, the more you exploit "poor countries" resources the more you damage the environment. It's all connected, and it's all part of the same game, the game of economic growth. We live in rich countries, we have wealth, hospitals, bridges, advanced technology, corporate merchandises, cars and iPods. We are rich, indeed. According to the World Bank 1.4 billion people, or one quarter of the population of the developing world, lived below our international line of $1.25 a day in 2005. $1.25. That's very poor. I can't even buy my Starbucks tea with that.

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