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A healthy ecosystem is vital for rich and poor alike

Jeffrey Sachs says, "All of us now agree that poor people depend on the health of ecosystems to survive". (see Protecting biodiversity 'may clash with pursuit of MDGs')

But in fact we all depend on the health of ecosystems to survive, not just the poor. Developing and developed countries are after all located on the same planet — and it is not the poor that are destroying it. The best way to reduce hunger among the world's poor is to redistribute the world's wealth.

Globally, 20 per cent of the world's people in the highest-income countries account for 86 per cent of total private consumption expenditures — the poorest 20 per cent spend a minuscule 1.3 per cent. More specifically, while the richest fifth consume 45 per cent of all meat and fish, the poorest fifth eat five per cent. The poor are hungry because the rich are not willing to share. Bottom line!

Runaway growth in consumption and waste in the developed world in the past 50 years is putting strains on the environment as never before seen.

Science is not going to save the developing world as Sachs claims. It is after all "technological progress" in the hands of the rich and greedy that is destroying the world. Throw more money at them and the destruction will speed up. The only way we can save our children is to look at the way the world is run and make some radical changes. Building roads and drilling oil in rural areas is only going to make matters worse.

Finding a sustainable way of living in tune with, instead of at the expense of, nature is the only way we can ensure human survival.