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15 reasons to be angry

You know how we're always banging on about 'anger being an energy'? Well, this is enough to charge our batteries for years. It's a shameful disgrace.

1. Since 1960 the countries where the richest 20% of the world's people live have increased their share of gross world product from 73% to 83%. These rich countries are now sixty times better off than those where the poorest 20% live.

2. 800 million people in the world are severely malnourished or starving. »more

3. 40,000 children under the age of five die each day from malnutrition and vaccine preventable disease. 33,000 children die every day in developing countries - mainly from easily preventable diseases. This is the equivalent of dropping a bomb similar to the one dropped on Hiroshima on the poor children of the world every three days. »more

4. 358 people own as much wealth as half the world's population. »more

5. About 11 million people are homeless in the world. One person in three in poor countries is homeless or in severely sub-standard housing. A third of the population in most third world countries are squatters. 100 million children live or work on the streets. There are more than 10 million refugees and five million internally displaced people.
» more (pdf file)

6. 37 million people have been driven from their homes by violence or armed conflict, 80% of them women and children. More than one billion people - the majority of them children - either have no home or live in inadequate housing. » more

7. 400 million people live under military dictatorships propped up by multinationals that earn huge profits from the cheap labour these regimes provide

8. 8.4 million children are trapped in slavery, trafficking, prostitution, debt bondage, pornography and other illicit activities. 250 million children are child labourers. 22,000 children die each year in work-related accidents.
Source: International Labour Organisation (Guardian 10/June/03)


9. If present rates of destruction continue, tropical forests have at most a decade of life. 80% of our world's ancient forest has been destroyed. Every two seconds, a football pitch-sized chunk of ancient forest is cut down. » more

10. World military spending is over $800 billion per year, with the US spending $396 billion - more than six times larger than that of Russia, the second largest spender. » more...

11. The richest 200 people in the world have a combined wealth of more than $1 trillion - equal to the annual income of the poorest 47% of the earths population, some 2.5 billion people. 'The 200 richest people in the world, for instance, more than doubled their net worth between 1994 and 1998, to more than $1 trillion. Meanwhile, disparities continue to grow: In 1960, the income gap between the richest fifth of the world's population and the poorest fifth was 30 to 1; in 1997 it was 74 to 1.' » more...

12. Westerners spend $37 billion a year on pet food and perfumes - enough to provide education, food, health care, water and sanitation for all those now deprived of the basics - with $9 billion to spare. In 1997 the world spent $435 billion on advertising, mostly in Europe, North America and Japan. That is nearly 8 times the amount that was channeled to the developing world in the form of official development assistances.

13. A child born in New York, Paris and London will consume, pollute and waste more in their lifetime than 50 children born in a developing country. » more...

14. There are 15 individuals in the world who are worth more than the whole of sub-Sahara Africa - some 600 million people while over 100 million children throughout the world are forced to work under hazardous and often fatal conditions; many are employed under slave- like conditions for no pay.

15. Bill Gates could foot the cost for paying for basic education, health care and safe water supplies for the 4.4 billion people who lack basic sanitation and still be a billionaire ten times over afterwards.
Source: United Nations Development Programme

Some more facts:
» 1,183 species of birds (around 12% of the world's total) and 1,130 species of mammals (around a quarter) are threatened with extinction.
» A fifth of the world's population is responsible for 90% of consumption.
» Two thirds of the world's population (about 4 billion people) live on less than $2 a day.
» More than a billion urban dwellers (mostly in Africa, Asian and Latin America) live in slums (more)

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