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Eradicating Global Poverty by Going Green?

Published by: Tinia Pina on 26th Nov 2012 | View all blogs by Tinia Pina

Global Poverty - Re-NubleIt’s easy to become frustrated by the disconnect between scientists and politicians regarding climate change.  In some countries (like the US), it’s not even a disconnect – it’s an outright debate over whether global warming is happening and whether human activity is a factor.

Fortunately, attitudes are shifting closer to the scientific consensus.  Even in America – one of the last remaining strongholds of climate change denial – the tide is turning.

Unusually brutal hurricanes in late fall have a way of influencing public opinion.

But is growing awareness amongst constituents enough to tip the balance?  After all, politicians are often driven by more pressing, short-term mandates like economic development or ending poverty – areas in which progress is easier to document within a 2, 4, or 6-year election cycle.

Even the greenest of candidates might shy away from the types of long-term solutions many climate scientists advocate.  It’s hard to pitch a 10-year environmental plan if voters must assess your performance in the here and now.

Well, we’ve got good news – in fact, double good news.

Turn Down the Heat – Climate Change as Key to Ending Poverty

In a landmark report, Turn Down the Heat, released by the World Bank, climate change emerged as one of the most important factors in combating global poverty.

According to World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, “We will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change.  It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today.”

In other words, fighting climate change isn’t simply an environmental issue any more.  Of course, many businesses already realized as much when their supply chains and services were interrupted by Hurricane Sandy.  But now the leading authority on global poverty has added its 2 cents.

Why is this good news?

Because this report draws a direct link between the economic development that typically guides political action and the environmental protection that most of us agree needs to happen.

In other words, selling 5, 10, or even 50-year environmental platforms shouldbecome easier.  Rather than view regulations and protections as job destroyers, we can reframe them as job creators – a major plus during one of the worst economic crises in recent memory.

That’s good news #1.  Now for #2.

We Don’t Need to Wait 5, 10, or Even 50 Years to Turn Down the Heat

At Re-Nuble, we’d love to see more politicians throw their weight behind long-term global warming solutions.  Cutting emissions, improving fuel efficiency, investing in new technologies – these are all critically important.  Any news that makes implementing such standards should be viewed as “good news.”

But it gets better.

There exist a range of immediate, short-term solutions we can begin implementing today.  Solutions that don’t require political risk – or even political input, for that matter.

Our entire business model revolves around one such solution:

  • Collecting the 1.3 billion tons of food waste that we already produce every year
  • Recycling this uneaten food into green energy and natural fertilizer
  • Using both of these resources to reduce reliance on fossil fuel and improve the quality of our food, air, and water

It’s a simple fix, and the resources are already at our disposal.  We’re simply not using them.  In fact, we’re spending money not to use them and paying with our health and environment in the process.

Think it’s silly to clear trees so we can grow food that doesn’t get eaten?  We think it’s silly too.

Join us today and help us put a stop to this.  If not for environmental or health reasons – do it because Re-Nuble’s mission also plays a small role in eradicating global poverty and spurring local economic development.

Comments

1 Comment

  • Hariharan PV
    by Hariharan PV 1 year ago
    All these "eradicating poverty" vainglorious statements are sadly seen to be another way of supporting over consumption and over-wastage by a small minority in the developed world. Let us look at some stark realities. We are now working in remote villages in one of the 641 Districts in India (Mandya District) near Bangalore. There are 1580 Villages within seven sub-District Town limits. The total population in these 1580 Villages is about 1.55 million. 80% of these rural population live at a percapita of Rs.5000 (about $100) and the rest enjoy a percapita of Rs.30,000 (about $600). Almost all villages have very poor sanitation, water supply and the power supply is erratic and sparse (intermittent for not more than about 6 hrs in a day). Our study shows that the percapita of mandya Villagers should be not less than $1200, if an average Villager in Mandya District is to live under minimum decent levels. Achieving this would need TENFOLD increases in value additions and productions. What is your suggestion, under "Going Green" that could make us achieve the required development?
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