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posted by mrpg on Sunday June 06, @03:31AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the good dept.

Reducing poverty can actually lower energy demand, finds research:

[...] We found that households that do have access to clean fuels, safe water, basic education and adequate food—that is, those not in extreme poverty—can use as little as half the energy of the national average in their country.

This is important, as it goes directly against the argument that more resources and energy will be needed for people in the global south to escape extreme poverty. The biggest factor is the switch from traditional cooking fuels, like firewood or charcoal, to more efficient (and less polluting) electricity and gas.

In Zambia, Nepal and Vietnam, modern energy resources are extremely unfairly distributed—more so than income, general spending, or even spending on leisure. As a consequence, poorer households use more dirty energy than richer households, with ensuing health and gender impacts. Cooking with inefficient fuels consumes a lot of energy, and even more when water needs to be boiled before drinking.


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Sunday June 06, @03:49AM (5 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @03:49AM (#1142237) Homepage Journal

    The biggest factor is the switch from traditional cooking fuels, like firewood or charcoal

    Imagine that. Burning the forest produces pollution. Not to mention, it contributes to desertification. Take any arid or semi-arid landscape, and start burning the available biodegradable fuels. You are continuously removing nutrients from the soil, as well as all that good biological material that retains water during dry seasons.

    Start turning all that firewood into mulch for the gardens, and people can feed themselves better. Better yet, just don't chop the trees down, let them grow, mature, die, and decay. That's where good loamy soil comes from.

    --
    "Trust the science" -- Tony Fauci and his army of psycophants
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @03:53AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @03:53AM (#1142239)

      > That's where good loamy soil comes from.

      And pine barrens too. Not all trees are the same.

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by coolgopher on Sunday June 06, @04:21AM

        by coolgopher (1157) on Sunday June 06, @04:21AM (#1142249)

        Don't bring Barrens chat over to this site too!

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Sunday June 06, @04:31AM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @04:31AM (#1142251) Homepage Journal

        Actually, mixed in reasonable proportions, pine straw and pine chips make good mulch. Fifty pounds of pine trash mixed with fifty pounds of other vegetation and hoed into the garden soil will make nice soil for next year. "Other stuff" may include oak leaves, acorns, and twigs, grass clippings, gum tree leaves and gumballs, and clippings from bushes and shrubs. Basically anything that grew from the soil will decompose into good nutrients.

        --
        "Trust the science" -- Tony Fauci and his army of psycophants
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday June 06, @04:56AM (1 child)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @04:56AM (#1142257) Journal
        Keep in mind that pine barrens aren't that way because of the trees, but because of the nutrient-poor soil (and the fact that the forests are recent due to warming after the latest glacial period). It takes longer to build good soil when nutrients are hard to come by.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:07AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:07AM (#1142279)

          This is why when I go hiking I drop my trash anywhere I please. Suck on *those* nutrients, trees.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @03:53AM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @03:53AM (#1142238)

    I'm sure providing suicide booths goes a long way, however in at least one country there's an enumerated right to life if they so choose it. We could in fact achieve a much greater reduction in poverty by side-stepping that and mandating suicide booth usage for those in poverty and their young offspring (especially), as it's questionable if there is any societal benefit at all to their presence.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @04:07AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @04:07AM (#1142242)

      When our wealth becomes infinite, we will become beings of pure energy, and then become infinitely poor and scatter our photons.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by sjames on Sunday June 06, @04:41AM (7 children)

      by sjames (2882) on Sunday June 06, @04:41AM (#1142254) Journal

      It would be much cheaper to liquidate just a few hundred at the top of the pile and spread their wealth to the bottom of the pile.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by DrkShadow on Sunday June 06, @05:56AM (5 children)

        by DrkShadow (1404) on Sunday June 06, @05:56AM (#1142274)

        Would it, though?

        the switch from traditional cooking fuels, like firewood or charcoal, to more efficient (and less polluting) electricity and gas.

        Do these places already have natural gas and electricity connections? Or are we talking about a lot of excavation, wires, telephone poles, copper mining, and etc for a huuuuge new area of land? What if they live out in the boonies? I'm not talking United States here, I'm talking central Brazil: Do they even have the infrastructure to support this? (I'm not sure they do.) How much Diesel fuel will have to be burnt in its construction?

        Central Brazil again, I stayed in one of the bigger cities recently and there was a large gas tank next to the stove. That was the cooking fuel. Does that count, or will we need new natural gas projects to pipe gas into where the users can get it? There was one light bulb in each room, and a TV with an antenna. Do we need new solar power projects, which are already competing for resources, and high voltage lines run across half of South America (or more) and last-mile (ten mile?) solutions? I'm not sure this is even possible.

        Is this another pure overpopulation problem, where the only resources left is wood to burn to make dinner? (or is that not the case?)

        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:10AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:10AM (#1142280)

          Let them eat cake. So tired of hearing poor people problems. What about Kim Kardashian's ass?!!!

          • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday June 06, @08:55AM (1 child)

            by sjames (2882) on Sunday June 06, @08:55AM (#1142303) Journal

            We could liposuction it and make biodiesel?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @05:51AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @05:51AM (#1142647)

              Or candles. I'd buy Kardashian ass-smelling candles.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @02:50AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @02:50AM (#1143010)

            What about Kim Kardashian's ass?

            Kanye? They got divorced earlier this year.

        • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday June 06, @09:02AM

          by sjames (2882) on Sunday June 06, @09:02AM (#1142305) Journal

          Many people in the rural (and a few not so rural) U.S. have large LPG tanks in the back yard rather than a gas pipe, it seems to work OK. Part of the electrical system is the way it is in the 1st world because it was dictated by the technology available when it was put in. Perhaps the deeveloping world can take advaitage of the many advances that have happened since then.

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:28PM (#1142429)

        Hey, let's cool it with the antisemitic remarks.

  • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by js290 on Sunday June 06, @03:58AM (1 child)

    by js290 (14148) on Sunday June 06, @03:58AM (#1142240)

    That's some good begging the neoliberal question... climate alarmists love their HVAC...
    Nicole Foss on renewables [bit.ly]
    Observation (energy consumption) vs Concept (clean energy, poverty)... off base concepts... make mgmt decisions in wrong direction [bit.ly]

    "Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed." --Herman Melville

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:11AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:11AM (#1142281)

      More white savior 21 year old with no skills required to pet elephants in Thailand. Saving the planet.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Sunday June 06, @04:39AM (37 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @04:39AM (#1142253) Journal
    There's all sorts of narratives about why wealthy societies are bad. Here, we see one of the illusions crumble a little, the idea that limiting wealth allows resources to be used more efficiently (or that efficient use of resources is somehow a better good than human welfare). Well, if you limit wealth this much, you'll make matters worse.

    Poor people tend to be a lot harder on ecosystems than wealthy ones. They use resources more inefficiently, pollute more, and have other impacts (like ignoring environmental regulations) that are harder on the local ecosystems.

    It's not because of some inherent evil or laziness. Poor people just can't afford to be good to the environment.

    Moving on, the article discusses the virtue of infrastructure ("clean fuels, safe water, basic education and adequate food"). It's the same story, the better and higher quality the infrastructure, the better the use of resources and the more valuable everything that uses that infrastructure becomes.

    I notice that the study blames the usual suspects later on:

    In addressing these issues we cannot shy away from asking why so many countries in the global south have such a low capacity to invest in those services. It has to do with the fact that poverty does not just happen: it is created via interlinked systems of wealth extraction such as structural adjustment, or high costs of servicing national debts.

    Given that climate change is caused by the energy use of a rich minority in the global north but the consequences are borne by the majority in the poorer global south, human development is not only a matter of economic justice but also climate justice. Investing in vital collective services underpins both.

    In other words, some cliches about how the developed world is holding these countries back, even though without the developed world, not only would they not have the infrastructure they have now, they wouldn't even know what they were missing. These are yet more narratives of failure.

    My take is that the "global south" is this way because they always were, and haven't fully developed the wide range of infrastructure that makes a region developed world.

    It's took us a long time to get to the point where a society can radically improve from dirt poor to developed world in a human lifetime, but we are at that stage with the necessary knowledge, resources, and infrastructure to make things vastly better worldwide. It's time to do that, rather than hew to stilted narratives that just make things worse.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @05:28AM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @05:28AM (#1142266)

      Europe and the US did spend a couple of centuries extracting raw materials from large part of the "global south" and deliberately preventing any form of industrialization. Not to mention that, in Africa, at least, most of current countries owe more to whatever the colonial boundaries were than to any historical groupings. Which results in things like that genocide in Rwanda a few years back.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday June 06, @12:15PM (5 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @12:15PM (#1142338) Journal

        Europe and the US did spend a couple of centuries extracting raw materials from large part of the "global south" and deliberately preventing any form of industrialization.

        While there does seem to a lack of industrialization at higher levels (lasting into the 20th Century [e-ir.info]), said extracting of raw materials was heavily industrialized.

        Not to mention that, in Africa, at least, most of current countries owe more to whatever the colonial boundaries were than to any historical groupings. Which results in things like that genocide in Rwanda a few years back.

        Last I checked, those people were grown ups. If current country boundaries were inadequate, they could figure out how to fix that, rather than kill the better part of a million people (and a lot more than that died in the wars in neighboring Congo).

        Further, contrary to your assertion, genocide in Rwanda couldn't be fixed through better selection of boundaries. The two primary ethnic groups in conflict (Hutu and Tutsi) lived in mixed communities. There are no natural boundaries that separate the two. This conflict has also driven the largest war since the Second World War. So there's a lot of dying that can't be explained by poor choice of country borders.

        Finally, once again, we're well beyond that colonial era. A number of countries have already elevated themselves out of deep poverty (China being the most notable which is on track to hit developed world status in the next two to three decades). Why does such modernization work for China and not for all these other countries? My take is that the big one is allowing people to create and run businesses with relatively little interference from the government.

        • (Score: 2) by jelizondo on Sunday June 06, @06:10PM (2 children)

          by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @06:10PM (#1142420) Journal

          Wow! Cut your nose to spite your face! Well done!

          You mean businessman have no interference from government in China? Really?

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday June 06, @10:50PM (1 child)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @10:50PM (#1142500) Journal

            You mean businessman have no interference from government in China?

            Relatively little != no. Compare to India, for example. You've heard of the saying about the one-eyed man in the land of the blind?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @05:52AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @05:52AM (#1142648)

              He gets all the pussy? That's the one I heard anyway.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @08:50PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @08:50PM (#1142470)

          Well beyond? Less than a century, in some places.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:13AM (11 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:13AM (#1142282)

      > Poor people tend to be a lot harder on ecosystems than wealthy ones.

      Such terrible bullshit.

      Poor countries trash themselves to serve plastic garbage to rich countries. Then we rich countries turn around and say, BAD poor country BAD.

      • (Score: 0, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @01:10PM (10 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @01:10PM (#1142348)

        The default state is poverty. They weren't "put there" by anyone. They never as a society did the necessary things to come out of poverty. It's not like they were well-off, an outsider reduced them to poverty, and that's why they are poor.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @04:28PM (5 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @04:28PM (#1142399)

          What we do when we realize XYZ is harmful is stop doing it, then some smart psychopaths figure out they can outsource it to a shithole and they'll do it over there. Or we'll bring some of them over here, call them 3/5th of a human and make them do it. Wonderful solutions.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday June 06, @05:28PM (4 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @05:28PM (#1142409) Journal
            Do you have better solutions? Economics is one of those weird fields where the unintuitive is commonplace. Here, the smart psychopaths have a pretty good record compared to the bleeding hearts.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:48PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:48PM (#1142437)

              Here, the smart psychopaths have a pretty good record compared to the bleeding hearts.

              Khallow! A higher body-count is not a metric of success!

              • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Sunday June 06, @10:58PM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @10:58PM (#1142504) Journal
                You mean lower body count. Better living conditions, lower fertility, more wealth, more capable societies. Those psychopaths may be terrible people, but we got this figured out. When XYZ needs to be done, it's better to do it in the developing world - even for the developing world - than to not do it at all.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @05:59AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @05:59AM (#1142652)

              > good record

              depends on the metric. the giant show-stopping events of the last 100 years are probably the creation of welfare and national health services, won out of vast international wars caused in large part by the decline of monarchs/dictators in the west. coincidentally at the same time, most of the castles and great family estates went bust. hmm....

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 07, @12:35PM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 07, @12:35PM (#1142715) Journal
                We probably should look at show starting events, not show stopping events. Silicon Valley for a region example wasn't fueled by welfare and national health services.
        • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday June 07, @04:51PM (3 children)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday June 07, @04:51PM (#1142803) Journal

          They weren't "put there" by anyone.

          Other than all the folks where were chained up and literally "put there" by their owners, of course...

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @05:39PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @05:39PM (#1142818)

            You mean the blacks in America who are unbelievably well-off compared to their "free" fellow blacks in Africa?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @11:02PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @11:02PM (#1142944)

              I wonder if you're confused about why people don't like you. Must be all the woke feminazis amirite???

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 08, @03:44PM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 08, @03:44PM (#1143168) Journal

                I wonder if you're confused about why people don't like you.

                Two words: "cowardice" and "ignorance". Sure, it might conflict harshly with the narrative to note that blacks in the US are freer and more wealthy than blacks in Africa (despite some need for more such on the US side), but at least it's truth.

    • (Score: 2) by MIRV888 on Sunday June 06, @09:28AM (8 children)

      by MIRV888 (11376) on Sunday June 06, @09:28AM (#1142312)

      I can't hear you over boston dynamics laughing.
      What do you do with billions of people who are no longer needed to produce, assemble, and distribute goods?
      You haven't even begun to see your 'narrative of failure'.
      It's coming for the 1st world too.
      Soon humans will no longer have to earn their right to exist.
      There will be machines that do it for us.
      What then?

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday June 06, @12:22PM (1 child)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @12:22PM (#1142341) Journal

        What do you do with billions of people who are no longer needed to produce, assemble, and distribute goods?

        It has to happen first before it's worth answering that question! When centuries of such automation have resulted in wealthier, more productive people, maybe it's time to see what is wrong with that narrative? The big one is that automation makes human labor more productive - resulting in an application of Jevons paradox [wikipedia.org].

        Soon humans will no longer have to earn their right to exist. There will be machines that do it for us. What then?

        Then go for a higher quality of work - assuming we're allowed to do so. I don't see the point of worrying about it when employers throughout the developed world are punished for employing people. Society clearly doesn't see it as a problem worth addressing. Fix the regulatory environment, then we'll be able to see what the effects of AI and other advanced automation are.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @04:32PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @04:32PM (#1142401)

          It always ends up with more managers.

          I work in science and there's barely a single actual scientist. It's mostly managers, rules, rule-enforcement managers and leadership committees. Then a thin, thin layer of science (down to 1 person here) and an assortment of the cheapest foreign, barely English speaking interns / students.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @08:13PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @08:13PM (#1142457)

        If the machines earn my right to exist for me, I'm going to start handing out wrenches and promoting responsible maintenance habits. If $elites try to take over the world with their drone army? I'll be laughing when they get murdered by all the peons they depend on to live.

        The Russians managed to make the "west" look like clowns with just a bit of luck and lot of willingness to sacrifice for the greater good... What do you think happens when the 1% goes against the 99%?

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday June 06, @11:02PM (4 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @11:02PM (#1142505) Journal

          The Russians managed to make the "west" look like clowns with just a bit of luck and lot of willingness to sacrifice for the greater good...

          Only if you don't pay attention to the many things that got sacrificed for the greater good like tens of millions of people lives, the freedom of a billion people, and incredible environmental damage like draining the Aral Sea.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @01:48AM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @01:48AM (#1142576)

            I was referring to the infiltrations of western intelligence agencies and the other subversive tactics of the ComIntern, not praising any of the Russian governments. Many people in western countries put themselves into considerable risk in an attempt to subvert their governments for what they believed to be the greater good. No amount of robot weaponry will overturn the human math in the hypothetical situation above.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 07, @03:19AM (2 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 07, @03:19AM (#1142619) Journal

              I was referring to the infiltrations of western intelligence agencies and the other subversive tactics of the ComIntern

              So not much, eh? Democracies don't get their strength from operational security.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @02:19PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @02:19PM (#1143128)

                But you have to admit they made the western intelligence agencies into laughingstocks... The entire structure was compromised, years of planning and effort all wasted because some idealists thought they could make a better future.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 08, @03:40PM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 08, @03:40PM (#1143167) Journal

                  But you have to admit they made the western intelligence agencies into laughingstocks...

                  Of course. But why are we treating intelligence agencies as a good measure of a country?

                  The entire structure was compromised, years of planning and effort all wasted because some idealists thought they could make a better future.

                  Or rather because you can't maintain the same level of secrecy in a democracy that you can maintain in a totalitarian government. There were plenty of idealists on the Soviet side. They caused problems too, but they didn't compromise USSR intelligence agencies.

    • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Sunday June 06, @02:00PM (5 children)

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Sunday June 06, @02:00PM (#1142362) Journal

      All infrastructure problems and shortage are directly caused by human corruption, but not just at the very top. There are no technical reasons for any of it. Just pure greed

      --
      Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
      • (Score: 2, Funny) by khallow on Sunday June 06, @05:15PM (4 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @05:15PM (#1142407) Journal
        So we don't have clone factories and faster-than-light space lanes because of human corruption? Pull my other finger.
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by fustakrakich on Sunday June 06, @05:55PM (3 children)

          by fustakrakich (6150) on Sunday June 06, @05:55PM (#1142415) Journal

          :-) Very funny... Without corruption there will be no poverty or any other shortage. We can deliver anything anywhere on the planet in 24 hours or less. Permission takes months. All our problems are just mobsters that want to wet their beaks. The poorest countries are the most corrupt, by default.

          --
          Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday June 06, @11:25PM (2 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @11:25PM (#1142518) Journal
            I see several problems with that statement.

            Without corruption there will be no poverty or any other shortage.

            What does "without corruption" mean here? It sounds a lot like the biggest excuse for why communism fails - that it's never been tried. So if we try to completely eliminate corruption and fail (through some unavoidable combination of imperfections in the world and its people), does that mean you'll always have a permanent excuse for why your scheme never works?

            My take is a corrupt, wealthy society is going to fare better than the most incorruptible tribal society of pre-civilization days. Technology and infrastructure compensates for a lot of corruption. But you need the technology and the infrastructure. Lack of corruption doesn't give you that automatically.

            Next, you ignore that even in the absence of corruption, resources are finite, the universe is risky, and hence, shortage can still happen.

            My take is that your corruption talk is the law of triviality [wikipedia.org], often known as the Bike Shed effect. We tend to give increased importance to matters we think we understand than matters we don't, even when the former is utterly trivial.

            You don't know much about how to make lots of people less poor, or running a society, but you know that corruption is bad. So that's what you focus on even when it's not that significant to the operation of so many societies.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @06:04AM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @06:04AM (#1142653)

              > most incorruptible tribal society

              You mean the ones with hereditary leaders and caste systems? Gotcha.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 07, @12:31PM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 07, @12:31PM (#1142713) Journal

                You mean the ones with hereditary leaders and caste systems?

                Leading questions will get you nowhere.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @06:38PM (#1142435)

      In other words, some cliches about how the developed world is holding these countries back, even though without the developed world, not only would they not have the infrastructure they have now, they wouldn't even know what they were missing.

      The latter half of that is the important part. The global south is not poor relative to its own barbarous, savage past: it is poor relative to the developed world that developed the modern concept of wealth. Nobody in Brazil or Nigeria is worse off today than a Brazilian or Nigerian was in the fifteenth century, but he might be worse off than an American or a German. He is poor only inasmuch as his people failed to live up to the new standards set by peoples who worked hard to invent new standards.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @08:00AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @08:00AM (#1142680)

      Poor people tend to be a lot harder on ecosystems than wealthy ones.

      That's a poor observation. I'll fix that for you.

      Poorest tend to harder on the ecosystem than less poor since they are in survival mode and don't care about things like proper garbage collection or raw sewage. The wealthy, on the other hand, have massive environmental footprints but are sheltered from seeing how horrid their actions (consumerism) are.....

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday June 07, @12:45PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 07, @12:45PM (#1142718) Journal
        Environmental footprint != harder on the ecosystem. It doesn't take much of a footprint to kill off all the large land animals, for example.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Sunday June 06, @05:05AM (2 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Sunday June 06, @05:05AM (#1142259) Journal

    Sounds nice and all, but poverty reduction could be the Laffer curve of environmentalism. A little bit works, but very easy to overdo and make things much worse than if no change had been made.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @06:07AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @06:07AM (#1142654)

      Is that why our benevolent leaders carefully ration the $7.25 minimum wage for the benefit of Laffeters curves and drop a $2T tax cut on billionaires every couple years. Can't risk that theoretical overgenerosity.

      • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Monday June 07, @03:50PM

        by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday June 07, @03:50PM (#1142764) Journal

        One of the problems with a flat minimum wage, be that $15/hour or some other amount, is it doesn't account for the massive differences in the cost of living throughout the US. It's something like homes being 20x more expensive in the highest cost areas as compared to the lowest cost.

        The very name, "poverty", suggests the problem is simply a lack of money. If that were so, throwing money at the poor would solve the problem. Been tried, and while it does help, it doesn't end poverty. In the US, there's a lot of predatory finance-- the loan sharks, pay day lenders, pawn shops, that kind of crap. I knew they were bad, I didn't know how bad they were. Credit cards with 29% annual interest rates were the worst I knew of, until I learned how stunningly high the rates were for those others. Try 240%. Even 300%. Usually, those rates are capped by law. If it is "only" 240%, it's because that's the maximum allowed by state law. You'd think that anyone who goes for such terrible loans must be stupid, but it's a lot more complicated than that. The person who takes that kind of loan isn't walking into the loan shark's business with no history, no, they're crawling in, knowing they're going to be screwed, hard, because they are already beat way down and can't get anything better in the limited time they have. But don't think banks are above screwing their customers, with those high penalty fees for every little slip. One way they get beat down is they got hurt on the job, can't work that job any more because of the injury, their employer is screwing them out of workers comp, and now they can't pay the rent. They also have a massive bill from the emergency room, which, because the hospital can't charge interest, they have not paid. The medical providers' bills are highly, highly inflated, full of complicated bull, price gouging, and mistakes in their favor, but somehow the medics get away with it. Then they get dragged into court over the medical bills.

        It would help the poor a lot more just to give them financial justice. 300% interest, when inflation has been below 5% for decades, is nuts. Medical pricing and billing is an outrage. Not even the rich escape from medical price gouging. Finance in the US is a minefield. It's unfair. Those two areas are merely the worst. There's dozens of minor screw jobs, such as the high cost of Internet service, traffic enforcement scams such as the speed trap and the red light camera, the private tax prep industry doing all they can, legal or not, to push people into paying them, bad deals on "protection" against fraudulent charges on your debit card (if you have one) for just $6/month when such protection is already required by law at no additional charge, groceries being less accessible and more expensive in poor neighborhoods, the legal system's reputation for being both expensive and highly biased in favor of the wealthy, and so on. The unfairness of it all is corrosive and damaging to civil society.

  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @07:32AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @07:32AM (#1142290)

    Runaway cain't grow no crops but pulp pine, so he has a conflict of interest with this article. As usual.

  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Sunday June 06, @07:43AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Sunday June 06, @07:43AM (#1142292) Journal

    Hmm, sort of like how having reasonable unempolyment benefits and stimulus payments to the lower ranks of Americans, reduced poverty, death from poverty, and drug use and voting for Republicans? I am shocked, shocked, I tell you!

    --
    "Believe it or not, your opinion on this topic is really not necessary,"
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Valkor on Sunday June 06, @09:13AM (2 children)

    by Valkor (4253) on Sunday June 06, @09:13AM (#1142308)

    drive around any hood and, simply

    take note of how bad the oil spots are where folks park their cars

    "being poor is expensive"

    pretty sure Terry Pratchett has something to say about this.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Sunday June 06, @04:18PM (1 child)

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @04:18PM (#1142393)

      How much fiberglass insulation is in the walls of African houses in Africa vs Alabama?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @08:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @08:19PM (#1142458)

        I would hope the Africans in Africa would be sensible enough to pass up the garbage and keep using what actually works - lots of dirt. If you don't want to run the AC, build your house so it doesn't get hot, like a thinking person, rather than a dummy fighting the world for the sake of neurotic monkey pride.

  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by MIRV888 on Sunday June 06, @09:19AM (4 children)

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Sunday June 06, @09:19AM (#1142311)

    This is how we lost buggy whips too.
    People must earn their existence, or they have no worth.
    Governments helping their poor citizens is just doublespeak for socialism.
    Look at Denmark, Norway, or Finland. They're all sh1tholes. They have the balls to give free education in addition to health care. Hell the whole EU is just one big 'help the lazy commoners' scheme. It's amazing Europe produces anything at this point.
    Did you know they still even have unions who actually strike?
    I can't wait for self driving cars and boston dynamics robots put these f*ckers in their place. They are burden upon society, and deserve what they get.
    Working them hard is the only thing that will teach them their place.
    Just as God intended.

    • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @01:14PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @01:14PM (#1142349)

      It's not free. They just pay for it in taxes. This means they have much less money in their bank accounts than Americans. Again, not free, just prepaid, generationally speaking. Since they lose so much money to taxes, they settle for less in their private life: small or no car, small house, etc

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @04:35PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @04:35PM (#1142402)

        Less TV channels. Sucks to be EU.

      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday June 07, @04:53PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday June 07, @04:53PM (#1142804) Journal

        While they are still paying it is significantly less expensive with several layers of insurance leech removed.

    • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday June 07, @12:39PM

      by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 07, @12:39PM (#1142717)

      I can't tell if you are joking.

  • (Score: 2) by oumuamua on Sunday June 06, @01:30PM (15 children)

    by oumuamua (8401) on Sunday June 06, @01:30PM (#1142353)

    Africa is the reason are they even 'researching' this. Here is the catch22:
    1) Africa needs to slow their population growth rate. The best way to do this is by quick economic development so they become affluent.
    2) Becoming an affluent society greatly increases resource consumption/environment impact.

    China is like a case history: https://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/meat-consumption-in-china-now-double-that-of-the-u-s/ [onegreenplanet.org]

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday June 06, @06:15PM (14 children)

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Sunday June 06, @06:15PM (#1142422) Journal

      Exactly...which means the solution is to skip right from "poor agrarianism" to "we've got solar panels, turbines, and some impressively efficient LED lighting" and forget the entire polluting coal phase. The problem is making sure that the same thing that sometimes happens with big money injections--crashing the local economy--doesn't happen with technology transfers.

      That being said, since medium-scale projects (a village worth of solar panels or a small onshore wind farm) are less liquid than cash they're also less volatile and, if properly constructed, provide benefits all out of proportion to the simple amount of power they generate. Investing in education and basic sanitation is another big one.

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @10:11PM (13 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @10:11PM (#1142488)

        But how do we make some money off of it? Gotta get khallow on board, dude needs a little inspiration!

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday June 06, @10:52PM (12 children)

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Sunday June 06, @10:52PM (#1142501) Journal

          Make him live in the conditions of the people he looks down so badly on. What he *needs* is a lesson in humanity.

          --
          I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
          • (Score: 1, Troll) by khallow on Sunday June 06, @11:36PM (11 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday June 06, @11:36PM (#1142523) Journal
            I see the one-note band is still playing.

            Torture as an instrument of persuasion? Well, maybe you need to suffer a little more to see reason, right?
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @06:11AM (4 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @06:11AM (#1142655)

              You could take advantage of your fabulous ideas for what other people should do. Runaway with it ;)

              • (Score: 0, Troll) by khallow on Monday June 07, @12:32PM (3 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 07, @12:32PM (#1142714) Journal

                You could take advantage of your fabulous ideas for what other people should do.

                I bet my ideas here are more fabulous than Azuma's! I don't view suffering as the avenue to learning.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @11:04PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @11:04PM (#1142945)

                  lol @ shallow

                • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday June 10, @11:36PM (1 child)

                  by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Thursday June 10, @11:36PM (#1144127) Journal

                  Once again, you deliberately fail to understand me: suffering *can* be *one of the avenues* to learning. In most cases it's not necessary.

                  In the case of anyone with the kind of sociopathic attitude you have? It's very likely the only avenue. Your kind only learns why something is a problem after experiencing it.

                  --
                  I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                  • (Score: 0, Troll) by khallow on Saturday June 12, @12:51AM

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 12, @12:51AM (#1144434) Journal

                    Once again, you deliberately fail to understand me: suffering *can* be *one of the avenues* to learning. In most cases it's not necessary.

                    The other avenue is just asserting things.

                    In the case of anyone with the kind of sociopathic attitude you have? It's very likely the only avenue. Your kind only learns why something is a problem after experiencing it.

                    Case in point.

                    I think your post demonstrates the ongoing disconnect from reality you and others have. Build up an elaborate, delusional narrative and fantasize about what's going to happen to people who won't buy into your narrative. All I can say is that I have suffered in the past and I will suffer in the future, but none of that suffering will teach me your falsehoods. Your narrative is irrelevant.

            • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday June 07, @04:56PM (5 children)

              by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday June 07, @04:56PM (#1142805) Journal

              Wow, being a lower class person in our society is "torture."

              You just admitted something I don't think you intended!

              The question is: Is it moral to allow the less fortunate than you to be "tortured?"

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @11:52PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @11:52PM (#1142961)

                Heh, good catch, but libertarians believe the less fortunate should bootstrap their way up and the suffering is the driver. Sociopathy as political party. Of course the REAL libertarians have compassion and understand the need for government interventions, but they believe we should minimize the necessity of government. So far khallow is just cosplaying a libertarian, more like an atheist republican.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 08, @03:50AM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 08, @03:50AM (#1143020) Journal

                  but libertarians believe the less fortunate should bootstrap their way up and the suffering is the driver.

                  No, simply that the allegedly "less fortunate" should take care of their own wants and needs as they see them - rather than some poorly informed government bureaucracy deciding what our wants and needs are (or often just deciding to benefit themselves), and then taking actions that often are irrelevant or even harmful. It's not about suffering, it's about people taking care of themselves responsibly without require government intervention.

                  Of course the REAL libertarians have compassion and understand the need for government interventions

                  Indeed, but when will anyone in this thread mention such a need? Something like national security or emergency services are such needs. A fantasy [soylentnews.org] about 21st Century infrastructure materializing by magic is not such a need. Forcing people to live in the conditions of the poorest on the planet (which incident is a common application of government) is not such a need.

                  Perhaps instead of constructing straw men arguments, you could provide a REAL argument?

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 08, @02:51AM (2 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 08, @02:51AM (#1143011) Journal

                Wow, being a lower class person in our society is "torture."

                Strangely enough, I've been a lower class person before in our society and it wasn't torture. Maybe the narrative needs some work?

                Make him live in the conditions of the people he looks down so badly on. What he *needs* is a lesson in humanity.

                I checked that box and picked up said lesson in humanity. But this would-be teacher is still pushing the same, old lesson plan. It's time to move on.

                • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday June 10, @11:38PM (1 child)

                  by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Thursday June 10, @11:38PM (#1144128) Journal

                  You very clearly did not learn it, else you wouldn't be saying well over 90% of the shit you do about politics and the economy. You never learned, and the fact that you admitted you were in a position to learn but didn't says all anyone needs to know about you. Ignorance I can (usually) forgive; willful stupidity is another matter entirely.

                  --
                  I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday June 12, @12:53AM

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 12, @12:53AM (#1144436) Journal

                    You very clearly did not learn it, else you wouldn't be saying well over 90% of the shit you do about politics and the economy.

                    Last I checked, we agreed (when you actually would say something concrete rather than spin fantasies) on a lot more than 10% of my shit.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @05:58PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @05:58PM (#1142416)

    If I was able to work (I'm a 'decommissioned' white male), I wouldn't be sitting at home in my electric chair, causing neighborhood brownouts/blackouts and smashing beer bottles over my head.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @10:31PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 06, @10:31PM (#1142493)

    poverty just means they can'T BUY energy from YOU with MONEY? got it ...
    it's hard to calculate the pollution from a rice-eating human walking out, finding wood, bringing it home, to ... grow and cook more rice to eat -VS- , hmmm let's see, collecting wood, to ..hmmm... burn down more wood and use a wooden axe to fell the scorched tree, to smelt the little iron nugget (okay, i left out the pollution step required for the bronze age first) so he can start digging for coal and make machines to make more energy and more ... and i dunno. maybe the second story will eventually arrive at a level where it really IS more efficient, but that's after, what(?), 2000 years of pollution first?
    maybe the second story WILL catch up if s/he sits on his hands, enjoy his/her super-efficient high-tech ... for the next 2000 years, first?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @02:00AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @02:00AM (#1142578)

      Rate of pollution is more important than amount of time. Thousands of years ago, the human population was a fraction of the size, with tools and methods that had small fractions of modern efficiency, with needs that were commensurate to the relative simplicity of their lifestyle. In modern times, we have exponential growth in population and economic development, using exponentially more resources.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @04:03PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, @04:03PM (#1142778)

        just wondering if "exponential" growth has two paths.
        the one which we are on, which requires pollution and resource destruction to go hand in hand with growth.l -or- is there another way?
        "life" has exponential growth built-in. the "smarts" of the human brain, in this other case, would be to lend a helping hand to "trial-and-error" darwinism?

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 08, @03:04AM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 08, @03:04AM (#1143015) Journal

          which requires pollution and resource destruction to go hand in hand with growth

          If we actually look at developed world societies, they are notable for their low pollution and control over resource destruction. There's something wrong with the narrative.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @02:26PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 08, @02:26PM (#1143133)

            No, they are not. Pollution is only low relative to the extremely high pollution in "undeveloped" areas, not low on any scale relative to human history.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 08, @03:38PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 08, @03:38PM (#1143164) Journal

              Pollution is only low relative to the extremely high pollution in "undeveloped" areas, not low on any scale relative to human history.

              Such as the counterexample of 60 years ago? There are no more killer smogs in London, for a glaring example.

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