Robert Swan, OBE, the arctic explorer turned environmentalist, once said “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”. Faced with massive problems like climate change, loss of biodiversity, pandemics and antibiotic resistance, it is tempting to think either that these challenges are unsurmountable, or that they will only be solved by governments, ideally cooperating with each other. The fact is, however, that the choices that we, as individuals, make can produce a significant difference. As I have indicated in my previous post, reducing the amount of meat, particularly beef, that we eat could have a major beneficial effect not just on one of these threats, but on all of them.
My previous posts have dealt with the fact that, even in the midst of a catastrophic pandemic, the ultra-rich are getting richer. However, it is well known that many of these obscenely wealthy people have given millions, and in some cases billions, to “good causes”. Surely this makes up, at least to some extent, for worsening global wealth inequality? In my last entry I made the point that the ultra-wealthy are, as a group, highly competitive: even to the extent of, in some cases, competing regarding how much of their wealth they give away!
My last post dealt with the richest man in the World, and the fact that to qualify as being ultra-rich one would “only” need a net worth of $30 million: a tiny fraction of Jeff Bezos’ $200 billion fortune. We live in a World where millions of people still live in extreme poverty, without access to the very basics of existence. In the UK, one of the wealthiest countries on Earth, an increasing number of families rely on food banks. Even those who have work in this country often have no savings and, as the current pandemic has shown, are one pay cheque away from financial disaster. At the other end of the scale, globally there is an increasing number of millionaires, billionaires, and indeed centibillionaires! What must it be like to go through life never having to worry about how to put food on the table, how the bills are going to be paid, and how you are going to set aside enough money for your retirement (if you live that long)?
“Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness.”
I apologise for not writing for a while, but I was away for a short break and it is sometimes difficult to “get back in the saddle” as far as writing is concerned! Before I left, I spotted an article on Forbes.com which stated that Jeff Bezos, the World’s richest man, was now richer than ever. He had, in fact, “crossed a milestone previously unseen in the nearly four decades Forbes has been tracking net worths” by becoming the World’s first ever person to have a net worth of over $200 billion!
Covert hairdressing in the Time of COVID One of the most irritating things about Coronavirus Lockdown is not being able to get a haircut. I have a strong family history of baldness, and as I have got older my hair has become pretty thin on top. However, the same can’t be said for the back…