Australian artist Dave Sag has come up with this fantastic T-Shirt:
“Global Priorities Checklist”
He says: “When it comes to responding to a crisis we’re told that it’s too complicated to all act together on global warming…. Addressing poverty is, similarly, too big an issue to be able to address; and bringing about a lasting world peace is a pipe dream.
But when the banks blew all of our money the world reacted almost immediately with the largest concerted global action ever seen.
Some things are not that hard it seems.”
Thanks Dave, for putting it in the clearest possible terms. Check out Dave’s portfolio at:
….And thanks for showing us which way is up.
You’re right Dave, this whole bailout thing really SHOULD have us thinking–
“Hey, if we can all coordinate a response to a deviously complicated and interconnected world financial system that is teetering on the brink of collapse, then why can’t we smartfolks also tackle the other things that matter (Egads! Dare we say it?) MORE than banks…. like namely how out of whack things have gotten with our weather, our wealth, and our wars?”
….And by the way: the world does not have a “poverty problem”, it has a “wealth problem”. There is more than enough food and shelter and medicine to go around for everyone on earth–it just doesn’t get distributed to everyone because some of us get wayyyy more than our share (plus tons of goo-gaws and other schtuff that we don’t need). When one person in the industrialized ‘west’ consumes (in one lifetime) the same amount as 5000 people in Bolivia, or 10,000 in Bangladesh, then, as John Nichols (The Milagro Beanfield War) asks: “Does the planet groan every time a new child is born in North America?”
…And this is not to get down on ourselves, this is meant to be GOOD NEWS. You see if the problem really was in the hands of billions of disempowered impoverished people, then a response would be enormously difficult to coordinate ….. but it’s not. The problem rests with us: a few hundred thousand (maybe a few million) relatively affluent people; literate, intelligent, and probably –by and large– compassionate people.
*Footnote: “Climate damage” is Susan Murphy Roshi’s excellent re-naming of ‘climate change’ ; a term which she says is far too innocuous for what we are doing to the planet. Here’s a link to an absolutely beautiful letter (about the absolute [and beautiful] necessity of meditation practice) she wrote earlier this year to the Melbourne Zen Group: http://mzg.org.au/2011/03/10/a-message-from-susan-murphy-roshi/
and this too if you’re interested… http://sites.google.com/site/ecobuddhismreview/susanmurphy