Poverty Dichotomies: USAID’s Famine Early Warning Systems Network, & “Dead Aid” (poverty reduction vs. wealth creation)

Poverty was considered the #1 threat to humanity’s planetary security by the “High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change” organized by the SG of the United Nations in 2004.

Dichotomies reside within organizations. And the United Nations seems to be at odds over what is more important, poverty or “‘climate change”. And recently expressed at the “State of the Planet 2010” event in NYC, even linking the two. Who is going to say face-to-face with those in poverty not to cut trees or burn coal to cook or heat because they should lower their ‘carbon footprint’ because that will “save the planet”? (Side issue: Solar LED lighting, solar battery chargers, water filters, etc have been developed for the ‘rural poor’).

USAID, Wartime, & Dead Aid:

Jeffrey Sachs’ had closing remarks at the “State of the Planet 2010” event on March 25, stating that those who claim that aid is not helping Africa are saying “absolute nonsense!” (in an almost angry tone) was interesting despite not going into detail. I’m curious what American organizations who are focused on foreign aid have to say about aid for Americans who are homeless/malnourished, etc. Can’t domestic and foreign aid groups network, learn from each other, and developed new ideas? (one example).

Examples of opposition to Jeffrey Sachs’ nonsense statement:

If seemingly great opportunities such as the March 25 “State of the Planet 2010” event fall short in generating ‘public intelligence’ and ideas to resolve global challenges, then we must look elsewhere. Bono and Jeffrey Sachs are limited while ambitious. This creates a lot of attention, funding, and publicity, but is not wholly effective/is not an answer to the world’s problems. It’s more of a stimulant to come up with better frameworks that involve more people that desire to network empathy, intelligence, and resources. That, more than traditional ideas on “leadership” herding people towards a promise land will do more good.

Related:

EVENT REPORT: State of the Planet 2010, Columbia Univ, New York City


Panels and keynotes program schedule
I was told via email from someone involved in the event that a video will be posted online.I will be posting this over a the Earth Institute blog (especially since it has zero comments for the March 25 event) as a challenge to improve the overall framework of the “State of the Planet 2012”.

State of the Planet 2010 Event Report:
Intro
I attended this bi-annual event in 2008. At that time there was not a global webcast that included panelists located in other countries. At the 2010 event, there was a V.I.P. section closer to the ‘stage’ that I was not notified about. The V.I.P. section had about 3 times more people than the non V.I.P. section which was odd. Despite it being a V.I.P. section, there was never enough time given to them to ask all the questions via microphone. This is a Jeffrey Sachs event, it’s his show. He’s the main advisor to Ban Ki-Moon, and friends with the president of Mexico (who keynoted this event), so it seems to be more from his perspective and his friends. Therefore, it was a very narrow-visioned event that should not be entitled “State of the Planet”. People involved with the publication “State of the Future” for over a decade (
www.stateofthefuture.org) were never mentioned, invited, or asked to contribute. Yet, these people have worked with the United Nations for over a decade. Collective intelligence has been written and software is being developed by those involved in the “State of the Future” (Millennium Project), yet Jeffrey Sachs was attributed to the idea of “worldwide brainstorming” for “collective invention”. And unfortunately, there was an obsession at this event on ‘climate change’ and carbon. “Industrialization footprint” involves a broader range of hazards and toxins that needs more air time. More ‘fluid’ thinking was lacking while an excess of a kind of cloned groupthink was prevalent (or ‘carbon copying’ if you will, pun intended). The forum has great potential but as of 2008 & 2010, is too insulated and will not be respected as highly intelligent and strategically effective by a broad range of people (outside of Ivy League Columbia) concerned about serious global issues. On an interesting note, Zbigniew Brzezinski was once a Columbia professor (see Obama video on his Brezinski recognition).
Continue reading “EVENT REPORT: State of the Planet 2010, Columbia Univ, New York City”

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