Happy Easter. Let’s solve some problems.


As well-fed comfortable primates our interests tend to turn to the superficial, but wouldn’t it be interesting if we could focus our great resources and enthusiasm on the real problems of the world, and focus attention in proportion to their impact on the globe?

This list of Global problems and potential solutions from the Copenhagen Consensus:

Challenge   |   Opportunity

Communicable Diseases   |     Scaled-up basic health services
Sanitation and Water        |    Community-managed water supply and sanitation
Education                            |    Physical expansion
Malnutrition and Hunger  |   Improving infant and child nutrition
Malnutrition and Hunger  |   Investment in technology in developing country agriculture
Communicable Diseases    |   Control of HIV/AIDS
Communicable Diseases    |   Control of malaria
Malnutrition and Hunger  |   Reducing micro nutrient deficiencies
Subsidies and Trade Barriers | Optimistic Doha: 50% liberalization

7 thoughts on “Happy Easter. Let’s solve some problems.

  1. This reminds me of the campaign by some fundamentalist churches in America to raise dimes from schoolchildren in the USA to free women being held as slaves in Africa. All the slave owners did with the money they got was go out and buy more slaves. Indeed the demand for slaves went up, not down.

    Problems? Potholes on American highways are a more fitting problem anyway.

  2. Lets just consider the control of malaria. This would bring increased population pressure to countries already unable to cope with their present populations, increased troops for waring factions involved in tribal warfare and increased risk of disease in developed countries if, as some researchers contend, malaria victims spread other diseases to their sex partners.

    Think of the strains of TB that arrived in this country as we let Vietnamese refugees in? Think of the social upheaval in areas of the USA where Hmong refugees brought drugs, gangs and extremely high birth rates. What would happen when you bring all those malaria survivors here?

  3. No FG, it doesn’t work that way. Generally control of disease increases the productivity of a society and frees up resources for development. Development leads to *much lower* birth rates. The “feed=breed” argument is weak, and leads to the expensive and ineffective crisis management in the 3rd world we have today.

  4. FG your logic is very odd here. First, immigration pressures is almost *certain* to go down, not up, as living standards increase in poor countries.

    Are you saying we should have two entirely different standards/approaches with respect to global poverty/health? Here in first world we apply high standards but in developing world we apply different standards?

  5. Joe, the last sentence in #3- Do you mean the “feed=breed” argument leads to the expensive and ineffective crisis management, or the act of actually sending the food leads to it? Or did you mean something else?

  6. Leland I meant that since many still believe that food and health care for 3rd world leads to population explosions we do far too little feeding now, and that neglecting this area actually winds up creating health and food crises we might avert if we were more proactive giving aid before the crises come about.

    But to be clear: There is a moderate amount of US food and health aid, and a big challenge is that the neediest countries often have corrupt and inefficient distribution of the aid.

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