That’s what the Google link said: The Saddest Thing On The Internet. So I clicked. It took me to http://www.poverty.com/. At the top of the page, a world topographical map is overlayed by images of people and their names, which also scroll along the right side of the map.
About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every three and a half seconds, as you can see on this display. Unfortunately, it is children who die most often.
Further along the left sidebar, the header reads: What You Can Do. First choice? Print A Letter. Here’s the American Letter:
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
We respectfully ask our government to help stop the tens of thousands of preventable deaths that occur every day from hunger and poverty-related diseases.
Specifically, we ask our country to honor the agreement it made and signed at the 2002 Monterrey Conference and again at the 2002 Johannesburg Summit to make concrete efforts towards giving 0.7% of our national income in aid to poor countries.
The United Nations estimates that when all 22 countries that signed the agreement meet the 0.7% goal, the resulting $195 billion each year will be enough to effectively end hunger and extreme poverty in the world.
We commend the countries that have already reached the 0.7% goal: Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.
We also commend the countries that have set up a schedule to meet the 0.7% goal and encourage them in their efforts to reach it as soon as possible: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
We respectfully ask the six remaining countries to honor their agreement and set up a schedule to reach the 0.7% goal: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States.
2006 International Aid Donated COUNTRY Aid as % of income How close to the
Sweden 1.03 Already reached goal Luxembourg 0.89 Already reached goal Norway 0.89 Already reached goal Netherlands 0.81 Already reached goal Denmark 0.80 Already reached goal Ireland 0.53 Scheduled for 2012 United Kingdom 0.52 Scheduled for 2013 Belgium 0.50 Scheduled for 2010 Austria 0.48 Scheduled for 2015 France 0.47 Scheduled for 2012 Switzerland 0.39 No schedule yet Finland 0.39 Scheduled for 2010 Germany 0.36 Scheduled for 2014 Spain 0.32 Scheduled for 2012 Canada 0.30 No schedule yet Australia 0.30 No schedule yet New Zealand 0.27 No schedule yet Japan 0.25 No schedule yet Portugal 0.21 Scheduled for 2015 Italy 0.20 Scheduled for 2015 United States 0.17 No schedule yet Greece 0.16 Scheduled for 2015 Source: OECD
Today is another Cynical Sunrise for me: My first impulse is to holler "Yeah, George! Your Godforsaken War is killing even more people that we thought. Live up to your agreements, and give the money to these people." Then, upon a second glance at the included table (above), I note that the only industrialized nations that have lived up to their promises are Scandinavians and a few neighbors. What’s wrong with the rest of us?
I’m sick of this world. I’ve always thought it was going to Hell. It’s taking too long to get there. We humans deserve the Armageddon the Dominionists are angling for. Let’s just release the nukes and get it over with. Until and unless we start behaving civil toward each and every other human on this planet, then our "civilization" is only a poor and pathetic jest.
Please take a few minutes, an envelope and a stamp and send this letter to George Warmonger Bush and friends. They won’t care, but you’ll have done a good deed anyway. Then look into your soul, your pocketbook, your dreams for a better future, and give to an international hunger organization. Failing that, visit theHungerSite and click away… Do something - especially since our government won’t.