< Light Millennium: Global Hunger ~ The Bigger Picture, by Harvey Tordoff
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Global Hunger ~ The Bigger Picture

by Harvey TORDOFF*

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."
~ Mother Teresa

To understand a problem you must be able to see the bigger picture.  To solve a problem you must change the details within the bigger picture.

The picture of global hunger is complex.  The world has sufficient food, water and building materials.  One might go on to say that it has a surfeit of luxury goods and weapons.  To alleviate global hunger (and poverty and disease) we do not need more of anything ~ except understanding.  We need to remove our blinkers, our tunnel-vision glasses, our rose-coloured glasses, and look hard at the current global model.

First World Countries (FWC’s) lend money to Third World Countries (TWC’s) to enable them to buy products from FWC’s.  FWC’s maintain high import tariffs, forcing TWC’s into trade deficits.  TWC’s default on loan repayments and the economy fails.  The resulting power struggle can end in civil war.  FWC’s write off the loans, donate emergency aid relief, and send armed forces to maintain or restore law and order.   Nature is an apparent random factor, providing further complications with floods and draughts.  Progress ~ if any ~ is painfully slow.  The economic cost is enormous. The cost in terms of human misery is incalculable.

Perhaps Genetically Modified (GM) crops will change all this, but the jury is still out.  Regardless of the outcome on GM we need immediate action on several fronts.

FWC’s need to start dismantling their import barriers to give TWC’s a greater opportunity to maintain their trade balance.  Rather than provide TWC’s with loans, FWC’s need to provide cheap energy, seeds and animals.  With cheap energy water can be purified and fields irrigated.  And with energy coming from renewable sources the trend towards deforestation (and soil erosion) can be reversed.  Most TWC’s have natural resources that can be used to provide cheap energy: wind, sun, or biomass. 

The current global model is responsible for a certain amount of prejudice.  Why should FWC’s continue to help out TWC’s when they constantly squander the benefits?  Why should FWC’s have such obscene luxury when TWC’s are starving?  These prejudices will be slow to shift, and FWC’s and TWC’s must work equally hard at changing the facts and dispelling the myths.

In fact, by providing primary aid the cost to FWC’s is likely to be lower than the cost of maintaining the current model.  And as the economies of TWC’s become more robust they will provide additional potential markets, essential to maintain FWC’s ever-increasing affluence.

And whilst we are looking at the realities of the global model we would do well to consider the arms industry, one of the major contributors to global hunger.  There are far too many weapons in the hands of the wrong people.  Let us make a concerted effort to reduce arms production.  There will always be civil unrest, criminals and terrorism, but by significantly reducing the numbers of weapons available we can reduce the violence inflicted on innocent members of society.

Much suffering is caused because problems often seem insurmountable, and we freeze, rabbit-like, waiting for the problems to crush us.  When this is the case, we should put the search for a solution on the back burner and simply start moving in the right general direction.  Eventually the problem will be smaller and a solution might become self-evident.  Mother Theresa said that while most of us might not be capable of making great steps, we are capable of making small steps with great love.  We cannot eliminate global hunger overnight, but we can start to reduce it.

In our bigger picture it is not enough to move a butter mountain from A to B.   We need to provide TWC’s with the means of economic independence.  We need to get rid of weapons, loans and tariffs.  In their place we need windmills, solar collectors, infrastructure, animals, seeds.

And as the world becomes more balanced, perhaps FWC's will realize that TWC’s have something to offer in the way of lifestyle.  Working together to make the world a better place might help fill the spiritual and emotional void in many lives, a void that cannot be filled by fast foods, luxury goods and reality TV shows.  By reducing hunger for food in TWC’s we might also reduce hunger for meaning in FWC's.  Now we are really seeing the bigger picture!

 _ . _

Harvey Tordoff
West Sussex

*Harvey Tordoff is author of O Lanoo! ~ an introduction to Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine describing the evolution of the human body and the human soul. He is also a Director of Energy4All Ltd, an organisation which facilitates community ownership of renewable energy projects.

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