In the run up to the big UN MDG summit next month, this sweet idea comes from Andrew Revkin on his dot earth blog:
“Here comes a question to ponder over the weekend. There is a set of Millennium Development Goals for the poorest of the poor – a cohort of humanity sometimes described as the the “bottom billion.”
But, as yet, there is no set of such goals for those who are already living lives that many analysts say are consuming resources at a pace well beyond the planet’s carrying capacity, particularly if the habits that attend affluence – from greatly increased meat consumption to unthinking energy use and greenhouse-gas emissions – are adopted by another few billion people.
There are plenty who contend that unrestrained pursuit of prosperity is a prerequisite for a mix of environmental care and technological advancement that will continue to improve the state of the planet. But there’s self interest in an examination of how much is enough. Some analysts have found, for example, that diseases accompanying affluence exact a toll in lost years of human lives that is not far behind the losses from diseases of poverty. And then there’s the issue of what’s being pursued – the good life as defined in Vegas or by Plato.
The question: Would the world benefit from a set of millennium development goals for the “top billion”?”
[h/t Sam Bickersteth]