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Resource Distribution

Developed countries use more than their share of resources.  For example, the average American uses 20 times the energy of a Costa Rican and 70 times of a Bangladeshi.  The world’s richest 1 billion people use 80% of the world’s resources.  That means that the other five billion plus people use only 20% of the world’s resources.

          Scientists say that there is enough water for everyone.  The problem is that the water isn’t everywhere where there are people.  Water can be found all around the world but most of it is salty or frozen.  One half billion people have persistent water shortages for part or all of the year.  In 25 years that number will be three billion, not accounting for global warming.  Some geologists think that water shortages will stop the population explosion.

Food, like water, is also unequally distributed.  About 1 billion people don’t have enough calories to even walk around.  Ten million people die of hunger every year, mostly infants and children.  If the whole world ate like North Americans (30% of calories from animals) only 2.6 billion people could be fed.  There would be enough food for everyone if we all were vegetarian.  A lot of grain is used to feed the animals we eat; 7.3 kg of grain is needed to make .0004 kg of beef.  The demand for fish has grown with the population.  Over-fishing is when we take too many fish that they can’t reproduce fast enough to keep up.  Technological advances in fishing and the demand for fish have caused over-fishing.  The way to solve over-fishing is fish farming.  Fish farming is when you domesticate fish.  Farmed fish grow faster and gain more weight with the same amount of food than land animals.  It’s weird that people in Europe and North America are worried about overeating when most other people in the world are hungry or starving.

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