Human Development Report 2011

Today the UN published its Human Development Report 2011. The report has shown, for a number of years now, how human development has raised living standards across the world. But this year's publication highlights how a reverse to this trend is affecting poorer populations. The Human Development Report 2011 places the blame firmly on environmental degradation and social inequality as factors affecting human development. Whilst the report argues that human development should continue for the benefit of all mankind, it points straight at the fact that sustainability needs to be taken more seriously. That's not just environmetal sustainability but also economic and political sustainability. The HDR focuses on the human right to a  healthy environment but also highlights then need for equity in environmental policy, pushing the point that some members of the world society may be disenfranchised by their lack of say in environmental issues which may effect their immediate environment more directly than more developed nations. Editors Comment: Whilst the Human Development Report 2011 is very welcome, it merely puts into print what has been said on the ground for years. Most of the people I know and talk to acknowledge that the environment is pretty damned important. They also understand that the developed and developing world can't keep using the planet's resources at the rate they have been since the industrial revolution. Of course, it has been noted that it's very hypocritical of "the west" to turn around and condemn China and India for their increased use of natural resources when the west has been so greedy itself - The UK, less than 1% of the world population, apparently uses 3% of the world's resources. The USA, at nearly 5% of the world's population, has been using 25% of the world's resources. So when China alone, at around 19% of the world population, is being scolded for apparently building two coal-fired power stations a week, you just have to get that into perspective. We can always take a "been there, done that" attitude in the west and say that China should learn from our mistakes. But "we" haven't learned from our own mistakes, have we?! That does play to the point that the HD report makes that people should be more involved in democratic processes. It's big business, the rich and the lobby groups, the political elites who have their hand on the tiller. If we can prise their grip off the controls of power then maybe we can have true and genuine democracy at long last. The times are a-changing. We've had populist movements in Egypt, Libya & Tunuisia. The riots in the UK were a wake-up call and there have been violent demonstrations in Greece. The Occupy Wall Street movement has splintered and spread across the world. Conversations between friends about inequality being the greatest threat to the world are manifesting now as public talking points. Human Development will only advance and be beneficial to all mankind if we can just STOP what we are doing right now, think about it and put into place all the controls that will wrest power from the top and place it at ALL levels. People need to be educated, the birth rate needs to come down, there should be no more environmental degradation let alone devastation. we should all respect the world and know our place in it, knowing that we are all equals. Let's hope that the Human Development Report isn't just another wad of expensive research and that we all finally act for the benefit of all not just our selves.