Basic Human Needs and Rights

All humans should be guaranteed these things, regardless of their race, nationality, or religious beliefs

One of a series of articles, “The Issues We Face” — go to Main Article>>>

A basic fact: it is cheaper to prevent disasters, than to clean them up afterwards. Not to mention we can alleviate suffering before it happens. To do otherwise — to make a conscious decision not to help others, or to not take it seriously enough and leave it to others — is what I would call evil, the opposite of good, and destructive of humanity.

A tsunami that hit Palu, Indonesia in September 2019 was likely triggered by underwater landslides. Credit: Putu Sayoga/Bloomberg via Getty

Keep in mind that, given overpopulation (discussed in the next article), refugees from wars and Climate Change, aging populations adding to the problem both in numbers and financially, and many other factors, there will be HUGE numbers of people who need assistance in the decades to come. This is not to be taken lightly.

I’ll mention some of the problems and solutions as I list each of these items, though many of those same problems and solutions will be mentioned in more detail elsewhere in this series (for example, water shortages will be mentioned again when we discuss Climate Change).

Lake Chad has essentially disappeared, making life for people in surrounding countries even more difficult than it always has been. Map from Bigthink.com

Water

Problems

1. Groundwater depletion from overuse of aquifers over sometimes hundreds of years or more.

2. Groundwater contamination from seawater as sea levels rise, as well as from pollution, and fracking.

3. Surface water is disappearing worldwide, this will only get worse as the population grows spurring greater use, and as Climate Change moves forward.

4. One of the things I’d like to suggest is that we don’t provide water in plastic containers to those in need, that only makes the worldwide plastic crisis worse — but saving lives obviously takes precedence, so hopefully we can come up with a biodegradable alternative to plastic.

Solutions

1. Collection of rain, dew, fog, whatever.

2. Desalination, theoretically solar powered or otherwise green and efficient.

3. Asteroids could be towed to Earth, many have vast quantities of ice. I laugh as I add this, but if we continue functioning that long, in maybe 50 years we could be doing this.

Food

Problems

1. Famine due to drought or other causes

2. Nutrition is currently not sufficient for billions, even if they do manage to survive.

3. Much of the current agricultural land will be unable to sustain crops and livestock as Climate Change makes things too hot or dry (or too wet or cold), or as water becomes unavailable.

Solutions

1. With efforts at terraforming, much new land can be opened up for agriculture.

2. Reducing the overall level of red-meat consumption will allow more food to be produced (cows and pigs, etc. take much more acreage to grow for a given amount of nutritive value).

3. Agroponics.

4. Technology will no doubt assist us with increasing output.

5. If we all (most) choose to spend our lives saving the world instead of partying until the End, we could have time, each of us, to grow some of our own food or even provide surplus.

A concrete, inflatable tent which can be set up in one day. Image from homedit.com

Shelter

Problems

1. There will be so many refugees, etc., and higher population/aging population, that there will be a huge need for more housing.

2. Due to Climate Change and associated sea-level rise, millions (300 million, according to a recent report) will have to flee their homes on the coasts around the world.

3. It is not as simple as providing a house or apartment, etc.: also needed are roads, bridges, parking, water and electric, clean energy sources, data infrastructure, etc.

Solutions

1. Use recycled plastic or other alternative materials in construction; avoid use of wood, as we need to leave trees as carbon sinks whenever possible.

2. Concrete tents which can be inflated and set up within hours may provide some temporary shelter (there are, however, concerns with the production of cement, which is a major source of carbon).

3. Housing MUST BE AFFORDABLE (and many will be completely unable to “pay” for housing). Again, we need the rich to chill and help save the world, so maybe they could give up profits for a while, and quit building only expensive housing.

Clothing

Solutions

1. Efforts to re-use clothing.

2. We could start to scorn luxury; I posit that we need to do so in order for humanity to survive with our souls intact.

Medical

Problems/Solutions

1. Aging and growing population, greater need than ever before for medical personnel, hospitals, equipment, and medications.

2. A line must be drawn somewhere (?!), or we will bankrupt the world keeping everyone alive as long as possible. This is a very difficult question, which will no doubt re-ignite talk about “Death Panels” and so on. Perhaps we can get individuals to make the decision to die with dignity, I’m on board.

3. Superbugs, due in large part to improper use of anti-biotics.

4. Diseases such as Ebola; there have been about 1600 cases of Ebola in the Congo this year (I actually got this figure from an Uber passenger who had recently been to the Congo, an aid worker; but I’ve seen confirmation of the story elsewhere).

5. Medication bootlegging: according to a YouTube video from France24English on July 25th of this year, there are over 100,000 deaths each year across Africa due to bad bootleg medications.

Personal Hygiene

Disability Accommodation (and Kindness)

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

Education — equivalent of K-12; this will reduce fundamentalism and other effects of ignorance, and make everyone more productive.

Free Speech

Universal Suffrage (Voting)

Free Assembly

Free Press

Trump attacking a reporter; image from the Daily Beast

Freedom of Religion

Problem: how to deal with countries that have state religions? Many of the Authoritarian States listed in an earlier video have state religions (usually Islamic). Hopefully working toward finally solving all these problems will encourage these nations to become a bit more open as the decades pass. We need to stress the importance of separation between Church and State.

That’s it for this article, trying to keep moving, there is so much more to cover. So many problems, so little time.

Next article: Population Growth>>>

This article is one of a series, “The Issues We Face” — go to Main Article>>>

Previous article: “World Economics Part 2/2: Jobs and Productivity/Aging Populations”>>>

Articles focused on world peace and stability.