letter to the editor: The Economist:
[No, really, it’s interesting]
The issue of unfulfilled promises by the United Nations, in-spite of best humanitarian intentions, misses a critical point. In the big picture, they are competing with far more powerful entities that control resources (we) might have distributed more equitably. Coca Cola, for example, are uniquely positioned to provide clean drinking water to meet global needs. (As a matter of fact, one visionary CEO made it his goal to do just that, was disempowered by Coca Cola’s lawyers and pressured to resign.) The tragedy is that the uncompromising thirst of the ‘old world’ corporate paradigm, seeks to maximize it’s profit beyond concern for real cost to a single planet and people. This means that in the example of Coca Cola, the water leakage alone from their plant, that could go a very considerable distance to providing clean water to those dying from contamination globally, goes wasted. And I might note that it’s in more than one country that I have seen a Coca Cola truck exiting their gates with armed guards on top – protecting their assets? We could of course site any number of pharmaceutical, energy, or other corporate giants that reap remote resources for the benefit and profit of a privileged or elite group.
Imagine an alliance between the UN and any of the entities that control the resources of a region – then we’d start getting somewhere towards meeting these goals with clean water, food, medicine, and change to spare.