We try to live our lives to the fullest, enjoy experiences with family and friends, eat amazing food and see things that excite us! When it comes to living a life we all very much want the same things. A good life.
We’re not only similar in our own wants and needs our physiology is alike. Our bodies grow and function in the same manner, yet there are slight differences in our facial features and dialect.
Our brains give us a sense of identity and facilitate psychological growth like our bodies, they’re also physiologically alike. Compare the brains from two different parts of the world. It’s clear to see they’re not that different!
The brain’s connections and circuits are all acting under the same principals and fundamentally most react the same. We are one! But we’re not the same! I love that song!!
Neuroscience is a fascinating study of the mind. Our brains are fine-tuned by generations of evolution. Science has shown that genetics and our environments create characteristically different people.
While searching for answers to end poverty and poor health this science connects the dots and gives us a root cause.
The overall cost of poor health
The children of the twentieth-century are watching the world undergo a physical transformation that affects the health of people around the world. Neuroscience suggests genetics are responsible for shaping our temperaments which in turn create our unacknowledged assumptions of how the world works.
How is the world working right now? Would you rate it as poor…? fair…? or good? The answer is different depending on where you live!
Recently a team of investigators from the University of Harvard and the Australian University of Queensland had taken the insurance data of forty-five million people to analyze the effect of people’s genes and their zip code!
It’s the first time that an experiment of this magnitude has been done. It’s proven that both genes and the environment are equal drivers when calculating the costs of monthly health care spending.
According to the World Bank report, air pollution costs the global economy five trillion dollars annually in health welfare. That number would make anyone’s head spin and is a very good reason to change our spending habits!
The true cost of cheaply made things should include the total cost associated with its carbon footprint. The annual costs of health care directly associated with air pollution. In my mind, the price tags we see in the store don’t give us the full picture.
Air pollution not only kills…
Consequently, six and a half million people around the world, die prematurely from air pollution every year! Half of those deaths happen from outdoor air pollution caused by factories, powerplants, agricultural processes, and cars.
The other half of deaths are in the poorest communities of the world. When families burn in their homes the air quality suffers. The major indoor air pollutants are heavy metals, pesticides, radon, and asbestos. Our central nervous system shapes behavior and effects are cognitive ability to make decisions.
A few other neuroscience studies have found air pollution lowers the ability to attain higher education and therefore reduces productivity. So, it really makes sense that folks having to endure long periods of exposure would rather hide under a rock than do anything productive!
The poor around the world are fighting a losing battle for better healthcare, education and equal rights. If the local environment and air quality is cleaned up, they wouldn’t needlessly suffer.
Almost half the world’s population lives in poverty and out of 2.2 billion children living on Earth one billion of them live in poverty every day. That’s one in every two kids living a life in poverty with their parents!
As a Canadian, I feel pretty darn lucky!
“I’ve won the genetic lottery by just being born into a rich and peaceful place”. Rachel
The above studies help to define the issues faced by humans and healthcare, but it won’t solve the world’s pollution policies, preventing corporations from dumping, polluting and over packaging.
Unfortunately, the government’s ignorance or inability to change the way businesses run leads one to believe that there is either no hope or consumer choice is our only hope.
A simple example of corporate dumping doesn’t have to be earth or air contaminants. It can also be food! When a company handles a skid of packaged food, in this example let’s say the product is chocolate bars. Someone finds evidence that suggests the food has become contaminated from rat droppings.
If so, then the entire skid of chocolate is immediately thrown into the trash! The kids living in poverty are hungry and would’ve loved to eat that chocolate… Regardless, the company loses money and the product is totally lost. It’s thrown away needlessly because it has become unsalable. Where is the humanity? So far, Governments can control neither packaging policies or dumping.
The Solution is in our hands
Estimates show that Earth will be home to ten billion people by 2050! If humanity cannot be socially responsible and carry the responsibility to help the ones with less then what will the world look like in thirty years from now?
Even though we in the Western world don’t necessarily see the ugly side of life it’s important to know that we have the power to change the lives of the poorest people by changing how we shop.
We’ll reduce the consumption of fossil fuels if we stop consuming unnecessary things. It will reduce air pollution keeping our brains and genetics healthy. So, if we continue to hold on to our old habits of buying the same over packaged products we will continue on the cycle of trash. Ultimately, this will be the cause of our suffering in the long run.
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