Sharing Our Humanity:
Issues Requiring a
The next six issues are entirely different from the global commons—type problems we just looked at. They involve social and economic concerns that are so urgent and pervasive that nothing less than a global commitment or coalition will solve them. They bring up the idea of burden-sharing, or global solidarity
Reducing world poverty is arguably the main global challenge of the next twenty years. Why? First, for moral reasons, and for the sake of justice and balance. A world where less than 20 percent of the people consume 85 percent of the goods and services just isn't tenable—and will become even less so as we grow from 6 billion to about 8 billion people in the first quarter of this century. As Martin Wolf of the Financial Times vividly puts it: "Think of a stretch limousine driving through an urban ghetto. Inside is the post-industrial world of Western Europe, North America, Australasia, Japan, and the emerging Pacific Rim. Outside are all the rest." 1 What's more, the pampered global elite in the limousine, which represented 30 percent of the world population in 1950, will be down to less than 15 percent by 2020.