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Old 01-04-2005, 08:04 AM   #1
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tsunami: does this change anything?

The Independent in the UK has an article titled "Could the tsunami disaster be a turning point for the world?" They then write, "As the international aid effort grows and George Bush launches a fresh appeal, we ask politicians and commentators if 2005 might see a new determination to tackle global poverty."

a few sample responses:

THE RIGHT REV TIM STEVENS, Bishop of Leicester

I am hopeful, but we must see a real commitment to changing the economic relationships between the West and the poorer countries. As well as charitable giving, we need to tackle these fundamental issues

KANYA KING, Founder, Mobo awards

No longer can we exist in isolation when we see lives and livelihoods being destroyed. All of us need to be pro-active to change things, but we have shown that public opinion and the media can influence government.

STEPHEN TINDALE, Executive director, Greenpeace

It seems churlish to say it, but while it's relatively easy for most of us to give £50, it would be much harder for us to make the changes in our modern lifestyles that are needed if we are to move to a fairer world.

BILL BAILEY, Comedian

It was the same after 11 September. Everyone said it was a great opportunity to try to understand the world but it was used by the US as a reason to go on a rampaging adventure in Afghanistan and Iraq.

MO MOWLAM, Former cabinet minister

I think most people will simply forget. Some charities say people will even forget how much they pledged to give. I wish it would change our attitudes to other people in other countries, but I'm afraid that it won't.



since i've more respect for FYMers than many politicans and commentators, i'd like to pose the following questions in light of the article:

1. what do you want to see happen?
2. what do you think is going to happen?
3. what are you going to do to make what you want to happen a reality?
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Old 01-04-2005, 09:35 AM   #2
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Re: tsunami: does this change anything?

1. what do you want to see happen?

I would like to stop seeing such negative attitudes as these:


Quote:

BILL BAILEY, Comedian
It was the same after 11 September. Everyone said it was a great opportunity to try to understand the world but it was used by the US as a reason to go on a rampaging adventure in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Quote:

MO MOWLAM, Former cabinet minister
I think most people will simply forget. Some charities say people will even forget how much they pledged to give. I wish it would change our attitudes to other people in other countries, but I'm afraid that it won't.
2. what do you think is going to happen?

I think things are going to change for the better. We can't continue to live behind pathetic excuses when we can do something and have some proof that what we do will work.

I feel like I'm in the middle of a great piece of history. It amazes me to watch the work leading up to this moral change. It's like watching such great events as a woman's first vote, child labor laws put in place, slavery ending and the civil rights movement.

3. what are you going to do to make what you want to happen a reality?

Continue to lend support whenever I can. I believe letters/phone calls & petitions are the most effective methods and would like to see the amount of these increase.
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Old 01-04-2005, 09:39 AM   #3
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I agree BostonAnne. I'm tired of defeatism and cynicism. That's what we've got to stop.
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
The Independent in the UK has an article titled "Could the tsunami disaster be a turning point for the world?" They then write, "As the international aid effort grows and George Bush launches a fresh appeal, we ask politicians and commentators if 2005 might see a new determination to tackle global poverty."
One can only hope. If we all make the effort, it's more bound to happen than not.
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:30 PM   #5
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I agree, it may open some people's eyes.

I wish this could be gotten across the same way as the tsunami:

"an organizer from MSF (Doctors Without Borders) said on CBC Radio (here in Canada) this morning -- that as many people die from AIDS EVERY DAY as died in the tsunami. Unfortunately those deaths neither seize the public's imagination nor garner the same kind of press coverage and outpouring of donations and assistance." '
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Old 01-04-2005, 05:59 PM   #6
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Call me a cynic or a defeatist, but I don't think there will be wholesale changes in the world followinf the tsunami. I just don't see that happening. Best I hope for is that some things get better -- such as more areas getting tsunami warning systems. But massive changes...even in peoples opinions of each other, nah.
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Old 01-04-2005, 06:33 PM   #7
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I can't see it happening either, unfortunately. For one thing, people's response to disasters like tsunami or earthquakes seems to be vastly different if compared to something like AIDS crisis or world hunger, which have been around for decades and don't capture the people with the same sort of urgency.
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:57 PM   #8
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1. I want to see the people would care for each other without getting worse happened so take action instead of reaction
and that's there's gonna be a law that everybody in the rich countries are going to give money towards own standards with a minumum of 0,25 euro a month each person

2. I really hope so it's gonna change but I don't think that's gonna happen....it's always the same story first something bad must happen before the people wake up

3.I'm doing all I can, sending letters to the Dutch government and aid organisations with my ideas, convincing everybody I know that some people need help and they need it quick, collecting at my school for Africa and collecting by people at home for donating some money....
let people sign petitions etc.
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Old 01-04-2005, 10:07 PM   #9
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I would like to think that it would be a turning point, but I don't believe it will be. Bush and Blair (perhaps Bush more so today) are too wrapped up with Iraq right now to really grant this any seriosu attention. They've granted aid (well, more could be granted), and Britain has frozen debt repayments on the countries worse affected (this is something I could get into further, but won't), and I suspect that once the immediate problems have been sorted (e.g. the water born diseases being eliminated/reduced), the whole issue will get sidetracked by some drastic event elsewhere, probably in Iraq.
It's a real shame. I don't know exactly what it's going to take to prove to politicians that they need to reconsider some of their policies, outlooks and attitudes towards certain aspects of world issues.
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:04 PM   #10
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I agree with BostonAnne. I get pretty tired of the pessimism that flies around, but I'm mighty proud of countries like Japan (currently pledging $500 million to help tsunami victims) who really get us in a healthy competition. I think it's a little twisted to use the tsunami as an opportunity to bash the president. Would you rather he forgot about Iraq, leaving troops in harm's way, giving up any effort to rebuild Iraq and getting us out of there? Instead, we should all be greatful of our country and others who have taken this opportunity to save lives.

Getting a little more direct...

1. what do you want to see happen?

Differences put aside, people to have more faith in their government. Also, a worldwide effort to unite and protect those who are in harm's way. I would like to see America win a new respect for it's funding.

2. what do you think is going to happen?

We will get to know both the optimistic, kind-hearted, and charitable, as well as the pessimistic, the perverted, and the heartless. Bill Gates has proven his generousity time and again, but I can't say the same about Donald Trump. I'd sure like to see him pitch in.

3. what are you going to do to make what you want to happen a reality?

I will try to promote a positive attitude around here and elsewhere, and sign petitions to support the funding.
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:29 PM   #11
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I love a good poli bashing, but it's not fair to blame them. Too often this world faces emergencies like this one, thankfully not everyday, and in the aftermath we see this rallying together and find out the true generosity of people...but we have such short attention spans. We all hope that every time we join together and fight a famine or flood or whatever, that we can see some change soon. But people are still starving, dying of AIDS, getting wiped out in alarming numbers by mother nature.

One pundit this morning was saying it will take about 10 years for some of these countries to recover from this tsunami. Does this mean 10 years to get back to the state they were in 2 weeks ago, or to get enough support to truly make a leap forward in development in general?

We lose the sense of urgency after a while, and then another war or drought or famine or flood or epidemic takes the media's and our attentions. We have so far to go. We have to learn to keep at these positive changes, and not let ourselves think that a nice fat donation cheque has 'fixed' it and we can resume our normal lives. Recovering from the imediate effects are only half the battle. We should all hope and work towards keeping it going long after these towns are rebuilt, families are healing their wounds and the tourists are flocking back to spend their western riches.

I'm not purposely trying to sound pessimistic, and I dont think reactionary pessimism is the real problem. These horrible events show the world certainly cares enough, but we can't lose momentum.
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Old 01-05-2005, 12:34 AM   #12
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I've heard experts saying it will take up to 25 years
mainly because of the expected diseases
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Old 01-05-2005, 09:35 AM   #13
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I've been looking around and read what some people say and I've the feeling they leave everything to the governments.....what foolish people do that....the governments can't do it alone they need your help and instead of sitting back on a couch relaxing, you think the governments will handle it....you little bastard stand up and help everywhere you can
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Old 01-05-2005, 09:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
2. what do you think is going to happen?

We will get to know both the optimistic, kind-hearted, and charitable, as well as the pessimistic, the perverted, and the heartless. Bill Gates has proven his generousity time and again, but I can't say the same about Donald Trump. I'd sure like to see him pitch in.
not that it matters... but the don ain't exactly as rich as people think he is... he's not even in the same ballpark as gates, buffet or the walton's. in fact he's ranked as the 74th richest man in america... 204th in the world. there's a lot of people before him who would need to step up first.
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:15 AM   #15
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Great post, Irvine. You have a great heart. Personally, I think there will be a lot of good that comes out of this — there has to be. That's the only way to make sense of this. The key to there being change though is the media's coverage of it. I'm a reporter with a paper in Olathe, Kan. and we have an organization called Heart to Heart International that's based here. I do all the stories on these guys. I just did one the other day and the CEO told me they expect to stay committed to the region for many years. They're sending people there as well as a 150,000 pound shipment through Fed Ex of water purification systems, antibiotics and other relief supplies. (www.hearttoheart.org for those interested. It's a good, solid organization.) If all these relief agencies are going to be committed to fixing this, then the media needs to cover it with the same commitment. They can't just stop once the celebrities stop giving money. These organizations will only get the donations they need if the stories are being told. Part of me is skeptical of the media doing its job long term on this. However, this is so massive, it demands long term attention and devotion. Yes it's a tragedy on a massive level, and Irvine, I've read your questions tied to this event regarding a loving God. I believe God's saddened by this too, but it happened because of free will — the same free will that gives us the freedom to help these people and make sense of it all by using it to raise awareness of poverty elsewhere. The real tragedy is those of us who are healthy and live comfortably to stand by and do nothing.

I think if people do give this the long term devotion it cries for, then there will be some change in people's hearts and views on the world's poor. People want to help. You'd be surprised how generous the average person is. They just need to hear the stories. That's where it starts. We're all responsible for telling those stories too, not just the media! The same goes for AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa and elsewhere.

For me, as a writer, I plan to do what I can to keep the plight of these people in the spotlight however I can.
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