Jimmy Carter on the Needs of the Poor

Katie Gramling Katie Gramling


Jimmy Carter on the Needs of the Poor

Having been educated in naval and nuclear engineering, I have a great interest in the role of our profession in helping to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.

The safe and efficient use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes will inevitably be an important challenge for engineers, as will the development of renewable forms of energy.  As a farmer and woodsman, I have a personal interest in the production of ethanol and bio-diesel fuels to replace the limited supplies of oil.  Although it is unlikely that there will ever be enough food grains and sugarcane to meet these needs, cellulose from trees can make this contribution and also help resolve the overall problem of global warming.  There will be numerous suggestions like these within the National Science Foundation to improve the quality of life in the more affluent industrialized nations, so I would like to emphasize another, even greater need.

At the turn of this century, I was asked to deliver lectures, in Asia and Europe, on "The greatest challenge the world faces in the new millennium."  My easy choice was that the greatest challenge is the growing chasm between the rich and poor, not only between nations but within them.  We are approaching a hundred-fold ratio between personal income within the ten richest and poorest countries, and we become increasingly separated, aloof, and unaware of one another as our quality of life diverges.

The Carter Center has programs in 65 of the poorest nations in the world, including 35 in Africa, and we are in daily contact with the people's deprivation and suffering.  One of the recent elections we have monitored was in Liberia, where more than half the population lives on less than 50 cents a day.  It is almost impossible for those reading this article to imagine how anyone can pay for food, housing and clothing from this income.  It is obvious that these people have nothing left for health care, education, human dignity, or hope for a better future.

My own hope is that the engineering community will devote part of its effort to devise and apply technological advances to meet some of the rudimentary needs of water, fuel, housing, health, and information.  One notable example is the recent development of long-term impregnated bed nets, which we will be providing early next year to every home in Ethiopia to control mosquitoes that spread malaria among the 50 million people in the endemic areas.

I'm sure that members of the National Academy of Engineering can identify many other specific needs to be addressed.

  • Abhishek Abhishek
    Abhishek from India comments on Jimmy Carter on the Needs of the Poor

    Posted 2 years and 2 months ago

    THIS article might really shape my future.
  • ndumiso mhlongo ndumiso mhlongo
    ndumiso mhlongo from snake park dooronkop comments on Jimmy Carter on the Needs of the Poor

    Posted 2 years and 5 months ago

    knowing hw to drive without a starring
  • Sidney Clouston Sidney Clouston
    Sidney Clouston from Michigan, USA comments on Jimmy Carter on the Needs of the Poor

    Posted 6 years and 5 months ago

    Dear President Carter First of all may I wish God's blessing on you for all of your good intentions and good deeds. I have developed a plan and have support from the Energy Commission of Nigeria, the Florida International University and we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the cooperation needed from and to each of us. We are working for several purposes to be accomplished to include the establishment of the Sustainable Energy Center of Excellence for Western Africa. I wrote a White Paper that suggests how we can uplift the Poor. I need not point out to you that Jesus said what so ever we do for the least of those we are doing toward him. I also feel for the helplessness and want to be a tool for God. They have given me a name in Nigeria that means Servant of God. I am like you Mr. President pleased to make the effort. The growing of feedstock in marginal rural land for Biofuels is the goal. There is and ought to be a demand for renewable fuels that is home grown for the most part and may be a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) product. Switchgrass roots live for years and decades and grow down as far as ten feet sequestering CO2. The grass can grow as high as ten feet and growing sequesters the carbon in the atmosphere as well and emissions from Biofuel. We can uplift the Poor and use the feedstock or products made to include Biomass electrical energy and Biofuels. We would welcome collaborations in our efforts. A note was sent to the Biofuels working group here. Best regards, Sidney Clouston cloustonenergy@aol.com
  • brittany brittany
    brittany from new jersey comments on Jimmy Carter on the Needs of the Poor

    Posted 7 years and 6 months ago

  • Shana Carlsen Shana Carlsen
    Shana Carlsen from California comments on Jimmy Carter on the Needs of the Poor

    Posted 7 years and 9 months ago

    The Aquatic Species Program Microalgae Biodiesel -- In 1978 Jimmy Carter launched The Aquatic Species Program to cultivate Microalgae for the production of bio-diesel from algae. Carter's research program funded by the US Dept. of Energy, operated over a span of twenty years in search of finding alga specie with large lipid content and thus created 1000 square metre pond systems. Why was the funding to Carter's viable research program cut by Clinton back in 1996? Shana Carlsen
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