Meet the Necessities

Food, clothing and shelter don’t really cover it anymore.  It being the necessities, those things we cannot live without.  For many people, survival has been boiled down to one thing.  Actually, it’s two things, but we take one for granted such that it is rarely mentioned.

Death and Taxes might be inevitable, but to stay in the game you’ve got to have a combo more akin to Breath and Cash.  Or, as better put in Ape Con Myth’s first blog post:

Meet The_Necessities_b

There’s the simplified version. Now let’s go the other direction with it…


That’s more like it. Okay, it’s 2010 AD. Civilization has had a few thousand years. How are we doing in fulfilling these needs?


… We’ve got some work to do.

[Yes, we do.  And now in 2012, with the Supreme Court considering the fate of one piece of this puzzle, Ape Con Myth’s live redesign is paving the way to take our study to the next level.  How do we stop wasting our time struggling and find out what happens when we really dedicate some time to living?]



Yeah, you’re right, if aliens visited us, this would be one of the countless embarrassments humanity would have to endure.  (Taking ACM’s assumption that the aliens’ first question will be, “What are you people doing?!”)

If 884 million people lack access to safe water and it costs $25 to provide one of these people water for life*, the total price tag for taking care of the problem is $22.1 billion.

Is that a lot of money or a little?  As with everything else, it depends.  Considering averaged $4M in program spending the last two years and that adding in 4 more top-rated water charities doesn’t get us up to $20M, $22.1B is a daunting sum.  On the other hand, in the United States we spend over $50B a year on footwear.

If 4.5% of the world’s population can spend that on shoes, then the 87% of people on the planet with clean water should have no trouble in getting that figure up to 100%.  The only question is how.  Ape Con Myth will continue to explore the subject.

For now though, here’s five 4-star-rated water charities according to Charity Navigator:, Water for People, Water Missions International, WaterAid America, and Lifewater International.  Please note, however, that Givewell evaluated all five and currently does not recommend any water charities, though* got their stand-out nod.

For more information on the global water situation, visit UN-Water.

Happy Sad World Water Day!.

[Related Posts at 00093 – Water]

Millennium Development Goals

“Adopted by world leaders in the year 2000 and set to be achieved by 2015, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide concrete, numerical benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty in its many dimensions.

The eight MDGs break down into 21 quantifiable targets that are measured by 60 indicators.”

[Check MDG progress and learn more at the United Nations Development Programme MDG home]