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October 19, 2007

Other Appropriate Analogies « Social Issues »

Glenn Reynolds approvingly quotes Bill Gates for one of Mr. Gates' new projects.

I have to believe that one of the reasons Bill Gates (and Glenn Reynolds) care about this is because of the human toll, as Mr. Gates explains:

This week in Seattle, an extraordinary group of people – scientists, policymakers, and advocates – came together for three days to discuss what can be done to stop malaria. Melinda and I issued a challenge to those attending the meeting. We asked them to begin charting a course to eradicate malaria – not just to control or reduce it, but to work toward a time when no one on earth is infected with malaria, and no mosquitoes carry the disease.

Today, malaria kills more than one million people every year, most of them children in Africa. That’s the equivalent of losing every student in the New York City public school system in one year.

1 million per year. That really struck me. It's a big number.

I thought of that in a different way: A few years back, I was thinking of how to better understand that number of people dying every year, and at the time, San Antonion had a population of about 1 million people. So I thought of it as: what would the reaction be if a city the size of San Antonion were destroyed every single year, all the people dead.

It was a different toll I was thinking about, not the number of malaria-caused deaths per year.

Bill Gates could have used the number I was thinking of, instead of the number of kids in the New York School system.

1 million dead a year.

That's the number of abortions in the US every year since Roe V. Wade.

Hmm...I wonder why Bill Gates didn't use that as a way to help people understand how many people die of malaria every year?

Posted by Nathan at 08:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)