Paul Osman wrote a letter to the Nature Conservancy, published in their Summer 2008 magazine. In order to maximize his shame and embarrassment, I will reproduce the letter in whole:
Signed, Paul Osman, Williamsville, Illinois
The "experts" missed the point in "The Poverty Question." The real debate should not be how to bring other people's standard of living up to our own; it should be how to reduce our own standard of living.
For most people reading the glossy pages of your magazine (in a home full of unessential luxuries), it is very easy to critique the Africal boy cooking a monkey over a small, open fire ("Dispatch"). However, his overall impact on the environment is a very, very small percentage of our own. We, not the world's poor, are the problem.
Bringing the world's poor up to our standard of gluttony will only result in the complete and total destruction of the environment. The debate should be how to reduce our gluttony and make us more like them.
Regardless of the correctness of his issue or not, the Nature Conservancy really would like to be in a position where it can act to preserve critical habitat in countries where poor people have political clout, e.g. India. For a fucking certified idiot like this to express his opinion in the Nature Conservancy's official journal is complete stupidity. THESE PEOPLE READ, YOU KNOW. And it's very, very unlikely that they view their own poverty as something to be desired. They're likely to tie the Nature Conservancy together with this idiot's opinion.
As for the issue itself, if the Osman-Idiot wants to reduce his own standard of living, nobody is stopping him. Voluntary poverty has a long history among the self-righteous. For myself, I plan to be self-wrongteous, and will continue to try to help everyone on God's green earth to become as wealthy as I.