The Big Necessity Book Summary By Rose George

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The Big Necessity (2008) is an eye-opening book that delves into the issue of human sanitation.

With over 2.5 billion people lacking access to safe and sanitary toilet facilities, this book provides amazing insight into how this crisis has been allowed to grow and exist for so long.

It takes a detailed look at the public health inequalities which have perpetuated the lack of sanitation in many parts of the world, as well as providing information on various initiatives that could help alleviate these problems.

Through interviews, case studies and facts, this book demonstrates what can be done to improve global sanitation in our lifetime.

The Big Necessity Book

Book Name: The Big Necessity (The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters)

Author(s): Rose George

Rating: 4/5

Reading Time: 17 Minutes

Categories: Nature & the Environment

Author Bio

Rose George is a widely respected author whose writings have been featured in multiple outlets, including The New York Times, Slate, The Guardian and Scientific American.

She is an authoritative voice in a variety of topics related to current events and scientific discovery.

Her works include several books, most notably Ninety Percent of Everything and A Life Removed.

With her unique perspective on global events, Rose George's work has drawn high praise from critics and readers alike.

Her contributions to society through her literary work make her an influential figure universally.

Discover The Surprising Benefits Of Human Waste And How It Is Being Put To Good Use

Human Waste

Most people don’t give much thought to the features and future of feces.

This is largely due to lack of awareness about the many wonders that human waste can bring.

From energy production, to energy renewal, and even as fertilizer for food growing, feces has a great many uses that have yet to be explored!

In The Big Necessity Book Summary, you’ll learn about the strong connection between sanitation and health – every year thousands of children die due to nonexistent sanitation – as well as why a $1 investment in sanitation can result in numerous returns.

You’ll also find out how China rerouted their own feces into something good: harvesting it as biogas and playing an important role in a circular economy.

By reading this book summary, you will gain an appreciation for just how wonderful and versatile our bodily waste is – and where we should begin looking for solutions towards a cleaner and healthier environment.

The Global Sanitation Crisis: How Fecal Contamination Claims Thousands Of Lives Every Day

It is a shocking fact that 2.6 billion people across the world don’t have access to even a single toilet or sanitation facility.

This means they must defecate in woodlands and public places, often with no means of properly disposing waste.

This is hazardous not only due to unsanitary conditions but also exposes people to diseases through human feces on their clothes and pathways.

What’s truly staggering is that four out of every ten people are living in the midst of this excrement each day, leading to untold levels of contamination of food or water supplies.

Experts estimate that those without proper sanitation can ingest up to 10 grams of fecal matter daily – resulting in parasites, viruses and worm eggs entering their bodies.

This lack of sanitation has caused a devastating impact on health around the world, with diarrhea being one of the leading causes for millions of childrens’ deaths over the past decade – more fatalities than all armed conflicts since World War II combined!

The fact is clear: lack of sanitation is a huge global health problem with deadly consequences.

Without access to adequate sanitation facilities, people face an immense risk from contaminated water and food and will lead to further spread of serious illnesses like malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS unless drastic action is taken.

The Astonishing Power Of Sanitation: How A Simple Practice Is Saving Lives And Money

Proper sanitation is essential for human life, and not just in the medical sense.

According to the British Medical Journal, it was the most important medical advancement of the past two-hundred years.

In 19th Century London, one in two children died before reaching full maturity due largely in part to poor sanitary conditions.

With better sanitary options such as toilets, sewers and hand-washing available, mortality rates dropped drastically—an unprecedented trend in British history.

This issue persists today as diarrheal diseases are still responsible for killing 2.2 million people each year worldwide.

But proper sanitation methods can reduce this number by nearly 40 percent!

Moreover, according to geneticist Gary Ruvkun, having a toilet can add twenty years to someone’s average lifespan—the greatest factor when it comes to living a long and healthy life.

Not only does proper sanitation save lives, but it also saves money too.

By avoiding medical visits and hospital bills through increased healthiness of workers alongside an investment of around $95 billion globally can bring projected savings of up to $660 billion—which we have already seen first-hand with Peru’s 1991 cholera outbreak which cost the country $1billion to combat yet would have only required an initial expenditure of $100 million dollars on sanitation projects beforehand making this solution incredibly cost effective as well as highly beneficial for human life.

In sum, proper sanitation can save millions of lives and billions of dollars across the world making this all the more reason why it should be pushed towards becoming a priority on political agendas today.

The Struggle For The Right Words: How Language Can Obstruct Progress In Sanitation

Right Words

Sanitation is a taboo subject, making it difficult for people to even talk about one of the world’s most pressing challenges.

This could be in part due to the limitations of language: the coarseness of saying “shit,” the vagueness of words like “feces” and “excrement,” and perhaps even hesitancy to use neutral terms when speaking in civilized conversation.

Anthropologist Norbert Elias studied this development in his book The Civilizing Process.

In history, it was once an honour to greet a King on his chamber pot – now, we’d rather do our business behind closed doors.

We rephrase our terminology when talking about toilets, opting for cleaner sounding words such as “water closet” or “bathroom”.

This trend towards sanitation neutrality can also be seen in international policy language.

Policies refer to water-related diseases instead of shit-related diseases, and the concept of dirty conditions are cleansed with the five F’s phrase of feces in fields and foods; on fingers and flies.

However, despite all our efforts at sanitization, human waste is still under-prioritized in government budgets.

Take Pakistan for example – despite losing 120,000 people per year from poor water & sanitation dosreasediarrhea, they allocate 47 times more money towards their military than towards clean water & sanitation aid measures.

USAID typically dedicates 90% offsanitatioon funds towards remedying malateing water supply problems – compared to focusing on improving sanitation itself which would reduce diarrhea cases by 40%.

Using Creative Psychology And Community Outreach To End Open-Defecation In India

It’s essential to shift people’s habits and attitudes towards sanitation if we want effective activism.

This problem of open-defecation has been noticed by India, with 9.45 million latrines being installed between 1986 and 1999.

However, this isn’t enough for people to actually use those latrines, as many of them don’t even have a water source and prefer going out in the open instead of carrying buckets back to their latrine.

The state-issued approach didn’t take into consideration the perspective or constraints of different communities, which is why activists like Kamal Kar from WaterAid decided to go door-to-door and speak directly to villagers about the health hazards of open-defecation.

By explaining the seriousness of the situation and quantifying how much fecal matter they were living among, some villagers were shocked enough that they began puking on the spot!

These creative tactics certainly caught on quickly; another example is Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS).

At the end of the day, activists are trying to increase sanitation by inspiring people to make changes in their daily lives.

This involves getting people to change both their attitude and behavior towards sanitation through creative means such as door-to-door conversation and calculations; this helps them understand just how important it is that they maintain proper hygiene practices going forward.

The U.S. Wastewater System Is In Crisis, With Poor Infrastructure And Regular Sewage Discharges Affecting Even Its Most Developed Areas

Sanitation is an issue that affects the entire world and should not be ignored.

While it’s generally thought only to be a problem for poor, underdeveloped countries, even the most developed nations have struggled with sewage issues.

In fact, the United States has a sewage system that fails to meet gradings by the American Society of Civil Engineers – in 2000 and 2005, evaluations of the US water waste system saw grades of D and D- respectively.

The US Environmental Protection Agency report also estimates that as much as half of the country’s sewer pipes may fail by 2020.

New York City residents aren’t sure from this worldwide problem either; an August 2007 rainstorm revealed how just 3.5 inches of rain in Manhattan and 4.26 inches in Brooklyn was enough rainfall to flood its subway tracks with more water than its pumps could handle.

It’s not just public transport affected here though: sewer systems are designed to discharge their excess waste into bodies of water – River Keeper estimates around 500 million gallons every week – that’s nearly 800 Olympic sized swimming pools!

In reality when we look at data across all of America, 1.46 trillion gallons yearly of waste discharge into rivers and oceans nationally.

It is clear that sanitation is a global issue which must not be swept under the rug – everyone should take responsibility for raising awareness on this matter.

How Human Waste Can Be Put To Work In Rural China

Rural China

Human “waste” isn’t a useless byproduct after all, at least not according to China.

China is one of the world leaders in recognizing the usefulness of human waste and has implemented biogas digesters connected to their toilets which turn human excrement into energy.

This type of biogas is used for heating and lighting and can provide up to 6 hours’ worth of light from a 60-100 watt bulb.

Even better, the remains from the biogas conversion process are also used as fertilizer, significantly increasing crop yields and reducing the need for expensive artificial fertilizers.

But that’s not all!

Using biogas for fuel also helps to conserve natural resources like wood which otherwise would be used as fuel in rural areas.

All in all, this has saved considerable time and money while simultaneously protecting forests in China.

Let’S Talk About Poop: Understanding Global Sanitation And Taking Action To Save Lives

Recycling human waste can be a great way to both create energy and reduce deforestation, but we must acknowledge the complexities and challenges that come with this idea.

From China to France, the implementation of biogas has led to mixed results, as farmers struggle to maintain their new technology while also worrying about potential health risks from the leftover biogas slurry.

On top of these technical issues are our more philosophical attitudes toward human waste.

We need to make sure that we have an open and positive attitude when it comes to talking about sanitation.

After all, people in all parts of the world spend a significant portion of their lives dealing with toilets and sewers!

And yet for many, discussing ways about how best to recycle our ‘waste’ is still off limits.

It’s time for us to confront this challenge head on and start changing attitudes.

Dr Bindeshwar Pathak reminds us that by addressing sanitation we’re actually confronting economic issues too; politics, media preferences and much more.

Let’s get going on finding better solutions utilizing our understanding of not only the sciences, but also our needs as humans interacting with one another in different cultures throughout the world!

Wrap Up

The Big Necessity by Rose George offers an important message: the topic of toilets and sanitation must be taken seriously in order to comprehend the true state of global health and wellness.

We cannot continue to ignore the human rights issues that arise from a lack of basic sanitation, which often further propagate diseases.

To begin addressing these issues, everyone – especially those with access to functioning toilets – should practice proper sanitation measures such as covering the lid when flushing.

This small action can have sweeping implications over time and also serves as a reminder of why we must prioritize this issue and treat it with respect.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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