When it comes to the ultimate human potential, we cannot expect achieving impossible targets; but we certainly can expect what is optimally achievable with the help of a sensible human intervention in almost all the world problems troubling the health of the planet.
Of course, its opposite is also true. Humanity is quite capable of not only creating the new world problems but also of threatening the very existence of life with all the technological advances it has developed in the field of lethal weaponry to kill hordes of people en masse.
So is humanity a hero or is it a villain?
It all depends on what course of action humanity chooses to take in the coming years to deal with the world problems afflicting our lives, namely:
- Global Warming
- Food & Water Scarcity
- Inflating Population & Depleting Resources
- Increasing Disparity
- Increasing War Preparations
- Deteriorating Human Health
- Non-Creative Education System
- Relationships in Peril
- Narrow Nationalism
World Problems: Global Warming
Global warming is a situation of emergency that is threatening to end life on earth. Even if it does not fully end it, it is certainly going to make life a hell to live.
We did it to our planet with our irresponsible actions and we must take the responsibility to undo what we have done wrong to it. Unluckily there are some recently elected dumb-headed politicians who are denying the very existence of the problem and shirking the responsibility of having contributed the most to its formation so that they can show their back to the efforts to undo it now.
Humanity is standing on the crossroads to decide which way to go from where we have reached in our ignorance and arrogance today.
Each year, scientists learn more about the consequences of global warming, and many agree that environmental, economic, and health consequences are likely to occur if current trends continue. Here’s just a smattering of what we can look forward to:
Melting glaciers, early snowmelt, and severe droughts will cause more dramatic water shortages and increase the risk of wildfires in the American West.
Rising sea levels will lead to coastal flooding on the Eastern Seaboard, especially in Florida, and in other areas such as the Gulf of Mexico.
Forests, farms, and cities will face troublesome new pests, heat waves, heavy downpours, and increased flooding. All those factors will damage or destroy agriculture and fisheries.
Disruption of habitats such as coral reefs and Alpine meadows could drive many plant and animal species to extinction.
Allergies, asthma, and infectious disease outbreaks will become more common due to increased growth of pollen-producing ragweed, higher levels of air pollution, and the spread of conditions favorable to pathogens and mosquitoes.
World Problems: Food & Water Scarcity
As we all know society has not yet been able to provide sufficient quantity of healthy nutritious food and clean drinking water to a vast chunk of its population especially in the underdeveloped parts of the world, resulting in malnutrition, hunger, diseases and deaths; which is really as unlucky as it is ugly to see.
Water shortage is turning fast to be a serious problem not only for the poor in the remote areas but also for the middle class metropolitan city dwellers. Drinking water is shrinking fast on the planet!
Water scarcity has a huge impact on food production. Without water people do not have a means of watering their crops and, therefore, to provide food for the fast growing population. According to the International Water Management Institute, agriculture, which accounts for about 70% of global water withdrawals, is constantly competing with domestic, industrial and environmental uses for a scarce water supply.
World Problems: Inflating Population & Depleting Resources
We are replicating a little too many like us through reproduction without any concern on their part that they would not be able to find life as easy as we did consuming the natural resources and depleting them in the process. Life is going to be tougher and tougher for every new generation taking birth on earth.
In fact, humans have been multiplying themselves without any restrictions like cancer cells in a body which ultimately kills the body. At times it feels that unrestricted human growth is going to kill Gaia, the planet.
LOVING life? Well, lap it up because the days of driving around in comfy cars, feasting on fancy food and enjoying an aircon-cooled civilized existence could be numbered.
With rising population, depleting natural resources and stretching social divide, civilization could be facing collapse within the next few decades according to a scientific study funded by NASA. And if you think this is a load of scaremongering tosh, it’s happened before. Remember the Roman Empire?
In the report conducted by applied mathematician, Safa Motesharri, his ‘Human and Nature Dynamical’ (Handy) model claims “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history”.
“Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion”
World Problems: Increasing Disparity
Our socio-economic system is very apt at turning the rich richer and the poor poorer. Such a wide disparity in the rights to use the natural and manufactured resources is never good for the health of society. Sooner or later, it is bound to give birth to the problems like increased number of crimes the world over as well as to the activities like chaos, terrorism and widespread violence on the planet.
The claim that the richest 1% have everything while the poorest 99% have next to nothing is not just hot air. In the US, the share of national income going to the wealthiest 1% has doubled since 1980 to 20%. For the top 0.01%, it has quadrupled to levels never seen before. A report published by Oxfam last year found that the UK is rapidly returning to Dickensian levels of inequality.
Rather than reversing the process, the financial crisis has accelerated it. While public spending is being cut, the luxury goods market has registered double-digit growth every year since the crisis hit.
Inequality of income and wealth are not good for anyone. The consolidation of wealth and capital in so few hands is economically inefficient because it depresses demand, a point made famous by Henry Ford. It is also socially divisive. If you are born poor in a very unequal society, you are much more likely to end your life in poverty. I recently heard a leading Washington economist talk passionately (and off the record) about the “lie” that is telling a poor Indian they too can become a Mumbai millionaire if they just “work hard”.
World Problems: Increasing War Preparations
We seem not to have taken sufficient lessons from the two world wars that turned life into a hell for more than a decade and created havoc in almost all parts of the world.
Countries are still equipping themselves with much more lethal weapons in their arsenals and the world is so well-connected today that if any of them ever decides to use these draconian messengers of death against a single enemy country, it may end up in a worldwide reaction flaring up in the last war on earth as no one may be left alive to wage another war ever!
Trump orders military to prepare for world war
By Tom Eley
28 January 2017
During a visit to the Pentagon on Friday, President Donald Trump issued an executive action calling for stepped up violence in Syria and a vast expansion of the US military, including its nuclear arsenal, to prepare for war with “near-peer competitors”—a reference to nuclear-armed China and Russia—and “regional challengers,” such as Iran.
World Problems: Deteriorating Human Health
Human health is in a real bad shape. Our unnatural eating habits and sedentary lifestyles are mainly responsible for it. On top of it our technological development has polluted our environment to the extent that it is no more able to supply fresh air to breathe to keep at least our lungs in good shape to survive.
“Our planet is losing its capacity to sustain human life in good health,” Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization warned Monday at the opening session of the annual World Health Assembly in Geneva.
“Signals about what human activities have done to the environment are becoming increasingly shrill,” said Dr. Chan, citing the latest assessment from the hundreds of scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released in March after seven years of study.
World Problems: Non-Creative Education System
Our education system is going on creating prototypes of human robots who are only good to fit as a cog in the wheel of this huge techno-social machine that seems to have one single purpose in mind of producing as much of consumer products as possible and sell as much of them as produced, simply because this machine does not know when, how and why to stop!
We recently came across a 2012 NPR interview with Robinson, where he spoke about how the current education system chastises those who break out of the mold, because in order to do that, you have to be prepared to be wrong.
In our current system, making a mistake is stigmatized, even though making mistakes and taking chances is the only way we can come up with new ideas. He says that many people lose the fearlessness of their youth as they get older:
“Kids will take a chance. If they don’t know, they’ll have a go. They’re not frightened of being wrong … What we do know is if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original. By the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity … And we run companies like this … And now we’re running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. And the result is we’re educating people out of their creative capacity. Human communities depend upon the diversity of talent, not a singular conception of ability.”
Robinson said there’s too much of an emphasis on “the one right answer” and this might not actually exist in the real world today.
World Problems: Relationships in Peril
Marriage institution is facing a formidable challenge in the hands of live-in relationships and one night stands having gone rampant in the recent years despite the fact that even the challengers are miserably failing as new relationship models.
Relationship as means of interaction among humans has started entering a chaotic phase as on date. No one knows what future has in store as a durable relationship model, which is not as artificial as marriage or as impulsive as a one night stand.
Nowadays, it seems no wants to get married. Not the younger generation, not those that are out of bad marriages (once bitten, twice shy), and not those who say they “escaped” ever being married and now seem to enjoy the company of younger girls in their mid-life crisis way too much to ever think of getting married. “Why get married?” seems to be the new debate. If it’s about money, women and men now work and earn equally, there’s no need to marry for reasons of dependency. If it’s about sex, it’s freely available and taboos on premarital sex are been rapidly done away with. If it’s about the need for children, they say, “we can have them without getting married, even get a surrogate if we’re too consumed with our work, or simply adopt”! They see the legality of marriage as a “trap to commit and stay forever unhappy if it doesn’t work”, because “divorce is expensive, painful and a familial and legal nightmare”.
World Problems: Narrow Nationalism
Nature provided us with one single planet and we carved China, England, US and India out of it. We think by creating these restricting borders we have improved upon what nature missed while gifting us such a beautiful place to live!
We are taught from an early age to look first and foremost as to what is good for our nation, not what is best for the world. At Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s political rallies, for example, the crowd bursts forth repeatedly shouting “USA! USA!” to boast of their belief that their country is “exceptional” and deserves special consideration over all others.
Such extreme nationalism trumps global citizenship and Global Conscience. Blind love of country can lead to national policies that are harmful to the world at large as we see when countries refuse to deal responsibly with climate change, universal rights, or insist upon their sovereign right to endanger the world by military invasions and by possessing nuclear weaponry capable of destroying the world.
World Problems: Terrorism
Keep them deprived; they will hit you back at the first opportunity they get. Keep them ignorant limited by their superstitious beliefs of cleansing the world with Jihad and in their ignorance they will hit you back for keeping the world in dark.
That’s how terrorism has come to existence and has been sustaining itself since its inception!
Violent extremism in today’s globalized and technology-driven world is not confined by borders. While the dynamics around groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and the Taliban are interrelated and certainly influenced by geo-politics, the reasons these groups emerged and the reasons individuals join their campaigns are complex, distinct, and locally unique. Recently, the tragedies in Brussels, Paris and Turkey demonstrate the global reach of violent extremists. Yet, the majority (over 80 percent) of those who die from terrorist attacks is in only three regions of the world: Iraq/Syria, Afghanistan/Pakistan, and Nigeria.
We cannot keep waiting for a messiah to come and extricate us out of our world problems which have all been created by us alone!
Who are we waiting for?
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