World Bank economist Jean-Francois Rischard argues that the international community is still living through some truly momentous times. Our capacity to tackle a variety of complicated social and economic problems is greater at the turn of the new century than has been the case at anytime during the last few centuries. Technological development, economic prosperity and cultural evolution, all characteristics of globalization, have sharpened our ability to resolve many of the social evils that still exist today.
Identifying the right tools to fit the problem is key, but the first step we need to take is to identify and understand what are the most pressing issues and which of them are global. If we see these issues as global then it follows, in an increasingly interdependent world, that we have to develop an approach that involves all nations working within a framework to resolve them.
The next twenty years will be of great importance to our planet. How global problems are resolved over these years will determine the fate of our planet for our children and all subsequent generations. Top 10 List examines 10 most urgent, pressing, issues facing our world today.
1. Global Economic Collapse
The global financial system is more interconnected today than ever before, and a crisis at one major bank or in one area of the world can spread at lightning speed. Anyone who tells you that the current global financial system is sustainable has not done enough research Just look at the numbers here:
-$9,283,000,000,000 – The total amount of all bank deposits in the United States. The FDIC has just 25 billion dollars in the deposit insurance fund that is supposed to “guarantee” those deposits.
-$10,012,800,000,000 – The total amount of mortgage debt in the United States.
-$10,409,500,000,000 – The M2 money supply in the United States.
-$16,749,269,587,407.53 – The size of the U.S. national debt. It has grown by more than 10 trillion dollars over the past ten years.
Every single day, the total amount of debt grows faster than the total amount of money until the day that it will burst – just like in 1929 when the global markets collapsed.
What we witnessed back in 2008 was a “hiccup” in the system. It caused the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but global financial authorities were able to get things stabilized, for now. Next time it won’t be so easy.
Terrorism is the global problem nowadays that endanger life of every person on the earth. The primary purpose of all governments should encourage and enable people to join their forces against terrorism and win it by common efforts . The government should recognize the paramount importance of this problem and the political activity should be subservient to that major consideration.
To solve the global issue of global terrorism, we must try to find the origins of it, to analyze the actions of countries taken against terrorism, and the social attitude to this phenomenon. Current global policies are unable to stop the spread of terrorism and are doing a poor job to miniaturize it. Mass media leads active struggle against terrorism but very often this process isn’t connected with definite well-known terrorists. They blame whole nations without any division. The consequences of such actions are predictable: people begin to hate not terrorists as a whole but correlate terrorists with specific nationalities, such as Arabs, for example. Terrorism as a national phenomenon is a great problem and its understanding can help us to find the resolution.
Knowing the definition of terrorism is necessary for the world to take strong measures to overcome this global trouble. The definition is a controversial one and that is why very often its different interpretations can be used in the own interests of some individuals. As a whole terrorism translates in aggressive actions with the use of violence against ordinary civilians aimed to intimidate politicians. Term “terrorism” is also used to show that the actions taken by a group of people are violent, unlawful and immoral.
3. Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical and biological weapons) and their technology is today one of the most pressing issues and threats to the international peace and security. The use of such weapons goes against everything that international law and, more particularly, humanitarian law stands for.
Heads of state and government who participated in the Summit in Chicago in May 2012 argue that “proliferation threatens our shared vision of creating the conditions necessary for a world without nuclear weapons in accordance with the goals of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)”.
4. Climate change
The climate changes we face in 21st century is one of the most urgent global problems our world faces. The earth is warming up, and there is now overwhelming scientific consensus that it is happening, and human-induced. With global warming on the increase and species and their habitats on the decrease, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are diminishing.
Many scholars have already agreed that climate change may be one of the greatest threats facing the planet. Recent years show increasing temperatures in various regions, and/or increasing extremities in weather patterns, such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Tsunami and Earthquake in Asia.
The world’s population will soon reach an unprecedented level where there will be a shortage of resources to sustain life. Growth must be stopped or at least limited so that we can avoid this catastrophe. Many environmental, social, and economic problems either stem from or have increased because of the overpopulation problem. With an exponentially increasing population, the problems created by overpopulation grow correspondingly. To ensure population stability not only in the increasingly wealthy third-world areas, but also in the industrialized areas, the world must work together to achieve zero population growth.
The earth does not contain enough resources to indefinitely sustain the current enormous population growth. For instance, there is a limited area of arable land and living space. China, home to 1.2 billion people or 1/5 the world’s population, is an excellent example of the kinds of problems that arise in an increasingly crowded society. Trying to increase the standard of living of its people, China has industrialized and the economy has grown (Hanson). This increase in wealth has increased the demand for food in China, one thing that the country does not have. Each day 40,000 children die from malnutrition and its related diseases. 150 million children in the world are suffering from poor health because of food shortages.
6. Water Scarcity
Another resource, and to a certain extent a world problem, because it cannot keep up with an increasing population, is water. The supply of fresh water is limited. The recent California drought exemplifies this problem. Conflicts ensue between farmers, municipalities, environmentalists, and others over water rights. Recently, environmentalists battled with Los Angeles over the diversion of water from Mono lake to the LA basin. The Mono Lake incident and the aqueduct fights highlight some of the conflicts that arise over water. Creating fresh water can be expensive, especially when most of it is hidden under ice sheets in Antarctica.
In this year’s poll, poverty was rated as the most serious global issue in 10 of the countries polled, including the UK, USA, Kenya, Australia, Brazil and Chile. However, in Russia, Turkey, Mexico, Indonesia and Nigeria more felt that the rising cost of food and energy was very serious.
8. Species Extinction
Today, human activities are a cause for concern because of the massive extinction of species, the full implications of which are barely understood. Rising ocean temperatures reduce the ability of plankton to reproduce, thereby undermining the entire oceanic ecosystem.Furthermore, modern agricultural practices strip the Earth of its topsoil through water and wind erosion, and in the process destroying this precious micro ecosystem that has taken centuries to form and supports all life on land.
9. Potential meteorite impact
In February of 2013, People who headed to work in Chelyabinsk heard what sounded like an explosion and saw a bright light and then felt the shock wave in this industrial city just 1,500 km (950 miles) east of Moscow.The fireball, travelling at a speed of 30 km/second ccording to Russian space agency Roscosmos, had blazed across the horizon, leaving a long white trail that could be seen as far as 200 km (125 miles) away.Car alarms went off, thousands of windows shattered and mobile phone networks were disrupted. The Interior Ministry said the meteorite explosion, a very rare spectacle, also unleashed a sonic boom.This has raised concerns across the world…whether or not doomsday is on its way.
10. Oil and Gas
Oil as a fuel and as a base for many products is a problem far beyond Global Warming. Even if there were no Global Warming, oil would be a problem, because it is far too expensive and wars are fought over it.Most of what we do with oil might even be done with peanuts, according to George Washington Carver’s hundreds of developments that created products from this one plant. An Indian car runs on compressed air.