There are a large number of issues that we as a species need to deal with. These issues are not possible for countries to tackle on their own. There needs to be a unified approach. Some of these are so big that politicians do not want to tackle them. Many of them affect some regions more than others so it is easy for some politicians to ignore them – or even refute that they exist.
If we do not tackle these issues then, further down the line, I believe they are going to become huge issues.
All of these issues are solvable – though they would require quite a unified effort. How do we reduce population without imposing draconian policies on fertility? There are many solutions involving welfare and female education.
Here are the issues I think we should focus our minds on:
I think this is the biggest issue and one that underpins most of the others. The amount of pollution and use of resources is in proportion to the number of people. This leads to deforestations, overfishing, habitat loss etc.
2. Global Warming and Climate Change
The climate we have now is ideal for us. If it was to get colder or warmer that would be a disaster for us. Sea level rises would be devastating. Major weather events, desertification, droughts, floods, forest fires, melting ice, bleaching coral…….. It would lead to areas becoming uninhabitable and mass migration. It could lead to wars.
Whatever is causing global warming (and I do not think that is open to debate) if it is in our power to prevent it then we should put our energies into doing that.
3. Species extinctions and population crashes
All across the globe, we have major crashes in populations of insects, fish and mammals.
As insects form the basic diet of many food webs the decimation of insects leads to the crashes in populations of other animals. As we are part of these food webs we have a direct interest. If we value nature (as has been a feature of this lockdown) and want to see the swallows, hedgehogs and wild birds, we have to protect our insects. Insects are pollinators. For our crops and wildflowers, we need insects.
The loss of fish is due to overfishing and pollution.
The loss of mammals is due to habitat destruction, deforestation, desertification, loss of insects, hunting, poaching and fires.
4. Gross inequality and poverty
Increasingly, wealth is being accumulated into a small elite. With the advent of A/I this is likely to become a lot worse. There is more than enough to go around, yet we see millions still starving and living in abject poverty.
This poverty leads to the type of mass migrations we have been seeing in recent times.
The good news is that poverty levels have come down. We could eradicate poverty completely if we wanted to.
We have seen the terrible impact of plastics in our environment. They are one of many pollutants. Our air is unbreathable in many cities. Our soil and water is full of chemicals. Habitats are destroyed. Animals are killed and we are poisoning ourselves.
We need stringent controls on industry to prevent this pollution.
As resources become rare, populations increase and tensions rise there is an increased risk of war. We have seen the repercussions of this with the wars in Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq. While some people have literally made a killing, the rest of us have shouldered the economic burden and loss of life. We have seen uprising of religious fundamentalism, terrorism and political extremism. We have seen more refugees, populism, nationalism and isolationism and extreme political thinking.
Nobody ever wins a war. It costs us all. This vying for power between nations is plain stupid.
We are in the midst of a global pandemic which has devastated the world economy and caused immense disruption. This is just one of many we have had in recent times. We’ve dodged many a bullet – MERS, SARS, Ebola, Bird Flu, Swine Flu……..
These are not a new phenomenon but the numbers of pandemics are increasing and we know why. Our numbers and practices – such as hunting and logging – are opening up remote areas and bringing us into contact with animals that have viruses we have never encountered before. This is not a good idea. We should conserve those wild areas.
Catching and butchering wild animals in ‘wet’ markets is creating this problem.
We need to ban wet markets and the importation of wild animals. We need to control hunting, mining and logging.
8. Tax evasion and the Multinationals
The multinationals and wealthy elite have found numerous loopholes to avoid paying taxes. Trump won’t reveal his taxes because he knows he has been cheating and will be caught out. Multinationals are so powerful they simply play one country off against another and use powerful lobbying, bribes and corruption to weigh the rules in their favour. They buy off governments, pollute and do not pay their share.
The end result is that the rest of us have to pay more, that more people live in poverty, education and healthcare is worse, infrastructure is worse and local services are worse.
We need a global power capable of curbing the activities of the multinationals and wealthy elite. We need a fairer world and more accountability.
These people control the media, buy off political parties and dictate policy in their favour. They are getting away with murder. They ravage the planet and pollute for profit. They need stopping.
We know the earth regular gets hit by large asteroids which cause mass devastation (as wiped out the dinosaurs). A big one could wipe out all life on this planet. It could happen tomorrow or in a million years time. We have no way of knowing.
A sensible, intelligent people would use their science to provide early detection and a means of dealing with such an event.
10. Education and Science
The world is a complex place. Far too many people live in ignorance and superstition which holds us back. Science does not have all the answers (yet) but it can provide us with a lot of the solutions. Having a good education and understanding science and the world can dispel a lot of our problems. We could have functioning democracies, wise decision-making and better choices. We could have less suspicion and fear, less racism and xenophobia, less tyranny and a smaller population.
11. Racism, Sexism and Xenophobia
Black Lives Matter has illustrated the kind of world we live in. It is based on patriarchal institutionalised racism. That has to stop. We are one species. All cultures, races and people need valuing equally. There should not be a valuing of one gender over another or one race over another. This artificial division is primitive, cultural, tribal and is holding us back.
I believe that human nature is good. Most people are compassionate and caring. It is the minority who are a problem – and that minority includes many of our political and religious leaders.
We could live on a planet in harmony with one another and nature, without extremes and with everyone have a good life with freedoms, work, creativity, pleasure and comfort. There could be plenty of adventure.
If we wanted.
I’m open to a debate!