“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek,”Barack Obama.
Let’s face it, it does not look like the most promising title for a website, does it? However, knowing what is going on in the world is of crucial importance, because you belong to the next generation, and you will need to take decisive action in order to survive.
Firstly, this list is not in order of importance.
- Let’s start with deforestation. This is the removal of trees in places where the land is afterwards converted into non-forest uses, such as, urban development, farmland, etc. It has been estimated that about half of the Earth’s tropical forests have now been cleared.
- Pollution refers to the manmade contamination of the Earth’s environment. It includes water (dumping of untreated wastewater and chemical contaminants) and air pollution (industries, motor vehicles), soil contamination, littering, etc.
- Many scientists agree that up to 20 percent of all living animal populations will disappear by 2028. Most extinctions are caused by habitat destruction (logging, mining), pollution, overexploitation (hunting, fishing), and introducing invasive species.
- According to the United Nations, world population reached 7 billion in 2011. Human overpopulation is a very sensitive topic, but it has been associated with global warming, pollution, water scarcity, malnutrition, and overexploitation amongst other problems.
- Global Warming (the rise in temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans) is, without a doubt, a very serious problem. It will probably cause a rise in sea levels, extreme weather, increase food and water shortages, and species extinction.
- Water scarcity refers to the shortage of drinking and unpolluted water. Almost one billion people do not have access to clean water and two and a half billion lack basic sanitation.
- Famine is, as Ireland’s President Higgins put it, “the greatest ethical failure of the current global system”. In its latest report on food insecurity, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) estimates that 868 million people are starving, and that infant malnutrition is a cause of death for more than 2.5 million children every year.
- Absolute poverty refers to the lack of sufficient resources to sustain life, which includes food, water, sanitation, clothing, shelter, health care and education. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day, and 22,000 children die each day because of it.
- The world’s economy depends heavily on oil. This source of energy is not renewable, so a moment will come when the rate of oil production can no longer be increased (Peak oil). The approach of peak oil will push oil prices up, and will have negative global economic implications.
- The Great Depression of 1929 in the United States is used as an example of how quickly an economy can decline. Many regard the economic collapse as inevitable because of overpopulation, a demographic crisis with an increasingly aging population that requires social support services, resource shortages, excessive rate of unemployment, unsustainable debt levels (global credit bubble), inadequate economic policies, and peak oil.
- Terrorism is the use of violence for political ends. The deadliest attacks were in New York City and Washington DC (2001). Others were the Oklahoma City Bombing (1995), and the Mumbai Terrorist Attacks (2011).
War and terrorism are not easy for anyone to accept, or even understand, and yet, they are amongst the biggest problems facing our world. Right now, different conflicts around the world are killing more than 1000 people a year. The problem is exacerbated because of nuclear proliferation. In other words, as many countries have developed nuclear weapons, the risk of mass destruction is increasing.
- Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain individuals or governments find objectionable, harmful, inconvenient, or even dangerous. Many citizens regard their access to information as a fundamental right, and a force for good.
- Another big issue is abuse. It ruins many people’s lives, and takes many different forms: physical abuse (intending to cause pain or injury), rape, child abuse and neglect (physical or emotional mistreatment of children), school bullying, discrimination, etc.
- Others: Super Artificial Intelligence (self-guide drones, killer drones, and automated defense systems), Superbugs (Bacteria with multidrug-resistance) and bio-hacking, Nuclear war,…