Get Serious! Then Vote!
This is a bit long, but I hope you stay with it. I have tried to summarize the world's problems in brief.
Our nation and our world face problems like never before in history. While it can be argued that the two world wars were horrible, and they were, the problems we face now are reaching farther and affect more people than ever before. No one nation can solve all this; it will take teamwork.
Here are some problems that we face as a nation and the world listed in alphabetical order rather than trying to give them a priority. Many of them are linked and are causative of other problems or the result of other problems.
Aging: People worldwide are living longer. Most people can expect to live into their sixties and beyond. Every country is experiencing growth in both the size and the proportion of older persons in the population. By 2030, 1 in 6 people in the world will be aged 60 years or over; the share of the population aged 60 years and over will increase from 1 billion in 2020 to 1.4 billion. By 2050, people aged 60 years and older will double (2.1 billion). The number of persons aged 80 years or older is expected to triple between 2020 and 2050 to reach 426 million.
Atomic Energy/Weapons: Nuclear energy protects air quality by producing massive carbon-free electricity. It powers communities in 28 U.S. states and contributes to many non-electric applications, ranging from the medical field to space exploration. And we must eliminate nuclear weapons. That said, here's why Nuclear Power may not be such a good idea, after all.
1. Time from planning to operation is too long
2. Cost - based on LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy) - is too low, way too low.
3. Weapon proliferation risk (as documented by IPCC - International Peace and Cooperation Center)
4. Meltdown Risk - not only design but human error and terrorism must be factored in
5. Mining Lung Cancer risk
6. Miscalculations of CO2 equivalences must be corrected!
7. Radioactive waste
Climate Change: With the advent of industrialization, greenhouse gas emissions have been increasing at lightning speed, largely contributing to the rising temperatures. Burning fossil fuels that produce a great deal of smoke has also tremendously impacted the world's natural climate. We must take immediate and dramatic steps to arrest this problem or face more devastating fires and weather events in partnership with the world.
Education: This problem has nuances worldwide, but some generalities apply. In the U.S. and probably other places globally, schools differ in their funding, their conditions, and other aspects. In the U.S., segregation in the North stemmed, both then and now, not from the law but neighborhood residential patterns. Children go to schools near their homes. If adjacent neighborhoods are all white or all African American, then children from these neighborhoods attend all white or all African American schools, or mostly so. Voucher programs are relatively new; scholars have not yet had time to assess whether they improve students' academic achievement. Some studies do find small improvements (DeLuca & Dayton, 2009). The most important issue is that higher education in the U.S., at least at 4-year institutions, can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year. Other countries ensure all students can get an advanced education at low or no cost.
Environment: Forests are under threat. With industrialization, a growing population, and fewer places for human industry, forests are being jeopardized. We are sacrificing around 18.7 million acres of forests every year. Environmental degradation is a matter of grave concern, particularly in tropical rainforests. The Amazon Rain Forest is slowly being converted into a place for cattle ranching and has lost quite a big chunk of its forest. Our air and oceans are polluted. It will take massive global cooperation to turn the corner for our planet and the environment.
Gender Equality: Deprived of basic rights such as education for financial reasons or a belief that education doesn't matter for women, inequality is deeply rooted in society. We have made strides, but we are probably two or three generations from achieving equality for women in all aspects of life. This failure affects 50% of the world's population.
Global governance, the collective management of common problems at the
international level, is at a critical juncture. Although global
governance institutions have racked up many successes since their
development after the Second World War, the growing number of issues on
the international agenda and their complexity is outpacing the ability
of international organizations and national governments to cope. Creating a global governance system reflecting the new economic and
demographic realities and responding effectively to new global
challenges of the 21st century is urgently needed. United we survive, divided, we fail.
The "global agenda" today includes the following issues: corruption, poverty, environmental pollution, human rights, terrorism, armed conflicts, climate change, epidemics, unemployment, world economy globalization, religion-based conflicts, human migration. Climate change, energy, food, water, population, and the environment are all interrelated, and efforts to address one challenge often exacerbate other global challenges. We cannot solve problems in isolation.
Health: 2020 was a devastating year for global health. A previously unknown virus raced worldwide, emerging as one of its top killers. Health services in all regions struggle to tackle COVID-19 and provide people with vital care. The pandemic threatens to set back hard-won global health progress achieved over the past two decades, including improving maternal and child health. : The WHO and its partners are there to help countries strengthen preparedness for pandemics and other emergencies. World support and cooperation are vital to the work they do.
Human Rights: Research like the 2018 Rule of Law index shows threats to human rights exist in ⅔ of the surveyed 113 countries. Since 2016, the index has reported diminishing scores. Many of the human rights issues fuel each other. Human trafficking is growing around the world. The world is dealing with the "highest levels of displacement on record." Reasons include climate change and armed conflict. Refugees fleeing their homes experience persecution and discrimination. Gender inequality has been a human rights issue for hundreds of years. While LGBTQ+ rights are not a recent human rights issue, they will evolve in the future. All over the world, definitions are changing and expanding. The U.S. must be a champion in leading the world on this issue.
Law & Justice: Whether in the U.S. or worldwide, some communities resemble war zones where gunshots ring out every night. Other cities struggle to create islands of civility amid threats to public order posed by low-level criminal behavior that eludes traditional measures. Very few people, it seems to me, set out to be criminals in their early years the way others want to be doctors or teachers. Something happens early in the life of most criminals that puts them on the road to crime. We need to understand what happens and how this happens and have programs to intercede to prevent the development of criminals rather than wait until they commit a crime and then decide how to punish them. We will still need the justice system for that small percent who "enjoy" being criminals, but that will be a small percentage of what we are looking at today.
Migration: Since the earliest times, humanity has been on the move. Some people move in search of work or economic opportunities, joining family, or studying. Others move to escape conflict, persecution, terrorism, or human rights violations. Still, others move in response to the adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters, or other environmental factors. Today, more people than ever live in a country other than where they were born. According to the IOM World Migration Report 2020, as of June 2019, the number of international migrants was estimated to be almost 272 million globally, 51 million more than in 2010. We must focus on those people migrating for the wrong reasons, war, poverty, persecution, and work to end those causes.
Population: We are living in an extraordinary time - the planet Earth is, at this very moment, experiencing an incredible human population rise. It is estimated that the world population reached one billion in 1804. Not until 1927 did we hit two billion. Then, just 33 years later - 1960 - we eclipsed three billion. The population reached four billion in 1974 (14 years), five billion in 1987 (13 years), six billion in 1999 (12 years), and seven billion in 2011 (12 years). We are well on the way to 8 billion, probably in late 2022.
This rapid increase is no longer due to a high growth rate. As recently as 1967, a population growth rate of 2.11% acted on a total population of 3.4 billion to produce annual global population growth of 73 million people. Now, the opposite is true. The global growth has fallen by 50% - a good thing. But, this lower growth rate of 1.1% is acting on a total population of 7.6 billion. This results in an even larger annual population growth than in 1967 - over 80 million additional people per year.
Poverty: It is estimated that over 1.3 billion people across the globe live in destitute areas, often surviving on $1.25 a day or even less. Victims of poverty often survive on one or two meals a day. This issue is at the heart of other issues, like migration, drug use, world health and pandemics, and crime. How many rich people are sitting in alleys shooting up and committing crimes to feed their habit? Raising living standards by developing liveable-wage jobs will do more to reduce multiple problems than any other thing the world can do.
Refugees: In the past decade, the global refugee population has more than doubled. According to the UNHCR, over 84 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes (This data is before the mass migrations away from Ukraine). Among them are over 26.6 million refugees, the highest population on record. 68% of the world's refugees come from just five countries. The number of people forcibly displaced worldwide has continued to grow at an alarming rate.
- There are 26 million refugees globally.
- Half of the world's refugees are children
- 85% of refugees are being hosted in developing countries
In short, the world urgently needs a new, global plan based on genuine international cooperation and a meaningful and fair sharing of responsibilities.
Transphobia: We need to realize that gender is a social construct and gender norms are a product of society. Most importantly, one should accept that gender is extremely fluid and ever-changing. This ostracisation has also led to widespread suicides across the globe. We need understanding, compassion, and respect for all individuals.
Water Security: Being essential to livelihood and survival, one in nine is deprived of this crucial resource. According to the World Economic Forum, the water crisis is one of the most important crises in the world. The U.S. isn't there yet, but with devastating droughts dragging on year after year, we may join the list of nations struggling to get enough water for everyone.
Okay, I know this is a lot to take in. I tried to make it as compact as such gargantuan topic will permit. If you've stayed with me, I have one simple question for you. Which politicians show both an interest in and a desire to help solve these issues, some of which could determine the outcome of human life on our planet.
I have to say, I have heard zero Republicans saying or doing anything more than giving these a passing pashaw unless they thought it might get them a campaign contribution.
We can't solve all the world's problems, not even all of our own. Still, we need people who both see and understand the critical nature of our world and who will commit themselves to find solutions. Come November, vote for the people who want to join hands around the world and save our planet and its people. I think you'll be voting Blue if you do that.
The data I sighted comes from many sources. I haven't tried to attribute them all since I don't read those, and most people probably don't either. But, you can Google any topic I've mentioned and find numerous sites that will support what I said, and probably a few that will argue the point.