Institute On World Problems
SUMMARY OF GLOBAL PROBLEMS AND CRISES
Note: All these crises are interdependent and interrelated. One crisis cannot be dealt with without dealing with them all. Yet the last crisis (no global planning or regulation for the future) shows that the present institutions of the world (global capitalism -- as it exists today -- and the nation-state system) are incapable of saving the planet for future generations or even ensuring human survival. This is why we need non-military democratic world government under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.
For further information on global problems see http://www.globalissues.org
A. The global environmental crisis– Multiple forms of destruction leading to a possible collapse of the planetary ecosystem that supports life through global warming and other massive disruptions.
1) Global destruction of forests and phytoplankton in the oceans (these capture carbon dioxide - 59% land, 41% oceans – hold moisture and soil, preserve species, moderate the environment and give off oxygen).
2) World wide soil erosion and desertification (the world has lost 1/5 of its arable land in the last decade). Causes: raising beef, lumbering, use of word for fuel, clear cutting for crops or profit).
3) Worldwide burning of fossil fuels, primarily oil and coal, and burning of wood in the third world.
4) Harming of forests, lakes, and their ecosystems by acid rain (including Alaska, Canada, Norway, Eastern U.S., Germany, etc.)
5) Proliferation of nuclear waste hazards, and massive amounts of other toxic waste.
6) World wide shrinking of fresh water supplied through pollution and diminishing aquifers.
7) Spreading ozone holes resulting from long lasting chlorofluorocarbon gases.
8) Massive extinction of species worldwide connected with the above factors.
9) Flooding of coastal areas world-wide as the ocean levels rise: displacing hundreds of millions of people and burying a large portion of the world's prime agricultural lands.
B. Global militarism and wars – Extremely destructive of the environment, human rights, causing massive refugee problems, destruction of cultures, and civilized living for millions.
1) Spread of nuclear and hi-tech weapons; wars and threat of wars in many places.
2) Close to one trillion U.S. dollars per year and immense human resources wasted world-wide.
3) World-wide sales of "conventional weapons" breeding conflicts, terrorism, dictatorships, and wars.
4) International instability, danger of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons.
5) Global destruction of the environment through both massive military production and wars.
C. The population explosion– Some scientists predict 9 - 10 billion people by the year 2025.
1) In 1900, the earth had 1 billion people, in 1950, 2 billion, in 1990, 5.2 billion, today: over 6 billion.
2) 80 million new people added to the population of the Earth every year.
3) Every person alive impacts the worlds resources and environment – first world people use 10-20 times more resources than third world people.
4) Massive migrations, starvations, wars, refugees, and economic chaos result from overpopulation.
5) Malnutrition and hunger in children leads to physically stunted and retarded human beings.
D. Global poverty and misery– Currently U.N. figures estimate 1.5 billion persons or 20% of the earth’s population are living in "absolute poverty," with hunger, malnutrition, and no hope.
1) Most of the world’s population lives in the global south while 6-10 % of the world population live in the "first world" countries leading to global conflict between rich and poor.
2) Massive international debt of the poor countries to first world lending institutions.
3) Social and economic chaos in "third world" countries and exploitation by first world countries and their corporations.
E. Global human rights abuses– world wide use of political murder, torture, massacres, brutality, disappearances, death squads, and dictatorships.
1) This contributes to ethnic, religious, political intolerance, hatred, refugees, wars, and oppression.
2) No global means of safeguarding democracy, cultural diversity, or human rights.
3) No global means of educating people to live in an interdependent world, with social responsibility.
4) No global means of protecting human rights or achieving equal opportunity for all.
F. No global regulation or planning regarding the future– global competition between nations and huge corporations for resources, military advantage, cheap labor, and avoiding environmental regulation.
1) Systematic economic and military domination of the third world by the first world.
2) Domination of the U.N. by first world nations. The U.N. impotent to address any of the above crises.
3) Global competition among corporations and nations for resources, ascendancy, and profits.
4) The result is an utterly unsustainable world, heading toward ever greater cataclysms and disasters, unable to solve any of the above global crises, and living at the expense of future generations.
5) What group can possibility accomplish global regulation or planning for the future? Only democratic world government under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.