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Monday, May 2, 2016

HUMANITY'S GREATEST CHALLENGES

There are dozens of lists addressing Humanity's Greatest Challenges.  Let me cite just one from the Millennium Project:
15 Global Challenges (get details by clicking on any one)
You no doubt never heard of the Millennium Project, but it's been around now for a decade, and involves the United Nations, Smithsonian and futurists.  Of course we need responsible organizations to take on these challenges, but trying to deal with the above, in toto, while necessary, for everything is connected to everything else, is essentially a hopeless task, similar to my trying to Save Planet Earth and Humanity.


Globaltopia whittles the 15 down to 10.  However, study groups trip over themselves just trying to agree on the problems and how they are connected.  So, over the next couple of postings, I will just provide a few simple solutions to the ones in my region of expertise.

First of all, society never solves much of anything unless there is a true crisis, such as World War II, the Cold War, ozone hole and the Great Depression.  
  • Thus, global warming will remain an issue until hundreds of millions suddenly perish.  A 5 cent/pound carbon dioxide credit will solve the problem, but we have a world political / free enterprise system that effectively prevents progress for the sake of economic profit. 
  • Our population will continue to increase until universal economic development is attained.  This might take another century.
  • The problem is whether at some point there will be a tipping point to temperature or number of people at which peak the simple solution will come with a lot of anguish when billions actually perish.  
A corollary matter is who will pay for these simple solutions.  If the Middle East wars will cost us $6 trillion, one source is to use those funds in the future through the avoidance of such needless excursions.

Thus, I'll skip over population, democracy/war/peace, global climate change and most of the 15 above topics, for they are intractable and not worthy of my time, or yours.  Tomorrow I'll take a look at outer space and suggest what is a waste of time and where might come opportunities for advancing our society.  Then, I'll propose our oceans as the true next frontier for economic progress.  Energy?  Sure.  Human genomics. Of course.  Artificial intelligence:  boon or bane?  The list remains endless.

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