I’m having a hard time seeing a clear future for my kids and even a more vague one for their children. I know all the world problems that echo across crowds today like global warming, the economy and war on terrorism. Since the source of the sound usually originates from the minds and mouths of men nailed to a culture of politics and media, I take it in stride. Like most I think I can figure out what to believe and what not, but there is an incredible amount of gray area I can not figure out.
I’m educated compared to most on the planet. I make a concentrated effort through what I’ve learned from my public education, personal experience and real world truths in an attempt to see just a few years into the future. It’s hard but there are things that are undeniable.
One, the world populations will continue to grow. Fifty years ago we had about 2.5 billion and today it’s somewhere around 6.
Two, as that number grows so will peoples desires for better lives. Think about China, so many caught in a third world yet exposed to “first world” life styles everyday, and they want more. Cars, electricity, running water and medical care all things that have existed here for 50 years are just beginning in many parts of the world. This all leads to greater numbers consuming greater amounts of energy and materials. Simple math, not everyone can get everything. The Earth supported a billion individuals from western culture during our industrial revolution but can it support the next 10 billion across the globe in the next 50 years?
Three, with all this population growth and consumption comes the pollution or waste generated by them. How can we get a handle on the masses of the earth demanding more? If people are suffering today they tend not to care about tomorrow and if their lives can be improved then they’ll ignore next week. It is fact that if everyone in the world had what we as Americans have had then the world would be dead in a matter of decades.
Four, it’s inevitable that the financial problems of the poorest become fatal. If there isn’t enough to go around, the rich sure won’t be the ones to lose out. It’ll start far off in some foreign countries but the fight for economic and personal survival will reach across national lines along the parallels of rich versus poor. I know I sound like Marx but when you’re in a room with 10 men and only enough food for 9 and one eats enough for three, just see who gets ousted first. A poor American has more in common with a poor Asian than a rich American.
Five, when things fall apart our highly specialized economy will work against us. If you couldn’t get food from the supermarket tomorrow, where would you go to get it? The modern capitalist scheme is not self sustaining. We all rely on others for our daily needs from toilet paper to antibiotics. (Made in China) If something dire happens, you only get what you’ve got and most of use don’t have enough to survive on our own.
The worst thing is when one thing collapses it makes everything else harder to bare. If the world economy drops, then the fight for the environment may get pushed aside but the worsening environment will eventually cause even greater economic problems.
So what do we do to save ourselves? Technology is what every single American had better be betting on, because it’s the only way to sustain our way of life and our dominance over the world. What if it can’t? Have we become so addicted and dependent on the digital revolution that we are in danger of becoming extinct without it? What if something made technology regress? Most people couldn’t survive a day without a cell phone, when 15 years ago few had them. Imagine no electricity. Our entire society functions on two things that it needs in order to survive, communication and transportation – both of which rely entirely on modern technology.
Now we wait for other men, scientists, to hopefully invent the new wonders of history, machines of pollution repair, population control, economic stability and resource/energy production.
If they fail billions will die, maybe all. It’ll probably be our grandchildren or theirs. So I guess we don’t have to worry about it too much, it’s their problem. It’s not like anyone left us a perfect world. Ha.
We have a responsibility. If we do not assume it, then we deserve our fate. That is an undeniable, not inconvenient, truth.