An Quick Overview
By Dr. F. Elwell
FOUR OVERARCHING CRISIS:
Four Overarching crisis in the world:
Poverty and associated disease
Because of nuclear proliferation to many unstable countries, the threat of nuclear war or accident could be greater today than during the cold war.
World's Nuclear Club:
Soviet Union (Russia and Ukraine)
World's Nuclear Club (Wannabees):
The chart on the next slide represents the status of the world’s nuclear arsenals in the mid 1980s, their highest point.
The dot at center represents all of the firepower in WWII.
All other dots represent firepower of world's current nuclear powers.
Severe Food Shortages
Some 65 countries depending on subsistence farming may be unable to feed their populations by the year 2000.
Annual world production of food is currently adequate for every person on earth, yet about 1 billion people are chronically under-nourished.
The major problem with food shortages is not food production, although that will become a factor in the future.
In each country where hunger is a basic problem, most of the land is controlled by a small elite, the rest of the population is squeezed onto small plots, marginal land, or are landless city dwellers.
Most important, monopoly control of agricultural land is typically put into crops that have value as exports but neglect local needs.
Typically land is put into cash crops that have value as exports.
The grain surplus is handled by feeding over a third of the world's production to animals.
Crops are allowed to rot to keep prices high.
Surplus milk is fed to pigs or even dumped in the name of profit.
The problem of food scarcity lies in the social organization of food production and distribution.
The policies of the rich nations and large corporations are largely responsible for the conditions that perpetuate poverty and hunger.
Stratospheric ozone depletion threatens us with enhanced ultraviolet radiation at the earth's surface, which can be damaging or lethal to many life forms.
Heavy demands on the world's surface waters have resulted in serious shortages in some 80 countries, containing 40 percent of the world's population.
Pollution of rivers, lakes, and ground water further limits the supply.
Destructive pressure on the oceans is severe, particularly in the coastal regions which produce most of the world's food fish.
Since 1945, 11% of the earth's vegetated surface has been degraded, and per capita food production in many parts of the world is decreasing.
Tropical rain forests, as well as temperate dry forests, are being destroyed rapidly. At present rates, some critical forest types will be gone in a few years, and most of the tropical forest will be gone before the end of the next century.
The irreversible loss of species, which by 2100 may reach one-third of all species now living, is especially serious.
The gap between the "have" nations and the "have not" nations continues to widen.
The slides that follow are from the U.N.s data base. They measure a society’s average income, years of schooling, life expectancy and literacy.
The larger the area covered by the central chart, the healthier the society.
Take a minute and compare the four nations depicted.
High population growth rates, coupled with the intensification (or growth) of the mode of production, are the primary social forces behind these massive global problems.