Challenges of Our World Environmental Crisis In 1962, Rachel Carson argued thatpesticides were killing birds, fish, andother wildlife Carson’s warnings alarmed scientists andgave rise to a new field called ecology Population Growth A rapid increase in the world’s populationhas led to fears the Earth’s resourcescannot support so many people Problems like deforestation – theclearing of forests, cause damage to theenvironment Tropical rainforests are slowly beingdestroyed, and they support over 50% ofthe worlds species of plants and animals Chemical Wastes & Disasters Another danger to the environment ischemical waste, which harm the ozonelayer and promote the greenhouseeffect, which contributes to globalwarming Technological Revolution Modern transportation andcommunications systems aretransforming the world Airlines move millions of people aroundthe world The Internet provides quick access toenormous amounts of information Space exploration continues, and NASAand foreign governments sendexploratory missions to places like Mars,while the Hubble Telescope helps map theuniverse The telephones you carry in your pocketare more powerful than the NASAcomputer that sent astronauts to themoon! Weapons The technological revolution has also ledto the development of advanced methodsof destruction Drones, nuclear arms, biological andchemical weapons are a danger for mostof the world Called biowarfare, the use of biologicalweapons – weapons that containviruses, diseases, or other biologicals,could have enormous impact on theworld
Economic & Social Challenges Since World War II, the world hasdeveloped a global economy –based on the production, distributionand sale of goods on a worldwidescale In 1995 the World TradeOrganization was established tohelp negotiate trade agreements,which are then upheld by the 140member nations The WTO has been criticized forputting commercial interests overenvironmental and other issues, butis still the largest trade organization Health Care – One challenge for theworld is providing health care.Another concern is increasedtechnology that pushes theboundaries of medicine and raisequestions about ethics in areas likecloning and genetic engineering One of the problems with a globaleconomy is the gap between richand poor nations Rich nations, like Canada and theUnited States have advancedtechnologies and strongeducational systems Developing countries haveproblems with population growth,lack of technology, and lack ofresources Hunger is a problem in developingcountries Gender gap – In developingcountries, women are often boundto their homes and families andsubordinate to fathers or husbands Civil wars have also causedproblems in developing nations;such wars have produced genocide,starvation, and instability
Political Challenges After World War II, African andAsian leaders identifieddemocracy as the definingtheme of their new politicalcultures However, many developingcountries replaced theirdemocracies with dictatorshipsor one-party governments Regional, ethnic, and religiousdifferences continue to createconflict around the world The Arab Spring, an effort inprimarily Arab nations like Egyptand Syria, occurred when theArab people protested andtoppled their dictators Technology was a huge factor inthe Arab Spring, as protestorsused social media to coordinatetheir effortsEgyptian protestors
Global Visions The United Nations has become more important as theworld becomes a smaller place due to new technologiesand the Internet The UN has peacekeeping forces that have been involvedin global conflicts like the Iraq and Afghanistan wars The Peacekeepers have also helped to settle conflicts andsupervise truces in places like Somalia and Bosnia Now that the Cold War is over, the UN has taken on amuch larger role in world politics The UN supports treaties on equality of women, supportingchildren, providing health care, nuclear disarmament, andeducation and science.
A World We Cannot Predict Schools today are preparing students for a world thatcannot be predicted Changes in technology bring about changes in societythat are unpredictable What does your future look like?