My first thought was climate change, but since it's not very original on this discussion board, I'll introduce someting else. Poverty is a gigantic issue that absolutely needs to be solved. I believe that many of our other problems stem from poverty. Poverty creates issues with the economy because the government has to enlist programs to support those who cannot live on the little or no income they have. Poverty creates issues with education because students who are hungry or poor cannot focus on their learning in school and therefore are at a disadvantage when it comes to being successful in the future. Poverty creates health issues- those who are impoverished are either malnourished, or they have issues with obesity because they only have access to the most fatty and processed foods because those are the most inexpensive and most convenient. I think that if we solved the issue of poverty- or at least worked to close the gap between the rich and the poor, we could work on solving a lot of our other problems.
My biggest concern on local and national levels is to see to the needs of families displaced in any way by our struggling economy. Of these needs, I worry most about the children who need food, clothes and as normal a family existence as possible to grow up physically and emotionally healthy.
On an international level, I worry most about ending wars: but until that can be accomplished I am greatly concerned for those affected by the fighting—also being displaced and needing food, shelter and medical treatment. For areas devastated by drought and poverty, jobs for parents will provide for the children. Digging wells and providing mosquito netting to bring clear water to a town and stop the ravages of disease because of mosquitos. The list, sadly, goes on and on. For me, the children are the most needy, for they cannot do for themselves. Stability in childhood tends to offer an opportunity for stability in life.
An important local, national, and international problem that needs solving is the high rate of unemployment in many regions of the world. This problem permeates most jurisdictions and there can be no true, long-lasting economic recovery unless people are back working.
It's a pipe dream for politicians, economists, and other prognosticators to trumpet predictions of growth and an end to recessions and economic slowdowns when a significant proportion of nations' populations are not working. Unemployment puts a drain on government resources and comes with its attendant social problems.
The stock market may temporarily climb, companies may engage in new product and service development, business analysts may be giddy about the latest technological advancements and gadgets. However, in the end, chronic unemployment will be the undoing of the economic systems we've worked so hard to develop.
Another possibility could be the huge general problem of environmental pollution. This could be broken down into types of pollution, such as water pollution, which then could be further broken down into areas of concern such as the lack of accessible clean drinking water in too much of the world, the threat to plants and animals resulting from contaminated ground water, the dangers of oil slicks and floating debris in the oceans, and so on.
I feel like a large problem which still faces our world is racism. People still hold age old beliefs about those different from them culturally and racially. Stereotypes "help" to keep ideas about others alive. People learn the stereotypes and keep them alive for themselves.
While I know that this is not a problem like global warming and financial issues, I do feel that it is an important problem which needs to be addressed.
The deplorable state of many countries' economic situations are frightening. And, the threats of economic collapse for these countries, now with a global economy, is of concern to the entire world. Here in the U.S. cities are going bankrupt, states are not solvent. This "Great Recession" is worrisome, indieed as 49% of the population pays no taxes while the other 51% must support the government that provides for them.
Post #2 stole my first idea. I agree that it's the kind of problem that's going to affect everybody.
We are also facing financial problems on an international basis. The troubles we've been hearing about in Greece, Spain, and Italy will have a domino effect on the economies of every other country. America will be facing the same possible financial disasters if we don't take care of our budget deficit.
The problem of poverty needs to be solved. When people are struggling to meet their basic needs, all of their human creativity, intelligence and energy is put in that direction. That leaves little remaining for other pursuits. People need to be able to provide for their material well being, and there should be some time and energy remaining for more meaningful pursuits.
There are millions of these, aren't there? I guess one that is an international problem is the issue of global climate change. This is about the most international problem possible since it can affect all countries and because the things that one country does will affect all other countries.
Terrorism, Poverty, Corruption...etc.