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There are any number to choose from, but if I had to prioritize, global climate change has to be at the top, if for no other reason than all other major world issues from poverty to war to resources to world hunger are tied to how we address this one issue.
The Pentagon released its annual threat assessment in 2003, a mere 23 months after September 11th, and listed Climate Change as the number one threat to America's national security. When coupled with a rising global population that is nearing 7 billion now and is predicted to rise past 9 billion by 2050, the resources we have such as oil, freshwater and food are going to be stretched thin in normal circumstances. When adding the potential for flooding, famine, and increased hurricane strength as detailed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's four reports, I'd have to say that's our number on issue.
I would suggest that the international response to the rise of extremism is a potent issue that impacts many different nations in many different manners. Certainly, the events of September 11, 2001 placed the issue at the forefront of many minds. However, we can see this same element at play in other nations. Factionalization caused by extremist elements in different parts of the world capture the attention of nations when other issues such as energy independence, collaborative efforts to assist in times of economic and natural disaster based crises, and the issue of environmental awareness should be at the forefront of our concerns. I would submit that the issue of extremism and different nations' responses to it would constitute a major world issue in the modern setting.
Climate change has to be a big issue. Governments are talking about it all the time, but are some of these announcements good political moves or are they real concerns. We all know that governments ( and i am not singleling out any political party) issue statements at times to make maximum impact or when they will help their cause in the next election. If, our largest form of co2 emissions are from car use, then why do we not help cities who can come up with a idea that will reduce their emissions. For example, if a city came up with a plan to improve transport around their city, which would remove all unauthorised vehicle's from their town's, and provide safe and regular public transport for it's worker's and it's visitor's, then the government could subsidise the cost of this work, this would be expensive but if our world is in this bad state, surely in the long run it would be money well spent.
The reasons this will never happen is that this would cause a lack of private cars needed, hence, putting the auto mobile industry in jepody, or would it just get these companies to produce a mass produced alternative car, quicker. I expect that the car manufacturers have large amount's of money invested in the oil industry and so they do not need fossel fuel to be a thing off the past until it is all gone and they have made as much money out of it as they can.
Populations are growing, more land for houses are needed, more jobs are needed, we throw more on to land fill sites, all of these things and others need more land, so we are building on sites that we need left as they are, so that areas can flood and not cause damage, the more we use these areas up the more damage floods will cause. There are a very small amount of people who are dedicated to making changes, every little helps but there are a large amount of people who not care, because we have been told so many times before that if something isn't done about an issue we will all pay dearly, only to be told 20 years later that the infomation we were given was not correct.
Over many years we have been told we are wasteing our resourses, so we have insulated our home's better and turned down our thermostats and used less gas and electricity, yet i dought if any of us are getting lower fuel bills.
Even the government does not want the auto industry to produce a car that runs almost free, because they would lose a large amount of revenue from fuel, but they would not worry for too long because they would get the lost revenue from another source.
A major world issue in the current environment, I would have to say, would probably be prejudice and racism. Prejudice is one of the leading causes of violent deaths in America, mostly due to the fact that American culture is widely mixed when it comes to minorities.
Racism leads to many conflicts, gang related violence, and, by extension, a lower tolerance rating for minorities within certain groups within certain areas, which can and probably will lead to more crime and imprisonment. So, when I say this term, I mean it literally: The world really will end if we don't learn how to get along.
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