What times we live in

The world has become a very fascinating place in the dawn of the 21st century.

It seems that every few weeks there’s a new great crisis or historic event. In the last few weeks alone, we’ve heard of heavily armed pirates patrolling the African coast, Indian cities under siege by sadistic fanatics, stocks plummeting in the western centers of the world, America’s first black president and closer to home, Chenango’s fourth murder in two years.

Oh, what times we live in. If you’re interested in raising your personal concern, just think about the larger issues facing the world: global warming, the economy and war.

The source of these concerns usually originate from men of politics, media and fear, so I try to take it in stride. But there is an incredible amount of gray area I can not figure out. 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 and it’s extremely difficult – but a few things are undeniable.

Fifty years ago, we had about 2.5 billion and today it’s somewhere over 6.

People in need will demand better lives. Think about China. Many are caught in a third world environment and seek the first-world lifestyles we’ve become used too – cars, electricity, running water and medical care – for most of its citizens.

Things that have been common in the west for the last 50 years are still 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 they want. The Earth supported a billion individuals in western culture during our industrial revolution, but can it support the next 10 billion across the globe in the next 50 years? Is it fair to slow the progress of a people in order to maintain the status quo?

Of course with population growth and industrialization comes pollution and waste. 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. We’ve had a hard enough time convincing our corporations that restraint is a virtue. Isn’t over-lending and risky investment why we’re in this mess? And these are considerations of luxury, not of life and death. Why are we all trying so hard to constantly live beyond our means?

It’s inevitable that while in the swirls of controversy there will be swells of tension and at those moments, the desperation of the poorest becomes unstable, like the Somalia pirates who grew up in the petri dish from the cruelest regions ignored and exploited by the modern world. The same is true of the religious fanatics who went on a murder spree in Mumbai.

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. The worse the economic problems plague the world, the more many will turn to violence – government and individuals alike. The key to everything in life again seems to be balance.

Hopefully scientists will invent a new wonder of history – machines of pollution repair, population control, economic stability and unlimited energy production. Maybe politicians will rise with the people’s needs close to their heart and will rally reasonable followers to a revolution of change. Billions of lives may hang in the balance, maybe even all them. What times we live in; it’s absolutely incredible. It’s inspiring, it’s tragic and it’s happening right now.

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