There are many issues that are of great concern to us today. The reason they are a concern is because no matter where the problems exist they affect us all.We must begin to think and act globally if we are to help the future generations. The World Today
What are the major issues affecting society today? • 1. Overpopulation: Not enough food to feed the people living in a country. • There are several causes of overpopulation: • a. Lack of fertile land (Japan, China, Latin America) • b. Climate (Africa, South Asia, Middle East) • c. Religious Beliefs such as the inability to use contraceptives or practice abortion. • d. Economic factors: the need for workers to help the family survive.
The regions of the world that aren't overpopulated generally don't have those concerns, for example Western Europe and the United States. • To complicate matters even more, the countries of the world that are overpopulated generally have many other problems as well: • a. Lack of skilled labor • b. Lack of capital • c. Debt • d. Corrupt governments
The Women of Kibera • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaamPV4YDHU&feature=related • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWAiM4aEyQM&feature=related
How can these countries begin to solve the problems associated with Overpopulation? • A. Some countries are lucky enough to possess mineral resources they can trade to obtain the food needed to survive (Venezuela, Mexico, Nigeria, and the Middle East) have been able to improve their economies lately due to the oil they possess. • B. Several have even used the oil to enable themselves to build Desalinization Plants to process salt water into fresh water (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait). • C. Other countries like South Africa, Algeria, Zaire, and, Zambia are fortunate to possess mineral resources like gold, diamonds, plutonium or coal, which can help to improve conditions.
D. Some countries have secured foreign aid and investment from the Developed countries in the world. • What they have offered in return is cheap, but skilled labor. The business leaders in developed nations see this as an opportunity to increase their profits. • They are more than willing to bring their factories into these Developing societies.
Countries like China, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia and Thailand are examples. • E. Brazil has taken another path to try and improve its problems. In addition to seeking foreign aid, they have begun to Slash and Burn much of the Rain Forest to increase agricultural development.
F. Japan (a country that lacks many of the resources needed to industrialize) used two different approaches to solve their problems. • Pre WW II, they relied on the policy of Imperialism. • Post WW II, they developed industry and education that allowed them to compete with the other industrialized nations of the world. • G. Many of the Regions of the world are starting to act as trading partners instead as rivals. The philosophy is that no country can afford to work on their own. The concept of Global Economic Interdependenceis becoming more accepted.
2. Desertification: The change of arable land into desert. The region, which suffers the most, is Africa. • What are the causes of Desertification? • a. Allowing the nomadic herders that live on the savanna (sahel) to overgraze the land. This overgrazing results in the roots of the grasslands to burn up during the dry season. • b. Cutting down the trees and bushes for fuel or homes allows erosion to occur at faster rates. • c. The rain that is supposed to come doesn't. Countries like Ethiopia, Somalia, Chad and Niger are facing severe problems as a result of the drought.
Lake Chad, once one of Africa’s largest freshwater lakes, is located where the countries Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Niger meet. Over the past few decades Lake Chad has been shrinking. It used to be 9,700 square miles in 1963, but in 2001 it measured only 1/20th of this size
Chad (white border) was roughly twice the size of New York state during its maximum expansion
What can be done to lessen the effects of Desertification? • a. Stop the overgrazing and re-plant trees to prevent erosion. Although it won't solve the problem, it might slow down the process. • b. Another possibility would be to start extensive irrigation projects to provide water to the areas affected. Although it is feasible, the problem is the money and cooperation that would be needed to make this happen.
3. Deforestation: The systematic destruction of the tropical rain forests. • It is estimated that worldwide deforestation is occurring at the rate of 50 acres per. minute. This results in 78,000 sq. miles being destroyed a year. • What are the reasons why Deforestation is occurring? • a. The harvest of the rare hardwoods. • b. The need for more land to raise livestock. • c. To alleviate the problems of overpopulation. • d. Establishing homes and industry to become developed.
What are the impacts of Deforestation? • a. The extinction of the plants and animals that reside in this ecosystem. • b. The loss of natural medicines and chemicals that are natural products of the Rain Forests. • c. Less oxygen is released into the atmosphere, and just as importantly less carbon dioxide can be absorbed. This is resulting in The Greenhouse Effect or Global Warming.
What is The Greenhouse Effect? • It is the warming of the Earth's atmosphere as a result of the increased levels of carbon dioxide. • There are other factors that also cause this effect: • a. The burning of any fossil fuel (gas, oil, coal) • b. The use of CFC's (chlorofluorocarbons) in aerosol cans, air conditioners, and refrigerators.
What are the possible results of the Greenhouse Effect? • a. Melting of the polar ice caps, this would result in flooding of coastal areas due to increased level of the ocean. • b. Changes in the Earth's climate. • This would have a serious impact on the ability to produce crops. • This would further aggravate the problem of overpopulation and desertification.
4. Acid Rain: As we burn more and more fossil fuels the concentration levels build up. Now when it rains these pollutants come back down and cause considerable damage to forests, rivers and lakes. • Areas in Western Europe (England, and the Black Forest, Germany) are facing serious problems due to Acid Rain. • The lower pH levels of the rain (due to the increased sulfur dioxide) burn the leaves and other plants, which cause the destruction of the forests and aquatic life.
This photograph shows a lake in the Adirondacks which has been affected by acid deposition, eliminating fish and many other aquatic species.
How can this problem be solved? • a. One possible way would be to find alternate forms of fuel. This would diminish the need to rely only on the fossil fuels we use today. • b. Stricter government regulations on the emissions of factories and automobiles. • c. Restrict the use of all CFC's. • d. Impose regulations that would slow down the destruction of the Rain Forests (place restrictions on the trade of wood products), or relieve the debt of the nations cutting down the forests.
5.Terrorism: The systematic use of violence to draw attention to your political goals. • Some of the tactics used are assassinations, bombings, and kidnapping. • Terrorists usually strike out against civilians this is done on purpose to try and gain an advantage and greater attention for their cause.
Examples of Terrorist Activity • a. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) • Purpose is to reunite Northern Ireland (Protestant, English controlled) with Southern Ireland (Catholic) • b. Sinn Fein: an Irish Nationalist group separate from the IRA
c. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) • Formed to regain the land that was taken as a result of the creation of Israel in 1948. The most famous leader of the PLO was Yasir Arafat. • d. The Intifada (the shaking) series of uprisings in the occupied territories in Israel.