The Inherently Complex Problem
The world has existed for billions of years, constantly undergoing change. Natural forces have torn apart the earth and filled seas with molten lava. Climates have altered through the ages, species have come and gone. But in all these billion years of activity, it is only now – a pinprick in the scale of known existence – that our planet has undergone such ‘unnatural’ change caused not by nature but by humanity.
The accelerated rate of change which we are undergoing currently in climate and society has been shown to be problematic, affecting those with the least the most. In our world of plenty, where technology and innovation drown us in information, the World Bank estimates that 1.4 billion people live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 and 1.1 billion people still struggle to access safe drinking water and sanitation.
The problem is a complex one. Let us look at the case of the noble bee. Bee’s are crucial for food security as they pollinate our crops. Alas in recent years the number of bee’s have been declining. Climate pressures, biodiversity loss and anthropogenic (man-made) causes are all to blame. Not all species can adapt quickly enough to rapid environmental changes and biodiversity loss such as declines in flowering plants. Such changes may occur because of habitat loss and the accumulation of green house gases. Nor can they build the necessary resilience to widespread insecticide use (which causes memory failures) or fight against the spread of pests and air pollution. The consequence to our species is that crops are failing therefore yields declining.
The poorest of the poor, living off subsistence activities are hit the hardest. The elderly and young suffer alike from malnutrition and disease. Young minds cannot develop without food…and old hands cannot work without energy. This is indeed a problem when 62% of the world’s elderly live in developing countries (National Institute on Ageing) where the public sector cannot aid them as the infrastructure and resources are lacking.
It is a viscious cycle but one which can be broken.
This is of course one example of the problem. In the pages herein you can find links to articles and sites that can broaden your understanding of the issue and also of innovative and promising solutions.
Remember – ‘you must be the change you wish to see in the world’ – Gandhi