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What are the 5 most important things happening in the world today?

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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 11:44 AM
Original message
What are the 5 most important things happening in the world today?
I know that "top ten" lists are arbitrary and relative, and I don't want to restrict your answers with any extensive explanation or expectation. Answer however you like.

What do you think are the 5 most important things going on in the world today?
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. my short list
global warming

end of U.S. democracy/ start of empire

growth of middle classes in Asia

expansion of virtual (internet) communities

biogenetics
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I hadn't thought much of the third one, but very good point. - n/t
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Tace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
2. Environmental Degradation Is Tops
1. Degradation of the environment (including global warming and widescale species extinction)
2. Tyrany of the central banks (which is leading to collapse of fiat currencies)
3. Corporatism (Fascism)
4. War (Including Iraq War)
5. Winter in the Asian earthquake zone
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I like that you don't distinguish between corporatism and fascism.
They really are inseparable.
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smomfr Donating Member (227 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. I assume you mean important things on the down side.
Its a little difficult thinking of major good things happening today so heres my list..... 1.Climate change. 2.Rise of religous fundamentalism. 3.4.5.Over population of our one and only planet.
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Your assumption may show something about you...
No one knows earth's carrying capacity. The problem isn't too many people, it's too few ideas!
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
7. Population.
All other problems feed on that one phenomenon. Except greed. No, even greed.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Is it all really a problem of population...?
...or couldn't it just be the way we choose to live with it? Merely changing our geographical distribution would make an enormous difference. While I don't deny that population, and specifically overpopulation, is an important issue, I have to wonder if it isn't such a problem BECAUSE of other things, rather than as the cause.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Nope.
It's the argument that goes around and around. I don't know why it isn't more obvious to more people.

If there were ten people on the planet, they could all have their own nuclear reactors.

Furthermore, it's not how we live, because we can't even feed ourselves if there are too many people. Forget about the modern society. Just think of food and water.

What is painfully obvious to me, is invisible to many.

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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I agree.
However, I think Mother Nature will eventually take care of that problem, whether it be via a flu pandemic, more frequent natural disasters (including global warming) or simply the expiration of resources (oil, fresh water, etc.)

That is, unless Man does it first through endless war and violence.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I'm convinced at this point that we will be our own undoing.
The last human words uttered will likely be "What was that...?" If it's a pandemic, it will be because we created it, either intentionally as a weapon or incidentally, as with the over-use of anti-biotics creating resistant strains.

In any event, intentional or not, I don't think you or I will see that end. I think it's almost arrogant to think we will. People far more stupid, violent and unaware of our environment and our impact on it have lived and died, albeit without thermonuclear warheads, and the world has always bounced back, with us still clinging to it and squirting out babies. I think most of us want to live, and that alone makes us as tenacious as we are dangerous. I guess we'll just have to see.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Re: feeding people, I think you're only partly right.
We can feed everyone on the planet today. The problem isn't with there being enough food, it's about distribution and what we eat. If everyone were vegetarian (and I'm not promoting this idea, just making my point), we'd easily have enough to feed the total global population today, and probably twice that. We also would have much less of a problem with deforestation, greenhouse effect and recombinant growth hormone. Even as it is today, our farmers are subsidized to NOT grow crops enough to feed Africa. But, as I said in the last post, it is a complicated issue. Some of those subsidies are the only reason Southern California has water. If they were retracted, L.A. would die of thirst (and some people wouldn't mind that much). We have the technology to hydroponically grow just about anything, just about anywhere. The reason we aren't has nothing to do with number of mouths there are to feed. The reason is that those who are starving don't have the money to do it, and those with the money don't want to spend it on the starving. Oh sure, they'll throw some chunk of cash at some charities once a year, but those charities seldom have a long-term approach to solving the problem (not that some don't exist). This is the same problem with fresh water. We have the technology to desalinate sea water, we can even filter urine, and make it potable. Why isn't it done? No one wants to pay for it, and the companies who own the technology sure as shit aren't going to just donate it to the world. Besides, the materials cost money, and on it goes.

I'm not saying that you are entirely wrong, just that I think you are oversimplifying the issue and overlooking some important factors other than population.
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. There lies the rub..."no one wants to pay for it"...
Generally speaking, those that can afford 'lavish' filtering systems, get them on a personal scale...the rest of us basically left to die from toxicity of our water supplies. Most people do not understand that water supply though immense, is finite when it comes to fresh water, (or salt water for that matter when you add man made pollution to the salinity. For some absurd reason, I was listening to Limbaugh the other day justifying oil spills because of the billions of barrels lost in the oceans during the battles of WWII! "No harm came from that"...this is the type of mindset people have. They see bottled water in the stores,so they think it is everywhere and of purity that can't be challenged. Everyone seems to have forgotten about Love Canal... :(

The same basis covers many areas, tax revenue is the perfect example. Rather than the population demand that money be used wisely to benefit all of society, we cut off the supply of cash to the government, funnel it to those who really don't give a damn, and them complain... :eyes:

Sometimes I wonder if there are really any forms of life lower than humanity
when it comes to the destruction of our earth as we sit by and watch it happen...we even push devastation closer to the edge.
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LearnedHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
11. Unfortunately, most are political, geopolitical/economic, and religious
1. Israeli/Palestinian struggle
2. Change in presidential powers in US
3. China's rise to economic power
4. rise of fundamentalism world-wide
5. rise of corporate power world-wide

Too bad I can't think of a single instance where the important things are happening in GOOD efforts -- no life-changing art, music, or literature; no benevolent group or political power that's making a real difference on a large scale. Well, maybe genomic studies and research will begin to make a huge enough difference that they WILL be important, but they're tempered right now by my #5 item: corporate power.
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jim3775 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
14. In terms of current events?...
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 09:32 PM by jim3775
WTO/Agricultural subsidies

EU budget deal

Australia race riots

Bush spying

Palestinian municipal elections showing strong support for Hamas which could mean Hamas will win many seats in the upcoming parliamentary elections

All of the major "big picture" stuff has been mentioned in previous posts.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Good point about Australia.
Are you Canadian, as your avatar suggests? The most news about Australia America gets is Crocodile Hunter and infomercial hosts. Isn't there a very right-wing white supremacist thing going on there (in Australia)? That is Rupert Murdoch's spawning ground, after all.
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