( A twenty-minute read)
The world is in a mess.
What the hell are we thinking?
The myth with or without Artificial Intelligence is beginning to crumble. It seems that it is not just capitalism itself is in conflict with the pressing need to stave off a planetary emergency. It is the model that we pursue.
The economic system that we have put in place over the last few decades has rendered us incapable of meeting the most serious challenges of the 21st century.
Take hunger for example:
It was to be eradicated within a decade. Instead according to the most conservation measures there are about 800 million hungry people. In reality this figure is around two billion, nearly a third of all humanity. How is this so when we produce enough food to feed 7 billion with left overs to feed another three billion.
Take Poverty for example:
We told by the United Nations that millions have being taken out of poverty. This may be so but most of those millions are in China. A dollar a day is I am sure you would agreed is simply not adequate for human existence, to say nothing of human dignity. Even if it was five dollars a day there would be five billion people still be living below the poverty line. About 60% of humanity.
Take Inequality for example:
The World Economic Form met in Davos recently where Oxfam announced that the richest eight people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion.
Take Social media for example:
Despite mounting evidence that it is tearing society apart ( It contributed to Nine Eleven, to the Axis of Evil, to the Iraq? Afghan war, to the creation of the Arab Spring, to ISIS, to the Syrian war, to recruitment of terrorist, to bullying, to undermining elections, to the election of Trump, to populous politics, to mining our social anxieties, to selling ads, to competing additive Platforms, to non connectivity, to sow discord, to plundering privacy. ) it remains unregulated.
Take Development and the World trade organisation for example:
It enshrines policies to suite their own interests. It is estimated that for every dollar of aid developing countries receive they lose 24 in net outflow.
In 2012 developing countries received a little over 2 trillion dollars in all Aid. 5 trillion flowed out of them a net lost of 3 trillion. Since 1980 this adds up to a whopping 265 trillion out flow. 4,2 trillion of this is in interest payments.
The mobile phone has done more than all the western Aid to the third world.
Take Climate Change for example:
CO2 admission turned into carbon credits bought and sold on the stock exchange. We are pumping 40 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere each year. The Paris pledges don’t kick in til 2020. The Arctic is melting leading to a massive release of methane.
Certainly anyone who still thinks development is just a matter of increasing GDP growth and thereby CO2 emissions has yet to come to terms with the brutal facts of climate change. It seems that capitalism
Take the Arms trade for example:
The world spends some $1,000 billion annually on the military.
Ten countries are responsible for the vast majority of all major arms exports, accounting for 90 percent of global sales. The top five major arms exporters are the United States, Russia, Germany, France and China. Together, they account for 74 percent of the total volume of exports.
The US with a 33 per cent share of the global market.
The UK is the sixth largest exporter of arms in the world, with a 4.5 per cent share of the global market. Arms exports from the UK increased 26 per cent in the last five years. British sales of military equipment to Saudi Arabia topped £1.1bn in the first half of this year.
Take Fresh Water for example:
Fresh water makes civilization possible.
Take Deforestation for example:
An estimated 7.6 million hectares of forests are lost each year. Forests play key roles in the water cycle, soil conservation, carbon sequestration, and habitat protection, including for pollinators. Their sustainable management is crucial for sustainable agriculture and food security. The predicted future length of time in which rain forest destruction alone will release more carbon into the atmosphere than every flight from the dawn of aviation until 2025
Today, deforestation is increasingly driven by a growing worldwide demand for different globally-traded commodities, including soy, palm oil, beef and timber. 150,000 km2 of tropical rain forest is destroyed every year.
Take pollution for example:
Pollution from human activities, especially agriculture, washes into streams, lakes, estuaries and oceans. Already, nearly 60% of U.S. lakes are too polluted. Our oceans are full of plastic.
Take Energy/Power for example:
The world uses over 500 million terajoules of energy in one year.
Liquid fuels—mostly petroleum-based—remain the largest source of world energy consumption.
Total world energy consumption will rise from 575 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2015 to 736 quadrillion Btu in 2040, an increase of 28%. Most of the world’s energy growth will occur in countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
World consumption and production of renewable energy is dismal, fossil fuels will still account for 77% of energy use in 2040. Our use of energy will grow by about 35 percent between 2011 and 2035. If nothing changes, most of this increase will be covered by burning more coal.
In just 71 minutes the Earth is hit by enough solar energy to power the world for one year. If we could exploit just one tenth of one percent of this energy we would have more than enough energy to meet the world’s total energy demand.
Take Algorithms for example:
The new form of unseen Capitalism. Profit seeking algorithms run Wall street and other world stock exchanges. Algorithm, complex mathematical formulas, are playing a growing role in all walks of life: from health, to shopping, and jobs.
Algorithms are being used — experimentally — to write news articles from raw data. Algorithms are not inherently fair, because the person who builds the model defines success. They will be uses as scapegoat for societal ills.
The list of woes is endless and there is little hope of a global transformation of the way the world manages itself. We’re already close to points of no return.
I say why take the risk? We may have entered the most challenging and exciting decade in the history of the planet but if we don’t find a way of collective action there will be no point to any history.
The only way to make a global difference is by harnessing Greed.
A WORLD AID COMMISSION OF 0.05% ( See previous posts)
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks chucked in the bin.