Global Problems (en)

Deutsch

Here you will find a summary of the currently unsolved world problems that nation-states („our Merkel“) cannot solve alone. These are described in great detail in the already mentioned book „A World Parliament“. I have summarized them here in my own words and thoughts for those who do not want to or cannot read the book. They are all problems caused by globalisation. I am not an „opponent of globalisation“.  You cannot be against globalisation, because it is simply there. One can only try to do something about it globally, individual countries alone cannot do it.

1. Overpopulation

That’s where my involvement with the subject began. All the following problems described on this page will only get worse. The facts are described in great detail in the book „Factfulness“ by Hans Rosling. We expect by 2100 a saturation of the growth with approx. 11 billion people on this earth. Every year about 80 million people are added, which are as many as are living in Germany at the moment! They all have to be fed, live somewhere and heat their houses. The newly added 3.3 billion will also consume resources and produce waste. All this will present the world with huge new challenges. What is alarming is that predictions of this growth are almost exclusively pointing to the poorest regions, and they are in Africa. With currently about 1 billion inhabitants there, it is expected to exceed 4 billion in 2100. There is a website (www. dsw. org) on the Internet that proposes measures that should be implemented immediately: Combat poverty (see below), promote education, especially for women, and make freely available contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

What other global world problems do we have to deal with?

2. Climate Change

The world climate problem, caused by humans, is of course best known thanks to Greta. For me, there is no doubt at all that this is one of the biggest problems in the world and that it is virtually unstoppable.

For millions of years nature lived in balance. Through photosynthesis, the plants extracted the CO2 from the air and with the supply of solar energy, C was separated from O2 and the coal (C!) was stored in the cells. Then a forest burned down again and the plant material was transformed back into CO2 by the supply of O2.  Plants died, decayed and in millions of years coal, crude oil and natural gas developed from them. These so-called „fossil“ energy sources have been brought back from the earth by us humans for several hundred years now and are mostly burned. We use the energy stored in coal, but of course the CO2 is also generated and accumulates in the air. No forest in the world can work against these enormous additional quantities of CO2 and convert all CO2 back into C and O2. These enormous fossil fuels will continue to be extracted from the earth and burned in the next few years, also due to the additional billions of world population. And in the end, we can’t completely do without these energy resources.

In addition, there are reinforcing effects (I, as a control engineer, speak of extra couplings) such as thawing permafrost soils and the methane deposits released as a result, which cause even worse greenhouse effects than CO2. This greenhouse effect (CO2 acts as a heat insulator against space) melts ice areas and instead of sunlight reflection by ice, the sunlight is absorbed by dark soils and continues to heat up.

This can only be remedied globally by reducing the use of fossil fuels worldwide. If Germany were to completely abandon the use of all fossil energy sources, then only 1% reduction of CO2 would be achieved based on our worldwide population ratio.

The global solution can only be found if all countries march in the same direction. Immediate worldwide stop of coal fired power plants, worldwide switch to electric drives (with rechargeable batteries, this is the bad solution, better would certainly be the way with hydrogen) and billions in technology funds promoting technologies that can with the supply of energy artificially split CO2 into C and O2, i. e. into gasoline or gas and oxygen. These technologies are technically available (see Company Sunfire), but are not sufficiently funded! It is incomprehensible to me how wind energy companies such as Enercon and Senvion will get into economic difficulties because the number of newly built wind turbines will plunge. We’d have to pave the world with wind turbines to get out of coal-fired power!

3. Financial Crisis and Turbo-Capitalism

The whole financial system has become unstable. According to the book, there were over 100 banking crises up to 2000. I’m sure you remember the collapse of the Lehmann Brothers. Many of these bank crises were only laboriously prevented by the states with huge sums of taxpayers money. There are practically no worldwide regulations. The world has lost control over the system. The problem is even aggravated by national egotisms. In 1999, for example, the US government passed a law (the separation bank principle was abolished, see book for details) to promote US banks against those of Europe and China. This led to profits in the billions in large finance.

The main problems are tax havens and anonymous shell companies, with which large financial institutions can circumvent their tax payments. The publication of the „Panama papers“ has brought a lot to light. Drug money is also laundered and money is stashed there. Over 30 trillion US $ (1 trillion = 1000 billion!) are supposed to be stored there. About half of it belongs to the 1000 super rich of the world.

This can only be controlled by global legislation.

4. Danger from Nuclear Weapons

For me it is a miracle that since Hiroshima and Nagasaki there has been no further use of nuclear weapons against civilization. For me, it is only a matter of time before some crazy terrorist organization succeeds in getting close to a nuclear device. And I’m sure they have no qualms about using them. In the 60s, when I was a little boy, I had nightmares, because there were pictures of atomic explosions on television at that time. And it was certainly much more likely then in the Cold War that a nuclear war could have been triggered. But the danger is still real.

It is the deterrent effect that works and prevents states from using nuclear weapons. But today we are not talking about a deliberately triggered nuclear war, but about the danger of “accidentally“  triggering nuclear war. And when Trump and Kim Jong-un already compete with each other over the size of their atomic release buttons, then constant danger remains. A reaction to an attack must take about 7 minutes, as the past has shown, and that is a darn short time. This is the time a continental missile takes to fly from Russia or elsewhere to the USA.

There already have been several critical incidents where „carelessness“ could have triggered a nuclear war:

1979: Accidental feeding of a simulation of an attack of 2000 missiles on the USA on the surveillance screens. Only at the last minute of the available 7 minutes was this detected.

In 1995, a Norwegian sounding rocket was misinterpreted by the Russian armed forces as an attack by a submarine missile. Again it was recognized at the last minute.

2008: During the terrorist attack in Mumbai, Pakistan’s president received a threatening call, allegedly from India’s foreign minister, threatening to retaliate with nuclear deployment. Pakistan reacted instantly by sending up planes with nuclear warheads.

Despite disarmament in the last millennium, there are still 18,000 nuclear warheads in the world’s nuclear powers, of which 2,000 are on maximum alert. It is said today that a nuclear war would be over within one afternoon, with catastrophic consequences for all of us. The Hiroshima bomb had 15 kt (= 15 kilotons of dynamite, or 15 thousand tons, which would fit into about 400 containers as dynamite). As is well known, the explosive force is well documented. Today’s warheads, however, have a multiple of the explosive force: the standard is at least 2 Mt (=2 megatons of dynamite). That’s 130 Hiroshima bombs at once, equivalent to about 52,000 containers of dynamite that would fit on three of the world’s largest container ships. And that’s one of 18,000 possible explosives. We’re sitting on a powder keg.

Only a worldwide and complete nuclear disarmament with total destruction of all nuclear explosive devices can safely prevent the danger of a nuclear strike. This can only be achieved by a democratically legitimized world government endowed with executive power (see –> solution).

5. Terrorism

As of September 11, 2001, the U. S. has been waging war on terrorism. As a result, the power of the CIA has also increased enormously. Uncontrolled by the government, without any laws to observe, they do what they want. In Afganisthan and Pakistan a threat is created by drones that spread fear and terror. There have been 625 drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia and in Afghanistan over 1300. You want to fight terrorism, but instead you feed it with such acts and produce more terrorists.

In 2003 Iraq was liberated from Saddam Hussein, but there was absolutely no plan for what to do there afterwards. That’s why there was complete chaos. The old secret police of Saddam then joined the IS.

Such excesses can only be contained by a democratically legitimized world government recognized by all. There the representatives of the oppressed minorities can be heard and may feel represented. Only that can stop the terror.

6. Data Protection

It is simply a fact that there is no real data protection. As soon as data leave Germany or Europe, they are exposed to access by secret organisations (e. g. NSA). All citizens are explored, as was obviously documented by the well-known whistleblower Snowden. Today, no citizen of State X can legally defend himself against surveillance by State Y. This is only possible with global world law.

7. World Food

Famine catastrophes are the worst thing and it has happened in our history very often. Thank God we Germans, who are younger than 70, have been spared this so far. We don’t even know what starvation means. But that is not the case elsewhere: a quarter of all deaths worldwide are due to hunger and malnutrition, and 15 million people die of starvation every year. In 2015, the UN counted 800 million people as starving. Adequate nutrition has been established as a fundamental human right by the UN, e. g. already in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948: Everyone has a right to adequate nutrition.

Now some very bad thoughts may come up: If you fight hunger, the population will grow even faster! These thoughts are just as inhuman (and of course un-Christian) and in addition also wrong, as is explained in detail in the book „Factfulness“ already quoted. If all ultra-poor people were supported with sufficient food, the number of children there would decrease immediately, as can be shown in many examples worldwide.

But where will the food come from? On the one hand, food production can be increased (a possible 60% increase is estimated worldwide), on the other hand it is known that there is already enough food and that there should be no hunger worldwide. This is also not due to the distribution, but simply to the poverty of the poorest. They just can’t afford it. In addition, 1/3 of the world’s food is destroyed by overproduction. It is simply not economically worthwhile to make this abundance available to the hungry. It’s cheaper to destroy it. „Give us our daily bread“ we Christians pray in the Lord’s Prayer and God does so, only we deal with it irresponsibly. God can easily provide 11 billion people with enough “bread“, but he needs us to hand it out.

Speculation with food and acreage must be banned worldwide, since food is a basic right and not an object of speculation. The large corporations (Nestle and Co. ) must be prevented by law from making huge profits with food, especially when it is scarce. It is also a mockery when we in Europe have thought about producing diesel from food. Fortunately, this has not been put through with us (but elsewhere it has).

8. Water Supply

According to UN figures, over 800 million people have no access to clean drinking water. 2. 6 billion don’t have proper sanitation, and it gets worse because of point 1. UN: Water is a common global good. Water belongs to mankind, not states, not corporations. But individual countries’ interests torpedo a global organization. There is a UN Commission on water, only it is powerless. With it no regulation is possible.

Nestle buys the water rights from the tribal princes in Africa for a handsome fee and then sells it to his subjects. Of course you can make a great profit that way. This must be prevented by a democratic world parliament!

9. Poverty

According to “Factfulness“ (see above), there are four levels of poverty worldwide. The lowest is called “1$ per day per head” and is considered the poorest of the poor. It covers approx. 1 billion people. This group produces the problematic growth. At a UN summit in 2015, an Agenda 2030 was adopted with one of the goals: Eradicate this poverty. But the UN can’t do anything about it. If one wanted to help these people, it would cost 250 billion US$ per year. Sounds like a lot, but that amount was spent by  taxpayers in the financial crisis to save the banks. There’s plenty of money, only in the wrong hands!

With the current development aid, around US$ 2300 billion is said to have flowed into Africa worldwide in the years 1960-2006, but without any discernible improvement in living conditions. Corruption, incompetent public administration and other problems have caused money to seep into the wrong channels.

The book proposes an unconditional basic income as the global solution for precisely this level of poverty, maybe paid by the solution in point 2 (global taxes) or by global CO2 certificates or other global solutions by a world parliament.

10. Other Trans-Sovereign Problems

10.1 Overfishing of the world’s oceans

Overfishing of the world’s oceans can only be sufficiently combated by global legislation. Fishing quotas must be set and monitored worldwide.

10.2 Littering

Particularly in developing countries, there is no functioning waste disposal system, but packaging waste is growing due to the growing influence of food companies. It eventually ends up in the roads and the next rain moves it  into the rivers and from there into the sea. In addition, criminal garbage disposers in Europe dispose of our garbage cheaply in developing countries. This, too, can only be prevented by supporting infrastructure and global legislation.

10.3 Other Global Problems

Drug trafficking, the spread of epidemics and multidrug resistance, human trafficking, refugee crises are all problems that individual countries alone cannot solve. Of course, there are a large number of international alliances and globally operating executive forces such as Interpol, but they have no effective impact. Here, too, a democratic world parliament would be a promising countermeasure.

Continue on page –> Solution

Translated by Hartmut and Paula Schäffer