High Noon: 20 Global Issues, 20 Years to Solve Them

By J. F. Rischard | Go to book overview

15
No Pilot in the Cockpit

This discussion of twenty inherently global issues is neither final nor comprehensive. For one, I intentionally left defense-oriented security issues out of the list, such as biological weapons, chemical weapons, nuclear arms, and small-arms trade. The security issues, such as conflict and terrorism prevention, that did come up on my list aren't of the same ilk as these more traditional security issues. For the sake of completeness, even those should be part of the full list of global issues.

And others should perhaps be there as well: top pollutants, nuclear safety and proliferation, and perhaps the twin issues of sustainable energy and sustainable agriculture. On the last two, I hesitated quite a bit but came out thinking that their inherently global aspects are already captured by some of the other issues listed—such as global warming and poverty. Hunger is the issue, rather than food, and it is deeply linked to the issue of poverty The planet won't run out of energy for quite a while, but it's the environmental consequences of its expanded use we must really worry about, with global warming topping the list.

Finally, there are issues like international criminality, crimes against humanity, and more generally the search for a new and broader concept of human rights. These could be the seed for a fourth category, which would be about sharing our values.

In any case, I am the first to admit that the list summarized in this book can and should be disputed. Perhaps there are only fifteen or so truly global issues, and some of those listed should not be there.

-153-

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