Challenges and impediments in the upcoming decade:
We need diversity of thought in the world to face the new challenges.
Tim Berners Lee
In this fast paced world everything has been so dynamic. From mere hunters and gatherers , humans have come a long way. From the basic motivation of just survival, it has become a lot more ranging from entertainment, industries, globalisation, population, governance etc. Revolutions have shaped us now and then. Lots of devastations be it in the form of natural calamities like floods, earthquakes , volcanic eruptions, etc. or man made disasters like 2 world wars, Chernobyl disaster, proxy wars have taken place. It’s 2021 and the decade has a lot more to offer. Better lives and challenges stand in the way. But let’s discuss today about the Challenges to face in next decade – What impact it can have on Earth and humans.
Where are we winning?
- Increasing access to water
- Increasing literacy rates
- Extending life expectancy at birth
- Reducing poverty (living on $1.25 a day)
- Reduce in infant mortality
- Reducing war
- Reducing HIV prevalence
- Increasing the number of Internet users
- Increase in GDP per capita
- Increasing the number of women in parliaments
- Increasing secondary school enrollmentI
- mproving energy efficiency
- Low population growth
- Reducing the prevalence of undernourishment
- Reducing nuclear proliferation
Where are we losing?
- Increasing total debt
- Increase in unemployment
- Income inequality
- Increasing the human ecological footprint/reducing biocapacity ratio
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Increasing terrorist attacks
- Reducing voter turnout
Where is there either no significant change or change is not clear?
- Freedom rights
- Electricity from renewables as compared to non-renewables
- Forest lands
- R&D expenditures
- Physicians per capita
Some important factors to be encountered in the upcoming decade:
Awareness against plastic pollution is spreading yet not fast enough. When it comes to the plastics crisis our researchers say that Only a small amount of the current activity has truly transformative potential.
They found that around eight million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean every year and only 14 percent of plastic packaging is recycled. And, 83 per cent of the water we drink contains plastic fibre.
Although the public’s and businesses’ reaction has helped up recycling efforts and invent compostable alternatives and increased activism, it hasn’t brought the fundamental shift needed . Still , the world needs to change the way it produces, consumes and treats end-of-life plastics, say researchers. The growing demand of convenience products and global throwaway culture drives plastic economies and it must stop, the report adds.
Migration and climate
Climate crisis is increasing poverty, fuelling drought and creating food and water shortages. Adding to this, is the growing inhospitable world that’s driving the migration rate to higher and higher levels. All this will lead to geopolitical instability.
Cape Town, Bengaluru and Jakarta are running out of water and 100 million people, according to the World Bank, have been displaced by climate change. Also, a billion people are to migrate by 2050, says the International Organisation for Migration.
Moreover, Researchers suggest that instead of looking for sustainability, becoming more resilient could boost survival. Reimagining refugee camps, rethinking products and changing models of governance may save the world from the impending calamity.
A divisive nature of nationalist movement is rising around the world, says the report. With the re-election of Hungarian nationalist leader, another nationalist gaining power in Brazil, Brexit negotiations and the China-US trade war, the world seems to be moving towards a phase of fragmented global politics, says the report. Nationalism encourages opposition and exclusion of groups.
The number of people participating in politics has increased in the past decade, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 2018. This may also impact Sustainable Development Goals as well as climate change, observe researchers.
To overcome this, they suggest, people and organizations must look for new opportunities to come together with people from different backgrounds, build connections and empathy.
We are, 24X7, throughout the year, unregulated consumers of the internet. So much so that, social media is home to fake news, extreme views, trolls, deep-fakes, bots and data breaches.
Soon, ensuring to keep the world plugged in without destroying the planet will become a challenge, says the report.
Internet’s founding-father Tim Berners-Lee and professor of internet-law Jonathan Zittrain call for a repurposed internet that will be regulated and will protect users from fake news and data exploitation. Also, heavy scrutiny of tech giants is required.
The rise of participatory democracy
Participatory democracy, which means a system that tries to maximise involvement of citizens in decision making, is rising and so are efforts towards an inclusive political system, the report adds.
If this approach is to scale, more investment will be required. And, in the long run, local governments and civil society groups can adopt it. Also, businesses can engage with governments to overcome mass migration and climate breakdown.
Changing consumerism in Asia
By 2030, Asia will account for 59 per cent of the world’s middle-class consumption and India’s economy may overtake the UK’s in 2019. The wealth created may have helped pull many out of poverty, but the waste it generated and resources it exploited put more pressure on the planet that it can handle.
To regulate this, there should be a collective social and cultural effort by brands. They can engage consumers in a two-way conversation about the future of materialism in Asia, say researchers.
Biodiversity in free fall
We are experiencing the sixth mass extinction event. And Compared to 60 million years before humans came into existence. Extinction is happening 1,000 times more, said scientists in 2014.
Agriculture, the biggest driver of extinction, is causing 80 per cent deforestation and creating less space for wildlife.
Plants and animals are adapting to this change by constantly migrating. Urbanisation too is adopting evolutionary processes.
Researchers say this resilience and adaptation of change is our best hope.
New research indicates that there are corals. Far more resilient to rising ocean temperatures and acidification . Also, regenerative farming systems, which aim to increase biodiversity and enhance ecosystem services. It also improve water cycles, increase resilience and strengthen the health and vitality of farm soil, could prove helpful.
Challenges to face in next decade – What impact it can have on Earth and humans. i wrote what i thought to be dangerous for our environment. this list goes on. It would cause something we wont be able to handle in future . It would be wise enough to take actions and start doing something early .
Lots of problems, lots of promises for a better world. It’s better we gear up and take a step forward so that we can combat these challenges and make this world a better place to live in. Taking care of the environment, living in harmony with all other creatures in sync will help a great deal. Improving life standards by providing education, better health care, employment opportunities and lessons of fraternity and brotherhood among different sects to make us realise this common goal of a happy one world. Hope you like my article on Challenges to face in next decade – What impact it can have on Earth and humans.
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