By Isis Win
OIL: We are moving a little faster towards petrol energy independence and some dependencies (such a motor vehicles) will not need as much gas it in the no so far future. As well, scientists estimate predictions of oil reserves may not be as not accurate as previously predicted and it may take lesser time to know it. Although today there are more means to extract oil from places it was believed impossible before, such as deep – deep underwater, being new technology, we are just learning about the possibly accidental consequences. But the point in mention, perhaps no so clear to some readers, is that major petroleum producing countries depend on sales of their reserves and they lack of an infrastructure to support themselves otherwise. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and the rest of the Persian region. The Emirates had been heavily investing in developing the fanciest luxurious touristic infrastructure. Will that be their ticket? Considering that only a small percentage of the population can afford those amenities, I wonder if large profits vs demand will compensate. Last: considering the levels of production in low wage countries and Global Economy, how could those nations fit into the new economy?
Cold war: NASA closed their doors to Chinese people, particularly to scientists. As well, research and high technology organizations had been beefing up their security across the board and closing their doors to China. Analysts believe this is the starting point to a similar situation once we had in relationship to the Soviet Union. However, so far both countries seek peace and commercial balance. Isn’t lack of both the #1 reason to divorce? Lol
Oxygen: Scientist around the world had been gathering data and so far their findings are seriously concerning. Celebrating 7 billion habitants of planet earth, the massive growth and the depletion of the ozone layer certainly point towards a serious situation in the no so far future. Not to be alarmist, but the suggestions are to start looking into this depletion now, much closer and before we are in real trouble.
Global Warming: The signs are obvious regardless of what the cause might be. The seriousness of the case is: once we finally, individually and globally recognized it, we have no place to go and it will be too late. According to top scientist around the world, Global Warming and ozone depletion is happening much faster than anticipated. We can blame the governments for this if your chose, but if we consider the effect of the planet’s population in this regard and what we’ve done so far to reduce emissions, the panorama is quite grim. We consume more water, electricity, forest products every day, housing is growing almost as much and as fast as the population. Although less pollutant vehicles are in high production more than a year ago, most people drive even a few blocks away to buy something silly as beer, cigarettes or post stamps. It is in our hands to pro-actively slow down the curve and as well, we must actively demand action in this regard from the governments and the industrial machine.
Cures: According to most colleges involved in Bio – Medical research, most of the financial allocations, grants, etc, had been made towards “mood modifying drugs”. Much more than to “simple” illnesses such as a common cold or fatal ones such as Cancer. The point here is about the proportion of investment in both areas. Financially mood modifying drugs promise a better return than cancer drugs. In fact, the latest reports in this arena show that there is a shortage in the production of many cancer drugs. Guess why? A low return compared to the rest of them. Depression and anxiety cases reported in the last few years claim there is an increase of a whooping 70% just in this country! This report is based on the tabulation of sales of this type of drugs. Aldous Huxley forecasted the creation of the perfect “Happy Pill” in his novel “A Brave New World” written in the 1940-s <Soma>. Many of his other revelations are happening as revealed.
Brazil: Since the oil crisis of 1973 government, investors and the farming machine had worked steadily to become crude products independent. They went from 80% oil dependency to 20%! It is amazing the most vehicles produced in Brazil are Flex energy, all gas stations sell ethanol. It is much cheaper than gasoline. Brazilians had gone all the way to support this change, There are compromises to ethanol use in cars such as, if the engine is cold, it will not start. Brazilians are coping with it.
Yachts: A report of sales after the Monaco yacht show, stated not only that sales increased in 2008 <even considering the financial crisis of ’08> but the average cost of a luxury yacht is around 40 million dollars! The largest country to buy them? the US! The sales had been increasing steadily after 2008. There are several yacht shows around the world most of the year that display and sell this luxury toys.
Health System: This question is a true challenge to the cynic regardless of how educated he/she can be. When a country is as rich as the USA (GDP 14 trillion dollars compared to almost 10 trillion of China) it makes sense not only we can have it but it should be a world’s class model. However, in order for that to happen, accessibility and afford ability to Higher Education is mandatory. That brings higher tax revenue to the country and as well, technological and scientific development will steadily grow. That will maintain this predominant financial place of the US. Education, a vital asset that through the last decades has been decaying and today presents a true threat towards our global dominance and as well the possibility of providing decent social services to those in need. This issue is specially important today, when several countries, mostly in Asia, had been making steady improvements in educational availability (including overseas education), make it affordable to most and their technological and scientific developments are growing faster than even before and compete with ours. As well. foreigners are no longer tempted to get hooked to the US financial offers than once kept them here.
European Rail System: An irony: The USA created our rail system, against all odds, at an incredible speed, it was the most efficient system in the world in the early 1900’s. So what happened? Airplanes took over. Which is a logical step up and there is nothing bad about it . . . except that plains are the worse contributors to ozone depletion However, the high cost of a fast and a nationally wide rail infra structure, is not something that interest large investors. In fact, it is a miracle that AMTRAK still is in business! But it would be ideal, actually is needed and hopefully one day it happens. If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying traveling by train, you have no idea what you’ve missed. I am one of the lucky ones and I am totally amazed by the Super Trains of Europe and Japan. But even the slow train in many countries is a true joy to indulge.
CEO-s indicted: They should be brought by the Senate and Congress panels and be inquired about this bubble and it’s failure They should state where the flaws were and how they missed the revealing triggers. They should become co-responsible in the creation a legislation that doesn’t restrict them and the industry, but avoids ever again abuse and neglect on their part. Otherwise they must face steep penalties. The damaged they allowed to happen is not a joke or as simple as a ponzy scheme. This is a blatant abuse of control and power without exercising any caution. That is their crime and they should be accountable one way or another one.
American Education: The US achieved it predominant place in the world based on higher levels of education, improvement in personal income and the development of many new industries. All thanks to affordable and quality higher education. Today, most manufacturing is overseas and our factory workers never were trained to develop high tech skills, as promised by Reagan at the starting point of NAFTA. On top of that, we’ve been sliding down steadily and drastically in the quality of education starting from elementary schools to college level. And to make matters worse, this is an area that is improving fast in Russia and most Asia, but as well, we can include a few no so developed countries such as Brazil. And remember, some of those countries are aiming towards supremacy. In case you are not aware, Wikipedia reports that we fall among the 30th place in regards of higher IQs in the world. Guess what countries are above.
Bailing Out Greece: This job has been achieved right after publishing this blog. However, at the cost of 50% of losses in all Greece debts to these European nations. It was cheaper to go that avenue than not to but it is clear the frustration of those countries’ rulers.
It is a fact that those European nations, as much as the US, have been living beyond their means. Credit, an incredibly powerful force to propel gigantic financial gains and commercial development, when abused create a reversed effect. This effect is not exclusive of the growing debt and the interest resulted from larger loans, but as well, it is common that when creating a larger debt based on credit, usually comes along with minimum or no savings at all. In the case of Greece, part of their failure was increasing their national debt and the other part based, on the fact that the country’s revenue is not compatible with the debt . Their Olympic Games didn’t recover the investment as planned and their vaults were not loaded enough to compensate for that.
As well, although Greece defaulted their debt anyway, if they would resort to bankruptcy, all the European credit would be compromised, therefore, other nations (because their deficits and as well government cost) would fall under the domino effect. All countries would suffer as well. Including the US.
The reason I post this type of questions is because I wonder if people reflect on issues like these, therefore are able to figure that living is not just a matter of their immediate environment or personal satisfaction or conflicts. The same way that outer forces affect how our planet will behave, we are subject to influences that fall out of our interest. However, today, in the times of global economy, natural disasters and fast and readily available communications, our immediate world is not exclusively affected by our immediate surroundings and lifestyle. We people have several layers of responsibility. Being the most immediate to our nuclear family, followed by our chosen family, friends, peers, work, associations, place of living, hobbies, etc. We have responsibilities in all those arenas but as well we have many others to our city, state and country. And the chain continues. The countries we associate with, as much as the ones we don’t, require a certain type of involvement such as represent our thoughts and feelings about them. That is a responsibility too and one that mostly is heavily ignored. And last but as important as our nuclear family is the responsibility we have towards our planet. Our actions may have a strong and important effect on the future of our planet. Countries that are focused in consumerism, tend to affect negatively our planet. It is of utmost importance to become aware of this and if we are conscious enough to get involved in halting it. As well, to do as much as possible to reverse any damage already done. Such as minimizing the consumption of paper, wood products, water, electricity and crude products. One of the principles of the ancient Buddhist beliefs is to create the least, if any, waves with our presence in our planet and others. It is a fact that looking at the raw results, we are presented as savages that act like if we are entitled to everything we wish, as we wish it and when wish it. If we all would have the consciousness of the importance of our presence in the world, society, family and apply common sense, we would easily arrive to the conclusion that we are doing more wrong than right. If that would end there, well, that wouldn’t be so bad, but the fact is that we are heavily taxing future generations, as much as compromising our lifestyles in the near future. I recommend you to watch the old science fiction “Soilent Green”. A scary, sad and very grim panorama, that although it is hard to believe we could reach that plateau, it is not only possible but we are moving in that direction really fast. Maybe not in our time but the children of our children will see some of those effects. Do we care about it? In fact, we’ve been living with one of those ugly results of neglect in many cities of the world: We are breathing more toxic air than a heavy smoker does during an entire life. We are ruining one of the fundamental blocks of life. If you don’t believe it, just visit Washington DC, New York City, Los Angeles, London even Tokio that has one of the most rigid legislation in regards of air pollution. China, India and Russia and already looking at a very serious damage in this arena. It is the responsibility of each citizen of the world to do something about it. Don’t you agree? If you don’t please present your arguments!
This world and our humanity are loaded with so many precious treasures that make this presence of ours a great journey. There is plenty still, but slowly we are facing facts that alter our possibilities and lifestyle. Just imagine what it will be 5 generations from now. For starters, let’s think about all those issues that we directly affect and hopefully we address them properly TOGETHER. The more we are, the merrier the old saying says. But that will not be the case in our near future if we don’t do anything to stop the damage. Thanks for reading!