Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Biting the bullet

Can we approach the most troubling issues of the world without a coordinated political and economical initiative? Bjorn Lomborg drew public attention to reaching a consensus on resolving the world's most troubling issues. According to the Copenhagen Consensus we should first enhance HIV prevention, fight the malnutrition occurring in the 3rd world, establish a better organised free trade worldwide, and help African countries stop malaria. Global warming was the last thing on the list of things we should strive to resolve right now, as it would require most investment to produce relatively little effect.

The talk drew my attention to the immense problems we have to face, but also to the immeasurable trivialities we seem to get caught up in while positioning ourselves politically and ideologically. How far should our perspectives reach? I'm not setting out to convince anyone that the global warming consequences or blood sheds should be left alone, but I feel that there is much more beyond to resolve and explore both in fields of technology and medical research. The human mind has evolved to understand distances we can travel and time stretches we can perceive within our lifetimes, but with our current understanding of history, space, and biology, we should strive to push ourselves and our perspectives a little further.

The agricultural history dates back roughly 2000 years and we've been developing the industrial side of our existence for only about 300. At times I feel that humanity is squabbling with itself rather than focusing on what's ahead. The European politics, with yes, some important issues, but overall with an immense amount of human potential simply flushed down the drain to short-term and short-sight visions and solutions. How come is so much of the world still so far behind compared to its current capabilities? Going back to economics, it would take $40-70 bln a year to resolve most of the disease/malnutrition quagmire by 2015. I really do not mean to bash, but the $100 bln the US is pouring into Iraq seems a little out of place right now.

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