Two Great Challenges of Our Time

There are two big challenges we have to face in our time. The first is a steadily growing inequality as well between countries as within countries.  The second is the danger of human made climate change.

Wealth is distributed today more inequal than ever. The average annual income pp is in the USA and other rich countries above 50.000 $, in China about 10.000$ and in many poor African countries 500$ and less. This doesn’t mean of course all Americans are rich and all Chinese are poor. The big part of wealth is in all countries in the hands of very few people. One percent own more than all the others. There are today more billionaires in China than in the USA.  And the 62 wealthiest people in world have more money than the bottom half of world population together. And the global development leads to more and more money in the pockets of less and less people. Don’t think that is not dangerous.  At first this inequality will cause even more violent conflicts all over world.  And second the growing inequality in the 1920ies did a big deal to cause the Great Depression beginning 1929. Today the development is even worse.

The other challenge is global warming. Climate change once consired as an issue for distant future has  moved firmly into the present. Corn producers in Iowa, oyster grocers in Washington State and maple syrup producers in Vermont are all observing climate – related changes that are outside of recent experience. So do coastal planners in Florida and city dwellers from Phoenix to New York. There are more dramatic changes. Residents of some coastal cities see their streets flood more regularly during storms and high tides.

Scientists have no doubt that climate is changing and that the warming is primarily due to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases. These emissions come mainly from burning coal, gas and oil with additional contributions from forest clearing and some agricultural  practices.

And there are countries the effects of climate change will be much worse as for the USA and most European countries. So it’s not unlikely global warming could trigger even more violent conflicts and migration movements in a dimension we haven’t seen before.

Regarding these challenges of growing inequality worldwide and global warming a billionaire, who thinks climate change is a hoax, can`t be a good cast as President  of the most powerful nation in world. But I remain an unteachable optimist and I think the majority of people will be smarter than most politicians. Future calls,  do we answer?  If yes,  we shall overcome.

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