It's hard to be optimistic. Any of us could easily make a list of 50+ problems that the world faces for which we cannot see solutions coming. These problems fall into three large categories -- environmental, political/economic, and social. And if we want to look at why the solutions are not coming, we can look at a single cause -- human greed. Here, in a short synopsis, is how greed prevents solutions to our big problems.
By 2050, the world's population is projected to be 10 billion. Such growth is accompanied by massive growth economies in developing nations and attempts at growth in under-developed regions of the world. Already we cannot meet the needs of this growing population (or so we say), and the environment continues to suffer. In fact, the UN Environment Programme and World Fund for Nature recently issued a joint statement which projected that oceans, fresh water, forests and arable land will be extinct by 2075. And of course, so will we.
There are some solutions already. And science and technology will be developing more as the years go by. Unfortunately, when governments are controlled by large monied corporations and global capitalists all working in concert, these solutions will not be implemented in sufficient amounts and rapidly enough to save the planet. When oil companies literally own U.S. politicians, for example, and when one political party controlled by those companies refuses to acknowledge the science, nothing of any magnitude will be accomplished. In other countries, government leaders are simply bought off in other ways. Corporate greed trumps the environment.
Because governments control their economies, these two are fully meshed. We have the world in political turmoil -- and it would not be so were it not for greed -- greed of governments for power and influence and greed of the wealthy who ultimately control those governments. Think about it. Whether Israel existed or not, if the Middle East grew broccoli, oil-dependent countries would not be there, nor would we care about their civils wars. No country goes to war without an economic interest on the part of the rich in that country. And that going to war has spawned every economic crisis we now face. Countries have gutted their economies for war, and so money is not available for improving the human condition in a country. But the wealthy? They make money on war. And the big lie is perpetuated that there are principles involved, as poor young men and women die.
The economic crisis of 2008 was fully created by greed and the failure of governments to put limitations on that greed. It's that simple.
The solution? There is none until a large enough segment of the populations of countries realize that government has become irrelevant -- it no longer exists to take care of its people. At this point, people may form their own self-sustaining communities, using science and technology, without a role for government.
Education: We know that an educated populace in any country is a key to its growth and development. Out of its institutions come the problem-solvers. And yet, we have a difficult time, in many countries, making education the priority it should become. Why? Because there is no money in it for the greedy. So, we fail to provide free higher education in America. And we fail even to provide free elementary education in many countries of the underdeveloped world. Technology has given us great delivery systems, and these will continue to get more sophisticated. Unfortunately, the greedy who control governments do not make it a priority, and so governments do not either. In some wealthy circles, in fact, the idea of maintaining an uneducated population is attractive -- it can be more easily controlled and lied to. Social
Again, the big problems are not solved because greedy people have no interest.
Hunger: While governments and even scientists tell us that food scarcity and famines have historically been caused by a lack of food supply and that solutions lie within technology, such as GMO's, the facts point in a different direction. There has always been enough food. It is the greed and failure of governments to distribute food and to put in place price controls to prevent greedy capitalists from making money that have caused famine. According to Jason Pontin, Editor in Chief and Publisher of the MIT Technology Review:
""famines will still occur because there will always be bad governments."
And those bad governments, as Dwight Eisenhower once warned against, are controlled by the "military-industrial complex," otherwise known as the greedy people.
If this is all beginning to sound like a huge conspiracy, it should. Greed has made a tiny percentage of the people in this world wealthy. And that wealth has been used to buy enough political power to destroy the environment, make government irrelevant, and fail the citizens of countries.