With COVID Posing Itself as One of the Biggest World Challenges We Have Right Now, Here Are Some Others We Shouldn’t Forget.
The world is on fire, even before a global pandemic there were murmuring’s of world crises and growing dissatisfaction in how our planet’s natural resources are “wheeled and dealed” and the inequality that stems from it. We decided it was high time we took a look at the big, the bad and the ugly challenges we are facing currently because we know that Aluxers don’t shy away from the tough stuff.
So here is a brief summary of 10 Biggest Challenges The World Is Facing
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With that out of the way, let’s spring right back into the article.
The Wage Gap
Women and people of colour have got the short end of the stick for well… forever. A great way of demonstrating this is the Wage Gap. This shows the difference in earnings between women and people of colour compared to men and white people doing the exact same job. The US Census Bureau data from 2018 revealed that women of all races earned just 82 cents to every dollar a male in the same job earned. So, the gender wage gap is 18 cents.
However that’s not where it ends, that was the average. Asian women earned 90c per Dollar, while Hispanic or Latino women earned just 54cents to the dollar. Can you imagine doing the same job and knowing that the white male next to you earn double?
The truth is the wage gap affects all of us. Until this gets sorted out we won’t be attracting the best person for the job, nor will you be certain you have the expert you need in the role you need them and progress will be stifled.
Sustainable Development and Climate Change
There is no question about it, development is here to stay. Since the dawn of the industrial revolution no one has been under the disillusion that we would all revert to pre-modern living and run off and live in a cave as hunter gatherers. What you see is what you get.
But because we got here without much of a roadmap and more like an improvised approach similar to playing a game of Jenga, move things around and hope for the best. How we got here has left much damage and destruction and a lot of instability for our planet’s balance through habitat destruction and the use of fossil fuels.
Now future generations are left with the challenges of whether they can undo the damage or find a way to live within an ecosystem that is no longer sustainable. One thing is for sure, the environment we occupy is about to get a lot harsher, and resources are going to be harder to come by. How we face it as a human race will determine how long until our own extinction.
Health Crisis Management
The spread of Covid-19 cast a light on our preparedness or rather lack of preparedness to face a global health crisis. It showed how fragmented the scientific community is, and how dangerous bad reporting can be.
Now the world faces the next challenge of producing and rolling out a vaccine and how we will learn from this pandemic to prepare for the next one.
With a health crisis rumbling in the world, we need to know what an ideal health system looks like. So here are the Best Healthcare Systems in the World | Top 10.
In 2019 the World Economic Forum listed Water scarcity as one of the largest global risks in terms of potential impact over the next decade. So what is water scarcity?
It’s the lack of fresh water resources to meet the standard water demand. What causes Water scarcity is any number of things like droughts, lack of rainfall, or pollution of water sources.
You’re probably asking, but there is water right? Actually only 0.014% of all water on Earth is accessible and fresh. Then there is 97% that is salty. And less than 3% remaining that is fresh but difficult to access.
This makes “water” the new oil in terms of resource mining, and the one with the water will hold the chips. How we as a human race will secure water so that it is fairly distributed will be an ethical global challenge.
Food Waste and Food Security
To keep up with population growth we have to increase global food production by 60% in the next 30 years. However 30% or more or the food we produce today is wasted. This can be at the production stage, but also at retail and consumer levels where food is thrown away.
The problem isn’t only world hunger, it’s more of a vicious cycle than that. Food waste has a steep environmental price. The effect of dumping all that waste makes a big impact on climate change. Just processing wasted food in landfills adds 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. This climate change makes it harder to produce more food, and makes food harder to secure in more vulnerable developing countries.
Global food wastage costs about 2.6 trillion USD per year. That includes USD 700 billion of environmental costs and USD 900 billion of social costs.
Wasting food and how to distribute it better to increase food security for all is one of the greatest challenges we are facing today.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development or OECD had put the global unemployment rate at 7.7% in July 2020. Which is a slight improvement from 8% globally in June 2020. Since the Covid Pandemic has sent the world into shutdown and slowed the economy, unemployment rates have risen steadily as the world goes into a global financial depression.
However, there are strong regional differences. In Europe unemployment averages sit around 7.5%, while Japan is around the 2.8% mark. The US and Canada were reporting employment as high as 10.5 per cent, but luckily they have seen a fall in temporary layoffs which is pushing the unemployment down to 10.2% in Canada and 8.4% in the US since mid-year 2020.
The more notable differences in unemployment are between the developed and developing nations. South Africa for example, has an unemployment rate of 28%. But official data hasn’t been released of the effect of Covid on job losses, estimated to be 2.2 million jobs lost in the second quarter of 2020 alone.
The challenge of unemployment is how to keep a workforce relevant and empowered to continue being effective job seekers. Many of the figures only account for active job seekers, and don’t include those that have become discouraged and stopped looking for work.
Rich – Poor Gap
Believe it or not scientists say that the gap between rich and poor began 7,000 years ago. When the ox drawn plough hit the farming scene the class system was born. It was driven by the fact that suddenly land became more valuable than people. This is the moment that society became divided between rich landowning families and poor landless families.
Now this might have been accepted in early society where the golden years of one’s life were 40, but in a more evolved moral society it is fundamentally flawed to have such a disadvantaged population serving one with excessive wealth. And the disparity is not reserved for the developed world.
Rich people are living longer, while poorer groups of people have a lower life expectancy than their parents’ generation. Think about that for a minute. One side of the wage gap is trying every lotion and potion that can boost their life expectancy and look 35 beyond 100, and the other side is dying younger than the previous generation because of lack of access to basic health care.
That’s some f*cked up sh*t!
Energy Production vs Energy Consumption
Energy is a big challenge, how to mine it, harness it, store it and distribute it are what have started and ended wars. Energy production is also one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming. And while there have been some advancements in switching to more energy efficient devices like electric cars and LED lightbulbs; that is the tip of the iceberg of where energy is being consumed.
We need to completely restructure our reliance on fossil fuels, and design closed loop energy systems if we are going to maintain the standard of living we are used to and keep access to power at the flip of a switch. Many countries are already experiencing rolling black outs because they aren’t able to keep up development with the growing demand of the population.
Education as we know it has taken a massive shift since the onset of the global Covid19 pandemic. Many schools and tertiary institutions have been forced to close to stop the spread of the virus. And while it might seem obvious to just move schooling online, that is not possible in poor or unconnected communities. This is driving an even larger wedge between the education levels of privileged communities and disadvantaged communities.
College enrolment is also down in many nations, and if you are a first time college student, it’s somewhat understandable that you might delay being a freshman until after the pandemic so that you can at least experience the college social life. But the trouble is that this also means that in 3 to 5 years from now there will be a whole lot less graduates entering the job market with critical skills like nursing, engineering, teaching and so on, so there will be a potential skills deficit in many countries.
Echo Chambers and Social Media Polarization
Wow does social media bring out the worst in most people. There was a short lived period where we were all using it to raise funds and buy a house for a homeless guy but now it’s become an acidic environment of cancel culture and immense trolling of anyone with a different opinion.
And how did we come to have such flaming hot opinions that we needed to set social media alight? It all started with a need for social media sites to keep us scrolling for longer by suggesting content they knew we liked.
In no time at all we will have watched 30 videos back to back about the illuminati and have already joined several chat groups and signed a bunch of petitions and bought a T-shirt. The danger is that it is driving us all further and further away from people with varying opinions that might help us find a healthy middle ground to our beliefs. We seem to only speak in polar opposites these days, it’s “us and them” to the extreme, and people’s lives are being ruined.
The new challenge we all face is how to recalibrate and regroup as a human race. Now that we know what we know, now that we have all put all our cards on the table, what do we play and what do we throw away? This will be the biggest challenge to see unfold in the months and years to come.
What has been your biggest challenge of 2020?