It’s no secret that our world is in trouble. To many people, the problems just seem too big, and the solutions too unlikely, for them to take any kind of action. When we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s often easier to deal with it all by ignoring the crises.
A perfect example of this, is what was happening to the world’s economic system in 2007. Even with the warning signs of the analysts blazing and the alarms of the experts blaring, no one wanted to believe what was happening to the financial systems of the world, and where the economy was headed. It’s too big to fail, was the thinking. They [the governments] could never let it break. And precisely this kind of thinking was the basis for the way in which loans were handled, and how money was disbursed and spent in the U.S. at the time.
In July 2008, I was speaking with the financial advisor who was responsible for the life savings of a retired family friend. Continue Reading
By any measure, the 20th century was a wild ride for the people of Earth. Between 1900 and 2000, we went from a world of about 1.6 billion to over 6 billion people, survived two world wars, squeaked through 44 years of the Cold War and 70,000 ready-to-go-at-the-touch-of-a-button nuclear missiles, unlocked the DNA code of life, walked on the moon, and ultimately made the computers that took the first humans into space look like children’s toys. It was 100 years of the most accelerated population growth, and the greatest threat of our extinction, in 5,000 years of recorded history.
In 2010, the hopes of the world were high as we witnessed an unprecedented gathering of world leaders in Denmark to determine how to respond to Earth’s changing climate: the Copenhagen Climate Summit. The purpose of the series of meetings was to discuss, and hopefully agree upon, some kind of action, akin to a treaty, that would address the change threatening the world’s way of life.
As the conference began, there were powerful signs of promise and cooperation among the leaders themselves (rather than their representatives); presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens, and dictators alike had gathered to address a problem that transcends our differences of politics and policy.
By the end of the conference, however, hope faded into disappointment, then turned to despair over the outcome. Despite the best minds of the day preparing the research that brought the leaders together, Continue Reading
Many “firsts” happened in the 20th century: some good, some not so good, and some simply mind-boggling. Since 1900 the world has witnessed the first airplane and television, the first computers, and the first humans on the moon . . . along with the invention of microchips, the discovery of DNA, and the splitting of the atom. The world has also witnessed explosive, never-before seen growth in population.