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The 21st century finds the world facing what some have called a perfect storm of oncoming challenges. Without most of us realizing it, that storm is already underway, and is touching us already.
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What is that perfect storm? The primary aspects are:
Some of the results of these already-occurring situations include:
- Global warming trends, marked by changing weather patterns, rising ocean levels, melting ice, and global average temperature increases. The news coverage has been increasing, and governments are finally beginning to discuss what to do about it.
- Dwindling supplies of oil and natural gas that is relatively clean and accessible, a shortage (also known as "Peak Oil") that is likely to become much more visible in the next 5 to 10 years, but that is already causing nations to position themselves for strategic control of and alliance with sources of oil and gas. Oil and gas are key for transport, heating, fertilizer (and therefore food) production, and plastics manufacture.
- Depletion of natural resources, such as ocean fish stocks and other food sources, topsoil, and fresh water; this can also include the declining diversity of species due to extinctions, although some would rightfully point out that species can not simply be seen as a resource, but have intrinsic value of their own.
There is some debate regarding how quickly global climate will change, and what is the right timescale for us to implement changes; many are saying the time is today, or earlier, and speed should be as soon as possible. There is also debate about how much oil and gas remains, as well as about the suitability of available replacements ranging from coal and coal tar, through renewable fuels such as solar, wind and water power. If action takes place world-wide in a timely manner, it may be possible to avert some of the oncoming difficulties, or at least reduce their severity.
- Inflaming of regional and global conflict, much of it traceable back to poverty and the unequal availability of vitally needed local resources including water, food, and healthcare
- Drought and flooding, hunger and starvation
- Risk of global pandemic disease initiated in stressed areas
Despite the recent increase in news coverage of global warming, those discussions generally provide their audience with little more than surface information. In addition, the vital issues of energy availability and "peak oil", and of resource depletion, are rarely mentioned. This is quite dangerous in a world that needs to deal with and plan for these mounting challenges starting right now, and needs the vast majority of the citizenry to be informed and to support actions that are unprecedented in the scope and depth of their impact on daily life.
The environmental aspects of the converging crises which include global warming, fuel and energy issues, and natural resource depletion and species disappearance, are the focus of PlanetThoughts.org. These issues underlie many of the immediate challenge that global society faces. PlanetThoughts.org believes that the path to a solution lies first in better understanding of the environmental basis for this suffering, followed by and in parallel with individual action and concerted action to change government policies.
Many of the current military conflicts are at least partially based on creating or maintaining differences in wealth and resources, while conversely the intense societal pressures resulting from wars and conflicts often lead to an inability by the local population to pay attention to environmental issues and to the development and implementation of renewable energy technologies, and respect for resources such as forests, and endangered species, due to survival needs coming first.
This Web site provides focused environment information with positive energy and insight, for individuals around the world. The specific means for this include PlanetThought news items, quotes, reviews, stories, and tips, and discussion of any and all of these PlanetThoughts, and will also soon include selected articles and blogs by experts and policy makers. I hope you will join us here early and often, with an eye towards a positive future for all of us. Again, clear information is the first step, toward creating a population of citizen leaders in improving the world's environment.
Wishing a good future for us all!