January 9, 2013

There are some things in life we cannot control.  As a matter of fact, I’m beginning to believe there are many things we cannot control but, we can prepare for their occurrence and survive to “fight another day”.   Sometimes being prepared is the only defense mechanism we have.   This is my personal belief.   I, quite frankly, have been extremely disappointed with the operation of FEMA and how they have responded to Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy.   Apparently so much red tape the system simple does not function in a fashion that provides services as designed.  Then again, can anyone really say our government works?

The World Economic Forum Global Risks 2013 report released Tuesday, 8 January 2013, presents a stunning wake up call to the entire world.

The report begins with an unnerving theory that sluggish and stalled economies worldwide are a direct distraction from long-term environmental horrors.  ” Global risks do not respect national borders,” says Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

“Two storms — environmental and economic — are on a collision course,” says John Drzik, Chief Executive Officer of Oliver Wyman Group, one of several companies which collaborates with the Global Risks report. “If we don’t allocate the resources needed to mitigate the rising risk from severe weather events, global prosperity for future generations could be threatened.”

More than 1,000 experts and industry leaders took part in the survey. Researchers asked them to rate the biggest global threats in five categories: economic, environmental, societal, geopolitical, and technological.  The following points reveal the 10 Most Frightening Environmental Risks, based on the experts’ responses.    These have to eye-openers to you as much as they were to me.  Let’s take a look.

  • Failure to Adapt to Climate Change.  We have ample evidence that our climate, on a global basis, is changing—no doubt.  I don’t think there is consensus in the scientific community that all of the change is due to man-made circumstances.   Our climate is changing.
  • Incurable Pollution.  Air, water, soil, you name it.  Human beings are polluters.  We are sloppy with the resources we have been given to manage.  We must make changes in the way we do business on our globe.
  • Antibiotic –resistant Bacteria.   Every year scientists and doctors identify new strains of bacteria.  Bacteria that mutates from earlier strains.  Bacteria we don’t really know how to handle.
  •  Land and Water Management.    We actually should say mismanagement. We just don’t take care of the resources we have.  I honestly believe the most precious commodity on our planet is not gold, not oil, not plutonium—but water.
  • Mismanaged Urbanization.   Urban density in some cities is so great the infrastructure is collapsing.  Water, sewage, roads, bridges, natural gas pipeline, etc.   Name it and we probably need to fix it or completely replace existing services.
  • Persistent Extreme WeatherCan’t do much to mitigate this one unless global warming is part of the answer.
  • Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
  •  Species Exploitation—Ecosystem Collapse.  Right now, there are five (5) billion individual species of animals, plants, etc on our planet.   Each day one or more is eradicated due to urban sprawl and loss of habitat.
  • Unprecedented Geophysical Destruction.  Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis
  • Vulnerability to Geomagnetic Storms.   Solar flares.

This summary is not very encouraging at all but at least we can agree we have a problem—a big problem.  The issues are bigger than greed, bigger than political parties, bigger than drinking beer at Ruby Tuesdays on Friday night.  We really need to get behind responsible agencies trying to bring sanity towards dinging solutions.

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