§ 21 Global Problems of Mankind
Today versatile human activities has become an unprecedented scale, covering almost the entire globe. Spacecraft enable almost immediately contacted by telephone from anywhere in the world, and industrial emissions substances detected even in Antarctica. Ballistic You can shoot missiles at any target, where it resides. No country in the world can not avoid one or another of the global economy and international financial institutions. Consequently, a number of problems facing humanity, covering the globe and even near space space. Such problems are called global (from fr. Global - general, derived from Lat. globus - ball). These problems are studied many disciplines, including geography, though that in Earth geographical cover all components are closely interlinked through cycle of various substances and energies.
Glossary of Terms and Concepts
Global problems - Problems that cover the entire Earth, mankind, all the state and requiring for their solution joint efforts of the international community.
Global considered many problems, among which are the most important: disarmament and peace on Earth, Environmental, Food, demographic, energy and raw materials.
Buildings twin World Trade Center in New York became the object of most terrible terrorist attack September 11, 2001
The problem of disarmament and peace on Earth. Human history can be seen as the history wars. Only in the XX century. held two world and many local wars (in Korea, Vietnam, Angola, the Middle East and elsewhere). Only after the Second World War to the beginning of. When more than 40 international and 90 intrastate conflicts, killing tens of millions people. Thus if the ratio of international conflict victims about civil and military level, in civil and national liberation wars of civilians killed is three times more than military. And today on the planet continue to exist dozens of points of potential international or ethnic conflict.
Sometimes the objects of terrorist attacks are passenger airliners
Researchers distinguish several causes of war:
During the "Cold War doctrine of nuclear deterrence prevailed for maintaining international stability and security of States. During nuclear deterrence understand a variety of foreign policy for reduction of the military dangers of active deterrence of aggressors any attempts to solve military conflicts and wars. In modern the world is the concept of nuclear multipolarity, which means that several states with nuclear weapons deterrent. Construction of non-nuclear the world is currently unrealistic, because nuclear weapons remain one of important elements of world politics in the foreseeable future.
The negative impact of militarization (from Lat. militaris - military), that military power, not only the economy but also on society in general. Every year the world spent on military needs about 1 trillion dollars. Almost half of these costs are two states - the United States and Russia. In some countries, military spending in excess of 1 / 10 of their GDP especially in those who are constantly engaged in military confrontation (North Korea, most Gulf countries, etc.).. Some few of per capita income countries are investing more money in military sphere than in the social, such as China, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Cuba, Vietnam and others. To meet the demand for military goods and services, according to UNESCO, has 50 million people in the development of military character involved half a million scientists and designers, or 1 / 5 Scientists around the world.
Special unit to fight terrorism. U.S.
Especially great is the danger of nuclear weapons arsenals. Developed nuclear weapons have 5 countries - members of the "nuclear club": U.S., Russia, France, United Kingdom, China. The first two have several tens of thousands nuclear charges, the last - to one thousand charges each. In addition, nuclear arsenal is in the so-called "new nuclear states - India, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel (not formally recognizes the existence nuclear weapons), Libya and Iran (working on nuclear programs).
This weapon can be delivered to the purposes of transcontinental missiles launched from fixed installations, Intermediate range - from mobile units, missiles from surface ships and submarines Ship Navy, bombers that carry nuclear bombs.
The biggest loss bring military spending to the poor and poorest countries, so that the money could go to industrial development, agriculture, construction, social needs and not on procurement of expensive weapons.
During the war between Britain and Argentina in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Islands, 1982
On the world market still comes plenty of weapons, largest exporter by the beginning of the XXI century. were the USA, Russia, Britain and France.
Militarization suffer from various spheres of human activity. From Economy removed large funds that could go on address social, environmental and other problems. In the military spent the natural resources that could be used in folk economy. Militarization of the economy leads to removal of labor of millions of people who are in the army, which also must hold. Much money is spent on military research and development. Manufacture of weapons requires its test, leading to serious environmental consequences.
Disarmament (Demilitarization), ie, transition to war economy peaceful production of products - a complicated process associated with international politics of conflict and military rivalries of States. To take the enterprises that produce military products design, the manufacture of products of the peace required conversion (from lat.conversio - change, conversion). This process is complicated because costly to technical renovation of enterprises, temporary loss of profits.
The strategy of many countries in modern times is aimed at increasing military budgets. So instead of demilitarization of the world economy there pursuit of arms.
In the future the world will inevitably arises the problem of global shortage resources, especially energy and fresh water, which will facilitate the emergence of new conflicts.
Control over mineral rich regions of the world often becomes a cause of armed conflict
Environmental problems. is the result of human interaction and its economic activities with nature. First process mainly limited to removal of animals (in the process of hunting, Fisheries) and plants (like food, heating). Even in the distant times people set fire to grass in the plains or woods to hunt animals, and later - for the release of land under tillage. With the development of agriculture, animal industry and especially the impact on nature intensified, and in the second half of XX century. due to the rapid development industry and transport, population explosion, urbanization and Nuclear Tests sharply. Negative effects on human nature appears as a decrease of quality and degradation of its individual Components and pollution of nature in general.
A WWF-funded program of wildlife and plants
Pollution is expressed in the flow of the environment various chemical elements and their compounds (solid, liquid, gases), emitted by industrial, agricultural industry, transport, urban public utilities. Testing of nuclear and other weapons, the fighting polluting environment is very hazardous substances, especially radioactive. The largest range of pollutants supply the chemical, then - metallurgical and petroleum Industry and Electricity. Contaminant transport is strong, especially automotive and aviation.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has supported the adoption Stockholm Convention (2001) under which the 12 most highly chemicals should be excluded from all over the world. This - dioxin, polihloryvanni biphenyls and pesticides. Many of them have long banned in industrialized countries.
Emissions from internal combustion engines contain many hazardous nature and human health. The most dangerous is radioactive contamination that occurs because of nuclear testing, accident at nuclear plants and reprocessing of radioactive elements. Radioactive isotopes having long half-life may make the territory uninhabitable for hundreds of thousands and even millions of years.
Fire at refinery
Agriculture is also a heavy polluter of the environment. Most pollutant enters the soil from mineral fertilizers, especially phosphorus (radioactive isotopes, rare and dispersed chemical elements). In rural areas pesticides used to kill pests of agricultural plants, defoliants, for weed. These substances from soil enter the plant, then in the body of animals and rights. Stock-complexes as damaging nature.
Contaminants come in all components of an environment: air, water, rocks, soils, plants and animals. In human body products come with air pollution, food and drinking water.
The main effects of environmental pollution:
To reduce or completely eliminate pollution, necessary to observe the following requirements:
Yosemite National Park. California, USA
Negative influence on human conduct, not only pollution but also invisible man-geophysical field studies that environmental Geophysics. This electromagnetic interference (electromagnetic fields industrial equipment, household appliances, radio waves) that can adversely affect living organisms and man, ionizing radiation industrial enterprises and individual mechanisms. Harmful influence on health people some of the physical fields: acoustic (noise pollution), vibrating, electric.
Under the Environmental Quality mind fitness degree areas for specific type of development (for example, building enterprises or crop production). Deterioration environmental quality may occur not only when it pollution, but also as a result of intensive deforestation, excessive grazing farm animals, plowing the land, building transport routes, various industrial plants, storage industrial and domestic waste (landfill) and others.
Is most intensive deforestation of tropical forests, to a lesser extent - temperate forests. Felling of tropical forests is intensity of 20 hectares per minute, ie every second cut down area 2 football fields. Over the past 40 years, the area of
Reforestation is carried out only in developed countries. Deforestation forests leads to many negative consequences. Woods - original "Lungs of the planet." Natural forest systems purify air from dust and pollutants, emit oxygen. Plants - virtually the only suppliers of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere. Forests keep soil from erosion through densely intertwined root system, is a regulator surface and underground flow of natural waters. At the level of forest destruction groundwater is reduced, leading to the shallowing of the rivers; disappears many species of plants and animals, partly changing climate. All that permanently impoverishes the genetic fund wildlife Earth. Deforestation should be followed by their recovery. This requires development nursery tree crops, followed by planting saplings in place destroyed forests.
As a result of volcanic eruptions suffer serious damage to forests - the planet light
The huge negative impact on the environment carries Desertification is increasing land use for deserts. Desertification may be due to several reasons. This deforestation with further soil erosion and drying up of rivers, streams, and excessive grazing when animals eat plants, not only, but vytoptuyut them. Soils are deprived of the root system of plants, easily blown that leads them to wind erosion. Incorrect processing agricultural land can cause destruction of soil cover and the appearance of desert landscapes.
Plants on sand dunes. Utah, USA
Most intensive process of desertification in the Sahel zone in Africa, where Sahara Desert gradually becomes semi-dry savanna that used as pasture. Desertification is also characteristic South Africa, the Pacific coast of Patagonia and South America, Mexico, the Arabian Peninsula, the central parts of Asia, some areas of Australia. To combat desertification are different ways: creating lisozhysnyh strips, planting drought-resistant plants regulation of grazing farm animals, proper handling land afforestation.
Intensive economic activities of man, which resulted annually burned a huge amount of fuel, resulting in the removal of atmosphere of large amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide (CO2), and other solid, liquid and gaseous compounds. Some scientists believe that increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere resulting "greenhouse effect "when the lower atmosphere is heated by absorption water molecules, carbon dioxide and other gases share some heat radiation of the Earth, solar heated.
Harmful emissions causing ozone layer and create the greenhouse effect
Greenhouse effect may be causing warming on Earth and then ice melting in Antarctica, Arctic and mountain areas and increase Water level in the Pacific Ocean for a few tens of meters that will cause flooding low-lying areas hustozaselenyh continents where there are hundreds of millions of people. Warming could also lead to melting long-term permafrost in polar regions and a shift to natural areas poles. There is another point of view on global warming, which is concerned not with increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, and the intensification of age rhythms of solar activity. Surplus for the biosphere of carbon dioxide absorbed by the oceans and water output in the sediment in the form of limestone and other rocks. In any case, warming to 2 - 3 degrees would lead to loss in 1 - 2% world gross product, and for developing countries, several times.
Smog over San Diego. U.S.
Recently, much debate is about the "destruction" stratospheric ozone layer and the formation of "ozone holes" substances used in aerosols and refrigeration units. Ozone layer protects living organisms on Earth from dangerous actions short- solar ultraviolet radiation. However a number of scientists believe that the change ozone layer and the formation in him "holes" natural process, not associated with technical activities of people.
Environmental problems are the result of many problems and can not be resolved within individual states, because of its global cycle matter and energy in any country is the only natural membrane complex. To solve environmental problems required a fundamentally new energy-saving and not polluting the surrounding technology.
The scarcity of resources in some countries encourages the development of intensive management and implementation of new technologies
Food problem. At the beginning of the XXI century. Food problem was exacerbated in the world, due to the current speed population growth compared with the production Food, a significant reduction of arable land and freshwater water needed for agricultural production. Inaccessibility to many of the chemicals, irrigation, integrated Mechanization also leads to a stabilization or decrease in food production, particularly the most important product agriculture - grain.
According to different estimates, each year at the Earth from dying of hunger 13 to 18 million people, half of them - children. Number of victims of hunger so, like every three days on the planet explodes bomb, equivalent to dropped on Hiroshima.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, the 2008 the number of those going hungry worldwide rose by 40 million people and reached 963 million 907 million people starving and living in countries that developing countries. Of these, 65% live in India, China, Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia. In southern Africa one in three people suffers from chronic hunger.
Partial replenishment of food resources at the expense World Ocean. For example, over the past half century, ocean fishing fish increased almost 5 times. But unregulated fishing undermines ocean resources. Lack of food leads not only to malnutrition and hunger, but also to the rapid exhaustion of suitable farming farm land to poor health, conflict and increased tensions in some regions.
Calorie diet. Health
Residents of the earth as a whole provided enough food, but in some regions and countries is lack of food, while others - surplus. There are three types of food: natural, cultured and industrial. Natural food obtained from the collection, hunting and fishing. Agriculture and animal husbandry, which gives people food virtually unprocessed form, called extinct. Food industry produces food, processed enterprises, ie industrial food. In the modern era rapidly increasing share of industrial food products, especially in developed countries and, in the developing world, remains a significant share of natural and cultivated food.
For the XXI century. characterized not only lack of food, but its low quality, low content of basic nutrients (proteins, vitamins, trace elements). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1 / 2 the world's population as poor and in rich countries, suffers from minimal or improper diet. About 2 billion people, eating normally, shortages vitamins and minerals. In developing countries, chronic about 800 million hungry people. On the other hand, people and obesity Food anomalies - a new manifestation of food problem, especially in developed countries.
In connection with the food problem in many countries there problem of food security. For lack of food in State requires imports from other countries, leading to dependence on such deliveries. Food exporting countries can dictate conditions of the importing countries, threatening their security and independence. The U.S. and France self-sufficient in food above 100 %, And in some Western European countries it is close to 100%. Russia provided food only half.
The balance between the need tai food availability is determined probation. According to FAO - International Agriculture and Food Organization of the UN, at the beginning of the XXI century. average citizen Earth eat 2718 calories daily, a resident of African countries - 2300, Europe - 3410, North America - 3383. Estimated standard diet for one man is 2500 kcal per day. Malnutrition occurs when decreases the amount of calories to 1800 and below. At 1000 kcal per day comes hunger. Hidden hunger is characterized by lack of protein, fat, vitamins and trace elements (in practically one type of food products such as rice, potatoes). However, the calorific value ration can hide the number of those who hunger. More objective assessment is masses of people. The most difficult children suffer from malnutrition. Malnutrition leads to a weakening of the immune system, slow physical development shown on the abilities of the child. Malnutrition and hunger are most important causes of mortality.
Home food problem in developing countries - lack food, which causes - rapid population growth, urbanization, specialization in production of export crops. Many developing countries, exporting coffee, bananas, flowers and other culture, getting the currency to pay huge foreign debts. At This production of food crops in these countries is reduced. "Free" trade in agricultural products on world markets and international agreements within the World Trade Organization (WTO) allow farmers from developed countries to sell in countries that developing countries, cheap food, with production subsyduvaly state. Production is a competitive local producers that also leads to a decrease in food security that developing countries.
Population growth significantly outpacing production food in developing countries where the prevailing traditional farming system. Not enough funds for high-yielding varieties of seeds and thoroughbred animals, fertilizer and chemicals, agricultural machinery and creation of enterprises processing agricultural produce. For these countries, characterized by predominance, usually a consumer culture. In the countries of South and Southeast Asia in the diet nutrition prevails rice (75%), which allows us distribution is "rice" type food. "Corn" type of food characteristic of Mexico, Venezuela and some Central American countries and East Africa. Monotonous diet does not meet physiological demands, which are necessary proteins and fats animal and vegetable origin, carbohydrates, vitamins and trace elements.
Hunger, malnutrition, lack of vitamins and trace elements in food population in developing countries, reduce productivity, resulting huge financial losses to these countries for a year - from 64 to 128 billion dollars. Developing countries are forced to import food spending a significant portion of its revenue from exports. This undermines economy of some countries, strengthening their economic backwardness.
In developed countries there is also a food problem, and her other aspects. There are more goods of animal products, population consumes a lot of fatty and sweet food, leading to overeating. Work in cities is not associated with major physical loads and requires no increase calorie diet. In Europe and North America fats and oils gradually lose ground grain diet and vegetables. Products of American fast food "fast food" contain excessive amount of fat and sugar, adverse health human components. All this led to what the U.S. adult 55% of the population overweight. A similar situation has in Western Europe. Overeating as hunger, has negative consequences: increased susceptibility to disease (diabetes, hypertension and others.) increased mortality. Along with the excessive consumption of food followed by food allergy, food hypersensitivity (symptoms: headache, anxiety, increased aggressiveness, etc..) gastric disease.You can identify these solutions to food problems:
However, genetically modified crops spread to developed countries, but not in those developing countries where the vast majority those starving. In the U.S., more than half of soybean crop accounted for genetically modified varieties. On the other hand, science still does not give clear answers to neutral or dangerous for human health use of genetically modified food.
Solving the food problem is also linked to the rational use of ocean resources and increasing its productivity (mariculture, etc..) improvement of environmental conditions on Earth.
The demographic problem. The essence of global demographic the problem is the rapid and uncontrolled growth of world population, causing many problems. This problem of providing food, to education, employment and quality of life shortage of natural resources, ecology and instability in the world. Global demographic issue is mainly with demographic situation in developing countries but also in developed countries certain demographic problems are growing.
Fertility and mortality depend on the material conditions of life, traditions and features of society. The main trend is the beginning of XXI century. - decrease in fertility and mortality. After the demographic explosion occurred stage "demographic decline", which is characterized reduced fertility. Increase expectancy life caused a slight reduction in mortality.
In the second half of XX century, most developing countries, faced With the rapid population growth, which virtually wiped out progress and economic growth has generated a lot of social and environmental problems. Reduction in fertility in countries that emerging markets have closed the gap between countries with different levels economic development. In developed countries also have their own demographic problem. This shortage of manpower, which causes labor immigration from poor countries. And the presence of foreign labor force leads to tension in the IST.
Solve demographic problems is closely connected with solving other global problems.
Energy and raw material problems. Natural resources not only determine the comfort of mankind, but the very possibility life on Earth. Energy and raw material problem - a problem provision of human energy and raw materials. This problem first demonstrated in 70-ies of the last century. XX and XXI centuries. characterized exceptionally rapid growth in production of minerals. For example, currently produced annually from the depths of more than 100 billion tons of mineral resources, not counting hundreds of billions of related rocks. If rate of increase in mineral resources remain, the approximately 200 years the annual removal of rocks will be amount equal to the volume of crust of continents (250000000000000000 t), which stands above the oceans, which is practically impossible.
Main modern primary problem - the limited resources that are easily mined, and thus their production is economically viable. Complete exhaustion of mineral resources are not talking because the rocks Earth's crust and oceans of water have a huge number of chemical elements. For example, one cubic kilometer of granite includes millions tons of silicon, hundreds of thousands of tons of various metals, and in the waters of the World Ocean dissolved about 10 million tons of gold and a huge number of other chemical elements. But the cost of extracting these items today huge and the technology is far from perfect. In this connection it is problem of scarcity of mineral resources and of conclusion that can cause conflict between countries on this ground.
The costs of exploration and extraction more hard (hlybokozalyahayuchyh located in remote areas continent or ocean) mineral deposits quickly increase. For example, in the depths of the Arctic Ocean shelf tayatsya huge hydrocarbon reserves, but its production need an offshore drilling platform ultrahigh strength that can resist moving ice and ice or underwater (ice) plant. All this requires considerable cost and creation of a new technologies.
The current resident of the United States during his life an average of more than 1200 tons of minerals, thermal energy, equal to 4000 barrel of oil, consuming 25 tons and 28 tons of vegetable animal food manufacturing about 12 tons of waste. If in future the international community will this level of consumption, it would require a fantastic amount raw materials, fuel, food, a huge mass utvoryuvatymetsya waste.
At present level of energy efficiency is very low and the average in the world (including all technological chain) is 5 - 7%. Thus, there are more potential than tenfold increase in energy efficiency, price increases that will promote energy conservation.
In the distant future due to energy growth energy consumption compared to GDP growth will decrease. Now the European average increase in energy consumption per capita mainly associated with rapid growth of this indicator in the Latin America, East and Southeast Asia. According to forecasts, 20 years 70% increase in energy consumption will be determined by country developing countries. This can exacerbate environmental problems in the world if due to lack of funds to developing countries, use imperfect technology. Access to energy sources, the availability of these sources eligibility (primarily environmental) of their society are the most important economic conditions Energy XXI century.
Today humanity is almost completely depends on the volume oil, natural gas, coal and other mineral fuel. It is predicted that by mid-XXI century. increased dependence developed countries on imports of oil and natural gas. Oil will remain the main energy source in coming decades, the share of natural gas will grow rapidly, and the share of coal - will gradually decline. Probably, the maximum increase will be in solar, geothermal, wind and other alternative energy forms, but the value of their technology use remains very high. In Power expected significant reduction in the share of nuclear power plants. For example, in the U.S. and Western Europe provides for replacement of plant environmentally friendly (gas) power station. The share of hydropower plants also reduced due to exhaustion hidroenerhoresursiv.
Envisaged two stages of development of energy: the first - rapid rozvyvatok gas industry and energy, the second - new energy sources (thermonuclear fusion, etc.)..
No less acute primary problem. Raw material resources of the Earth are not endless. Not only depleted mineral, but territorial resources. Today already 56% developed land surface of Earth. Given the growth rate of extraction of mineral resources mineral resources question of their raw material depletion and hunger. But searches deposits will be conducted as long as it is economically viable. There are other ways - the replacement of scarce raw materials artificial materials, recycling of huge deposits of "tails" mining and processing plants and dump pits.
In the long term, humanity will be able to extract from the mountain rock crust and oceans of water and use of all chemical elements, complementing their range of artificial materials.
Of the above problem is closely related to the problem of overcoming backwardness and poverty in developing countries. Population did territories of the globe suffer from poverty, hunger, disease, unemployment and illiteracy. Today in the poorest 1.2 billion people around live below the poverty threshold, more than 1 billion illiterate, more than 1.5 billion denied basic medical care, every third child under 5 years hunger.
Backwardness of developing countries, compounded by demographic problem that is unfavorable for economic development dynamics population and its age structure. Exacerbates the situation that more than 80% increase in world population accounted for by developing countries. The huge scale of poverty and backwardness have questioned the progress human society, when the bulk of the inhabitants of the planet appeared below the decent human existence.
Governments of many African countries can not without the help of the international community to overcome poverty, unemployment, epidemics
UN General Assembly unanimously approved 04/22/2009 by resolution the proclamation of April 22 the International Day of Mother Earth. It stresses that to achieve a just balance between economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations to promote harmony with nature and the planet Earth.
The American edition of The Forbes has published a ranking of most environmentally friendly countries in 2008 140 countries were evaluated in 25 criteria (ranging from clean air and water quality and finishing variant and the use of biological pesticides).
Cleanest in the world recognized Switzerland (one of the richest countries svitiu in terms of per capita GDP), which scored 100 points for 8 environmental criteria including water quality, quantity and purity forests, minimal use of pesticides.
In Sweden consistently high environmental performance, which directly displayed on the health of its residents. This low level of contamination air, clean drinking water, low greenhouse gas emissions, careful attitude to forests.
Norway - is one of the richest countries, which boasts excellent water quality, sanitation (effective treatment), air. Norwegians least prone to respiratory diseases.
Economy of Costa Rica ecotourism industry depends on, so here a great emphasis on caring for the environment. Unlike from its Latin American neighbors, the country avoids cutting of forest. The country has 97 points out of 100 possible categories in forestry clean air.
Among the cleanest countries - Colombia, New Zealand, Japan, Croatia, Albania, Israel.