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Politics of Opportunity

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Abstract:

In the marketplace of ideas, Western Culture has been an unqualified success. Capitalism, science and technology, natural resources, and democratic government have raised the standard of living of large numbers of people. Advertising and television have sent the ideas of individualism and consumerism and economic growth around the world.

But even as many worldwide are striving for a high-consumption Western lifestyle, the planet is being overtaken by problems caused by that lifestyle. The world doesn't have the resources for its 6.5 billion people to be rich. There are looming shortages of fresh water around the world. We are approaching peak oil, which will sharply curtail the automobile society, and which calls into question whether world agriculture can grow and distribute enough food to keep us all alive.

Global climate change is emerging as a greater threat than scientists first believed. This is not simple pollution. Our rate of burning fossil fuels is building up carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and warming the planet. It is causing droughts, heat waves, hurricanes and floods. It threatens to disrupt the ocean currents, making Great Britain, among other places, unlivable. Global warming may flood low-lying costal areas worldwide as melting Antarctic ice raises the sea level.

The Cold War has left a legacy of nuclear terrorism. Around the world, countries are confronting the risk of owning nuclear weapons, and comparing that to the risk of not owning them. Historically, greater military power meant greater security. But in the age of nuclear proliferation and terrorism, we need a new plan.

Western Culture is obsolete. It has become unsustainable and too dangerous to pursue. We need a new cultural story for the world, one that can help us balance population with resources, protect the environment, and provide a peaceful future. And we need it before living conditions on the planet get worse.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • World Constitutionalism
    In World Constitutionalism, over two dozen scholars, academicians, administrators, and leaders of civil society have come together to pen their innovative ideas. It is an attempt to carry their vision over national barriers through the realms of Human Rights, Environmental Law, Feminist Justice and Global Democracy. World Constitutionalism endeavours to foster scientific study of world governance as a multi disciplinary subject with an added flavour of law to give it special sanctity in the minds of the Peoples of the World. The book is an addition to the growing movement for World Unity that presently reechoes round the globe.
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