So I’m going to keep this short, but here goes:
Tonight on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, there was a report on the 2008 presidential campaign, and the reporter made a statement to the effect that in order for a candidate to have a chance at running, they would need to fundraise at least $100 million. There was also a comment made that some of the candidates would be raising close to $300 million. more here
A few stories later, there was a report on New Orleans and how the city is doing 16 months later. And it’s not good. Although the city has applied for more than $300 million in aid from FEMA, they have only received about 1/3 of that funding. Apparently the discrepancy is due to errors in the city’s application, but knowing they need that much money, and having seen the story above about the amount of money that the presidential candidate will be raising makes me sick. Why doesn’t the US government pledge to give more money to New Orleans and Louisiana in general instead of pledging to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq? It seems like we have all of our priorities backwards.
In Philosophy we are learning about the theory of Consequentialism, and soon about Deontology. Basically, consequentialism says that one makes decisions based on what is for the good of the people involved. So, if killing one person meant that 5 would be saved, and saving 1 meant that 6 would be killed, then we should kill that one person. We should live a life where we make decisions that are for the good of humankind. But, everyday there are contradictions to this belief all over the world. In theory, this is a great belief, but in order for it to work, everyone has to live by it. If not everyone lives by it, then it won’t be feasible. Instead, although a few will be making good decisions, a few will be living selfishly and constantly hurt those who are trying to live for the good of humankind.
On the weekend, Sheena and I watched Al Gore’s movie, A Inconvenient Truth. It’s awesome. It’s awesome in a scary, sickening, painfully truthful way. Gore has been saying essentially the same thing for 30 years, and really, how many people have been listening? How would the US, and for that matter, the world be any different had he been elected as president in the place of Bush? I’d like to believe that he would have focused more on the environment, and what we are doing instead of what other countries are doing. I realize that we have to proactive and the US is great for that; who knows, had they not done anything about Iraq, maybe Saddam would have done something. In any case, the issues that really matter, the issues that will guide our future existence on this planet, the issues that we know the least about are the issues that we are spending the least amount of time, money, and press on.
In my opinion, we (as a people) should be focusing on the following issues:
1) Space – there is life out there. When we do find it, it will be the single largest discovery in the history of the world. We mustn’t give up because there have been accidents. Read Michael Crichton’s new book “Next” and you may just see my point of view, or at least understand where I’m coming from.
2) Ocean – along the same lines as space, I believe that we need to explore the oceans more. Who knows just what they hold? And after all, 75% of the world is covered in water, and like 95% of that is salt water, which is not potable, so we need to also focus research on extracting the salt from the water.
3) Global Warming – as mentioned above, watch “An Inconvenient Truth” and read “State of Fear” by Michael Crichton. This issue is very real. This issue won’t be solved overnight. And if we don’t do something about it soon, then soon it will be too late.
4) Overconsumption – this has many facets, but the one that comes to mind is the theory of 80/20; 20% of the population consumes 80% of the resources. This is true in North America. If you don’t believe what I’m saying, or don’t think it’s really that big of an issue, then take a trip to the US. Notice how many fast food restaurants there are the next time you’re driving. Take notice how many vehicles there are on the roads. We are very quickly moving away from a people that is becoming so lazy that we would love to save a few seconds in the most trivial of tasks (why else do people do the things they do when they drive? – i.e. eating breakfast, reading the paper, putting on makeup?). Soon everything that we do in a day will be automated, and will require such little effort from us that we will feel very useless in the average day. More and more people are developing diseases (diabetes, heart disease) from what we eat, and what we don’t do (exercise, eat healthy). It’s very simple. Eat better, and exercise. Yet, many people think that only one of those will work. Some think that if they eat crap food, but exercise all the time, then they will be fine. That’s false. Some think that if they eat healthy food, but don’t exercise, then they will be fine. That’s also false. If you had to pick one, obviously it’s better to eat healthy than to not exercise, but everyone has the time and the ability to do both. They just need to cut out the less important things – watching tv, playing video games, watching movies, shopping, etc.
5) Less drugs – every so often, when I’m up really late at night, I’ll stumble across an infomercial about the book “Natural Cures They Don’t Want You to Know About” and other books from the same author. What’s amazing to me, and I believe this guy, is that he promotes healing through the use of everything but drugs from people like Tylenol, Advil, or Aspirin. From what I gathered from his responses, much of the cures are simply eating healthy food. And think about it. Why would any doctor want there to exist a cure for cancer, diabetes, MS, AIDS, and Alzheimer’s Disease among others. Why they wouldn’t want there to be a cure is because? if everyone is healed, then that means a lot less sick people, and a lot less doctors would be needed. Also, drug companies for sure wouldn’t want there to be any cures for the diseases that their drugs are supposed to treat because in that case they would be out of business. It’s late, and I’m headed for bed, and I could definitely go on about this issue for a long time, but for now, I will leave it at that.
We as a people have come a long way, but we also have a long way to go. The only way we can change is to think about what we see, hear, and read. In this way, we can all evolve as a species together, and help each other out. True, this is more of a communistic view, where everyone is equal but we can all do our part. As a whole, we have much more power than a single person.
Think about it.
That is all.
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