With the Fukushima disaster still leaking radioactive material into the Pacific, containment issues are being resolved one by one, but it will be years before true recovery can be realized. (Updates) Three and a half years after the earthquake that caused this massive folly of humanity, Japan is also thinking of reactivating two other reactors! They still have to convince their own people of their safety and, if successful, they will be drawing up evacuation routes in case of an accident. Reactivating these new facilities would not remove the threat of a meltdown: the frequent earthquakes that hit Japan every year. Just this past week, there have been six quakes! Even though they were small and far below ground, the danger is still a constant threat to maintaining a stable power plant.
On the other side of the world, BP is still trying to weasel out of paying for the damage during the oil spill cleanup of the Gulf of Mexico. I took a look at NOLA.com, and it seems they are more concerned with who is to blame, rather than dealing with the poison, Corexit, they have been dumping into the ocean to dissolve the oil. The people who work there have filed complaints against the company, and with a few settlements to try to keep the initial reports quiet, their voices are finally being heard. However, it is the ones with the money who have the best lawyers, and so I easily stumbled upon this latest article, confirming that those responsible are well protected.
Combined with the struggles in the Middle East, concerning the fight between the United States and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the Russian actions against the Ukraine, the world is full of its troubles. Many people pray for the best, hoping just to make it to the next day without any more suffering or regret, not knowing if the next day will bring the official announcement of World War III, or some new disease that threatens their lives and the lives of their families.
Alas, as our oceans are polluted and our skies discolored, as many die on the streets for ideologies or through the toxins we put into the air, difficulties arise at home. Here in first world countries, we are confronted with the daily challenges of unemployment, the poor, the homeless, and a common issue of what I like to call “the screen in between,”
There is unfortunately more at stake than our Facebook posts if we wish to continue to have clean water to freeze and dump on our heads, free time to take cat pictures, the joy of communicating with those from afar, and good, nutritious food. Yet, even in this age, we have only come so far. People who have nowhere to go are swept away by the splash of a passing car that is advancement, and even though the middle and upper class work and donate to take care of those in need, these problems still continue to exist.
The real question is, if we all work as hard as we can to help the world, why is it still in strife? Why are there still children suffering on the streets of third world countries that need our support? Unfortunately, many choices are made per day that influence thousands or millions of lives based on one defining element we have created for ourselves: cost.
As we have seen with Japan, reactivating the nuclear power plants would be cheap and effective, if they can just alter public opinion and get the inhabitants to believe it is safe. It is more expensive to build a power plant than to convince the majority to think, “A 0,1% risk of meltdown is such a low number, and those earthquakes are harmless. Next time we will be ready.”
How much would it cost to build a better solution? There are so many other types of ecological technology becoming available at the moment; artificial windmill islands, solar power, and (especially for this blog) THE LILLY PAD! (Just look at it, isn’t it awesome?) I also read that the developers of the Lilly Pad have recently been to Shanghai to search for investors to finance their project. Even though things seem to be getting better, like the Tesla Company doing a great job promoting and building modern electric cars, here we begin to see the real problem forming. Most of the inventors of these kinds of technologies do not have the resources to test or complete their work and make it cost effective.
And if it were up to me, there would be more space stations orbiting the planet to clean up our junk, finding ways to help us colonize the stars to compensate for overpopulation.
All the while, in Forbes’ report of 2014’s wealthiest people around the world, we start to see where most of the money goes. Of course, there have been many who have given up their wealth to help humanity, like number 119, George Kaiser from Oklahoma, USA. He used his own money to bail out the banks during the economic crisis, and continues to help a world in need through an organization that supports local education, health, and social services, called the GKFF. He does this as an oil tycoon and a banker. Some cannot be bothered with the state of the world, and concern themselves with the preservation of art, if you want to believe it, like David Rockefeller Sr. This is still an admirable trait, to give to the art world and fund museums, but without people to admire the art, it would all have been for naught.
Here, we come to the widespread belief that “Cash Rules Everything Around Me” (CREAM). Sure, we humans have basically created a system for trade, and turned it into our bread and butter. Those with money have the power. Every man has his price, and I don’t mean it demeaning. We all have our own dreams, from college funds for our sons and daughters to changing the world. Before that can be achieved, hard work and sacrifice are necessary. If two heads are better than one, then think of how amazing seven billions could make. If it was that simple, we would have already done it, of course, but cooperation and a common goal are necessary to make that one last small step for man, that one gigantic leap for mankind.
I see that kind of idea for a unified, peaceful world, day after day expressed by the concerns of friends, conversations with acquaintances, as well as books, movies and games. It seems we all seek to find some evil in the world that we wish to point fingers and blame. When the enemy seems invincible, like the police or the government, we suddenly feel powerless about what we think we cannot change. That’s when we stumble back into our chairs and watch the worlds of imagination take over. To laugh, to cry, to hear a story without personal endangerment, is something we need to survive and grow in a secure environment called home. We seem to reach for technology to laugh, to reach the glory of the gladiators, or to just be great at Tetris. Rather, we seek something that can fulfill that need for conquest that makes real heroes, the will to overcome the greatest odds.
Because we satisfy our imaginations so often, by watching the victory of a fictional character or taking control of a digital representation, there is less and less drive to take action ourselves. It is not that we have become slaves to technology, but we are as cavemen, sitting around a warm campfire, needing a bedtime story as a distraction from the creaks of the forest night. These stories are the times when we can leave our personal worries behind, instead of tormenting ourselves every minute that our species is killing the world, and our enemies seem too strong to defeat. As we look up to the heroes of fantasy, the thought of us being as strong as those we admire seems too far out of reach.
It seems that the worries will never go away, that wars will continue, and the unfair treatment of third world countries will never cease. It is a hard choice to make, to even want to change any of this. Yet those heroes in the stories we love are forged in the strife and sacrifice. Most of our classic stories, including most religious ones, are even based on these concepts. They might seem like “just fiction,” but the ideas are applicable in our world, even if we don’t believe it.
In regards to the established problems and solutions to the matter of the Earth’s sustainability, I have decided to take one of my favorite heroes as an example for this text. As you can see above, it’s Robin Hood! His story, whether true or false, has been retold again and again. Each generation for the past hundred years has had their version of the character in film, and the books reach back to the 1800s. The idea of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor has obtained quite the popularity during this time, preceded by the myriad of revolutions shortly before documentation of the long told story. At the end is mostly a happy ending, like in the Disney version many of us have seen. This gives us the satisfaction that the ideology could win in this world, regardless of our input.
Yet, the issues that plague mankind, even those not listed here, continue to thrive. With the 1% controlling most of the wealth, as reported by Forbes, there is something very wrong here. Even though intelligence and hard work are still necessary to achieve such financial grandeur, is it then so that the business talents of the world’s lives are more important, their work more valuable than all the rest? Are the hours of a bankers life really more important than a doctor or artist? I really don’t think so.
And so many would assume that a great reform is in order, or that we should tax the CEO’s of large companies to eliminate the deficit and create wealth and prosperity? Unfortunately, it isn’t possible. Most of their pay goes into stocks and bonds right away, and made tax free through the loopholes created by laws. Yet, it seems impossible that a few people could bail an entire country out of its debts, but it’s true. (US deficit overview and Forbes Top wealthiest)
At this point, I think that my idea has already become clear, and so, simply said: Steal from the rich and give to the poor. But with security so tight, it seems an impossibility to reach these financial giants to spread out their wealth among the masses. The only possible way to do it would be through changing the numbers on people’s bank accounts, like in the movie “Now You See Me.” This could be much more than a magic trick, if the rest of humanity is as good-willed as many positive thinkers wish them to be.
Hypothetically, we would have to find someone who could distribute that kind of money and pull a sort of “Robin Hood” heist. This could redistribute the money among the poor and sick, along with charities that wish to save our planet, instead of businesses and governments continuously destroying it with ‘progress’ and radioactive technologies. On the other hand, I am no hacker, and cannot do that myself. There is a group which has shown a knack for shutting down whole systems and making a noise heard around the world: Anonymous. Instead of hacking the Playstation Network and bothering Sony with a problem that can easily be fixed, such skills can be used for more than just sending a message for this corporation.
So, hypothetically, we could hack the accounts of the rich, even Wall Street, and start funding solutions for all mankind, instead of just complaining about how we want the world to be. If the completion of a game or a happy ending to a story are things which help us sleep at night, imagine the idea of a happy ending for a whole planet, along with the satisfaction that we have beat that final boss that is human greed. (Level: 9001 HP: 7000M with automatic regen…)
Along with all that, here is the 1% For the World! Thanks for your time and patience, this post took me a bit longer to write. 🙂
Next Week: The Screen in Between (Unless I get some good ideas from you guys!