There are many causes that could create a global crisis, from food shortages to financial shortfalls to the effects of global warming and climate change. But the biggest concern is what effect a crisis could have on humanity. When a crisis occurs, it is usually followed by some type of suffering that is endured by humanity. Some of the types of suffering include starvation, dehydration, illness, disease, dislocation, migration, and even death.
“The world is facing a hunger crisis unlike anything it has seen in more than 50 years,” Bread for the World notes. “925 million people are hungry. Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes. That’s one child every five seconds. There were 1.4 billion people in extreme poverty in 2005. The World Bank estimates that the spike in global food prices in 2008, followed by the global economic recession in 2009 and 2010 has pushed between 100-150 million people into poverty.”
Water is something almost everyone takes for granted, but the actual amount of safe drinking water is declining and in some parts of the world is nonexistent. Things like flooding can ruin water supplies for years, as it pollutes the water source with contaminants. This increases the risks of diseases and other illnesses that can spread rapidly through an affected region. “Worldwide, 884 million people do not have access to an improved water source,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note. “Many more obtain their drinking water from improved, but microbiologically unsafe, sources. Most waterborne diseases cause diarrheal illness Eighty-eight percent of diarrhea cases worldwide are linked to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene. These cases result in 1.5 million deaths each year, mostly in young children. The usual cause of death is dehydration. Most cases of diarrheal illness and death occur in developing countries because of unsafe water, poor sanitation, and insufficient hygiene.”
When disasters occur, many people will become dislocated. Their homes and shelters can be damaged or completely lost. Many times, migration happens as a result of this type of devastation. People leave areas of devastation in order to find a more hospitable place to live. “Typhoons, cyclones, floods and drought are forcing more and more people to migrate,” the Asian Development Bank notes. “In the past year alone, extreme weather in Malaysia, Pakistan, the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka has caused temporary or longer term dislocation of millions. This process is set to accelerate in coming decades as climate change leads to more extreme weather. ‘No international cooperation mechanism has been set up to manage these migration flows, and protection and assistance schemes remain inadequate, poorly coordinated, and scattered,’ the report states. ‘National governments and the international community must urgently address this issue in a proactive manner.’”
This migration as a result of climate change will affect the poor people more than others as devastation from disasters increases. The poor will have to migrate, because they will not be able to withstand the impacts of climate change in certain regions. Regions that are considered immune to climate change and disasters will become more difficult to find. As people search for fewer crises-prone areas, the possibility of overpopulation in some areas is quite possible. Overpopulation can cause a severe problem in sustainability, as it affects natural resources and creates economic and environmental problems. The natural resources used in areas of migration will be depleted at a faster rate, since there will be a higher demand. The overpopulation of an area creates a strain on the economy, as most immigrants will usually require some type of assistance. The environmental problem associated with migration is the fact that it creates more pollution and waste.
As researchers and scientists compile all the data they can and present it in an understandable manner, one thing is certain: the world is facing many challenges today, with one of them being the possibility of a global crisis. Although no one knows what the future might hold, solid research and compelling information can often give light to what is going to happen now and in the future. If some type of action is not taken to offset the inevitable, then the consequences may be devastating. Humanity must live in harmony with the earth, if it expects to continue. A greater effort towards sustainability must be achieved, if we are to continue living on earth. With all the possibilities of a global crisis, once one crisis begins, others are sure to follow, thus leaving humanity to deal with its own destruction, due to the instability that humanity has created.
Global Crisis image via shuetterstock