12 World Problems
12 World Problems
…of the compartmentalized thinking of the modern era, along with the assumption that the earth is ours to exploit as we please without regard to for the future, for our children, for the earth itself. We must reassume our historical responsibility for our children’s future by protecting their heritage. The reckless anarchy of the exploitation of the earth must be replaced by responsible dialogue among the exploiters, and among the governments of the earth. At present, we have a gathering of the Big 7 or 8 on how to manage the world to their own advantage. Such a dialogue, however, brings up questions of justice and fairness in the allocation of the resources of the earth. A new protocol must be worked out whereby the universal declaration of human rights is more than a pious wish-list that is lost in the scramble of big corporations to exploit the resources of the earth. Here, Gadamer’s insight into the structure of dialogue can help address these problems.
2. Natural resources running out, or being degraded. The oil, the water, the old growth forests, are all limited resources. They must be conserved for the most important future uses. Oil is necessary for the operation of all sorts of machinery, yet it is not being conserved but recklessly pumped out of the earth and sold to the highest bidder. Drinkable water, too, is increasing rare; indeed, it is sold in stores for the same price of colas. But underground water is needed for crops, and the underwater reserves are running out. Here, national and international management are required. The ozone layer becoming depleted, whole species dying, while we argue over whether this is really a problem. The key word in later Gadamer is solidarity, the solidarities that hold humankind together in many nations. Again, all peoples have an interest in the wise management of the earth’s resources and again we…