2008 — Most Philosophical 6th Grader in America:
Hayden Lane, Ohio.
Is global warming the greatest challenge facing humankind?
While I do think global warming is a significant problem, I do not think it is the greatest challenge facing humankind. I believe that the greatest challenge facing humankind can be found rather in the root cause behind global warming continuing for as long as it has. My belief is that the greatest challenges facing mankind are some of the human race’s basic, underlying bad habits or tendencies. There are at least four major human behaviors to discuss. The first of these four is greed. Greed affects global warming in two ways. The first is the excessive use of oil, a fossil fuel that has limitations. Mankind has not been able to respect the limitations of oil and decreases the dependence on oil. The second of the two ways greed affects world problems is that greed causes wars. Wars require time and money. When war is occurring, the leaders of the world and the United Nations are focused on stopping war. This does not allow for much time to solve other important world problems.
The second of these four bad habits is the world being overly competitive. Competition does not always focus on problem solving, instead it focuses on winning and coming out on top. Some countries boast about their limited use of fossil fuel. It may be true that one country alone has a better record than that of others, however it is still a global problem. All countries are part of this planet, so there needs to be a shared goal to fix problems when they are on a global level.
The next human behavior that contributes to our world wide problems is the attitude of indifference to ideas other than our own. One country may think that their solution is superior so they will stop listening to other ideas proposed by other countries. When we behave with indifference we do not show concern to how our actions and decisions may cause more problems for other countries. Finally, there is a pattern for the human race to generate many goals and solutions, but yet we fall short of taking the required action. Action demands hard work and a decision to be content with a simpler life style. We must hold ourselves accountable for setting our ideas into action.
I have chosen this answer to the question because I believe that if we stop global warming without addressing and minimizing the role of some of the basic bad human behaviors underlying world problems, global warming will just be replaced with other devastating world wide issues. I will feel sad and disgusted if we fail to make the right choices for our planet.
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