2008 – Seventh Grade Honorable Mention:

Louis Balcziak, Minnesota.

Is global warming the greatest challenge facing humankind?

I don't think so, but something else is...

Greed. We are uncomfortable with the subject. We experience it every
day. It is a howling beast that stalks us everywhere, holding Power
and Dominance in its jaws. When it strikes, we take an opportunity to
appease ourselves, and that diminishes other people. But with Greed
follows Envy, then Retribution.

The menace of Greed comes in many forms: eating too much,
overspending, gambling, drinking. We do it only because we want
something extra in our lives, even if it lasts a few seconds. We can
manipulate, steal, and even murder for riches, experiences, and more.
Baseball team owners make millions every year just from owning the
team, and are worth billions of dollars. Some of them then want to
expand their wealth by requesting taxpayers' money to be put to use to
build a new stadium. The impact is that the taxpayers' money could
have been used for education, health, safety, etc.

The car companies could have made fuel-efficient cars long ago, but
they kept selling SUVs and other gas-guzzling cars. The car companies
are earning far more by selling larger, less efficient cars, because
they didn't have to develop any new technoloy and because the profit
margin is higher in larger vehicles. The profit is driven by peoples'
desire to have larger, more luxurious cars. Few people considered the
effects on the environment. Greed helped contribute to the problem of
global warming.

Greed can form partnerships between two businesses. For example, the
oil companies work with some governments and nations, bribes are
handed to leaders, and the management of the oil companies suck in the
riches. Their greed takes away from the harder working people who man
the massive rigs.

Nations have gone to war, invaded, and slaughtered millions for gold,
silver, and other resources, just to make themselves much more
powerful, and to fill their coffers with ill-gotten gain. The Romans,
Egyptians, British, and French empires have done it in the past, and
so has America. We are doing it during the war in Iraq, just for the
oil, not for the people. We wanted the resources, so we marched off
to fight. we have spent billions of dollars on the war, but it will
have devastating effects on our economy for generations.

Greed is the cause of global warming, and even if we find ways to
stop global warming, new problems will appear as long as we are
greedy. Greed is a huge feral beast that has plagued mankind for eons.
It is the greatest challenge we have ever faced. As Greed continues
to grow over time, more problems and conflicts will arise. As Lance
Armstrong once said, "The riskiest thing you can do is get greedy."





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