modern problems: the new world wide web


The internet is a lovely place. It is a way of obtaining almost an infinite amount of knowledge about all sorts of things, from all sorts of places. There is a sense of togetherness and openness; the freedom to interact with others and their works. In other words, it is a web of billions of people connected in real time. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own myriad of problems, however. Ownership of digital content and digital rights management (see “What is DRM” by Defective By Design), psychological effects to mental health, and crimes organized through the internet are problems that we are still having trouble to deal with. A web of problems, all connected to each other.

This brings me to the web of problems that the world has to deal with: climate change. Climate change is not caused by one thing; there are many, many factors that caused it, and are still causing it. In fact, it is so gigantic and problematic that we also have to consider its effects on other problems. Here’s a map of that:

mindmap of our current global crisis

In a nutshell, climate change and urbanization are the major causes of pandemics, which in turn severely affects our mental health as well. Realistically, of course, there are a lot more factors that should be considered here, but it most likely wouldn’t fit in a mindmap.

With that, there is one question that we can ask ourselves: “what can we even do?” There is so much to consider, so much to think about, and so much to worry about. One person certainly can’t fix all of this, even if they were the most powerful man in the world. Truth be told, if they did try, they’d probably be already dead before they even get to see their efforts come to fruition. What we need then is cooperation of all, no matter what your world views and political leanings are. We’re too far in this for us to think that only a handful of people can ever bring change to our world. This world is everyone’s world too, and everyone has a part in putting back the dirt we digged for our graves.

For me, the best way to achieve this unity is through education. At our current point in time, the common sentiment is that we have way too many problems right now. Rising prices of basic commodities, the pandemic, and sociopolitical issues are popping up all over the place. Let’s ask ourselves this: can everyone really commit to a climate-friendly lifestyle? Are people willing to remove plastic from their life, a very convenient part of modern living, if it means having to change our lifestyle so drastically when we could’ve used that time for more… ““important”” things? Would you blame poor people for using plastic if they’re too busy with other things in life like raising a family? To an extent, you can blame people who can do something, but here’s another issue that rises: “is it the fault of the people, or the fault of the powerful?” Obviously it is both, but I mean, come on. What are corporations doing to help solve the climate crisis? We use 50% less plastic! We support climate responsibility! We even made advertisements so that people know!

There is no denying that the problem of climate change is systematic. It has been shown that even if the majority of the world population were to change their lifestyle, our efforts would still not be impactful enough to do anything (from TIME, BBC, and Business Insider). We will never be able to solve this problem if we were to just use paper straws or used eco bags. Sectors of our society like transportation, economy, and government would have to be completely overhauled and reworked from the ground up to do anything impactful. This is why education is important.

As individuals, all we can really make are short-term choices. When we are educated, however, we are able to agree and unify with one another to create true change.