Amazon, what’s wrong with the world today and how can we fix it?

If you have a Kindle from Amazon, there’s a feature feature called NowNow. You ask it any question and 3 real people, hired by Amazon, search for an answers and send them back to you. (The service is free for now, but it’s listed under the experimental label in the menu.)

I’ve used it several times and the answers have been surprisingly good. Today I asked a question without any definitive answer, “What is wrong with the world today and how can we fix it?” Keep reading for the 3 responses I got.


Response #1:
Your Question:
What is wrong with the world today and how can we fix it?Answer from NowNow:
climate changeBy Dan Vergano, USA TODAY
Global warming’s demands on human ingenuity, and pocketbooks, will take center stage Friday in the latest international report on climate change.Whether humans bury greenhouse gases, blunt them with new technology or buy them off with tax incentives, banishing the emissions responsible for global warming will take quick action, experts conclude in advance of the report.The latest International Panel on Climate Change report, “Mitigation of Climate Change,” examines fixes — or “mitigation” in climate lingo — to global warming, both technological and economic. The report will underline the environmental and financial benefits of quick action to cut emissions, says report co-author John Drexhage of Canada’s International Institute for Sustainable Development.VIDEO: WWF urges nations to act, not worry about costsBut fixes also come with costs explored in the report. If governments, for example, impose fees on carbon dioxide emissions, it would raise the price of electricity for businesses and homeowners alike. For that reason, the USA and China, major users of coal, have objected to calls in the panel’s draft report for quick action on just such a move, says Tony Kreindler of Environmental Defense, an environmental research and advocacy organization.Problematic visions of the futureIn the first of two reports earlier this year, the World Meteorological Organization-sponsored panel, which features thousands of climate scientists reviewing studies, included a best estimate that average surface temperatures will rise roughly 3° to 7°F this century. In the second report, the panel concluded that environmental impacts of warming were already apparent in migrating species, earlier springtimes and sea-level rise. The summary warned of a future of increased droughts, floods and species extinctions.“We have three choices: mitigation, adaptation or suffering,” says Harvard’s John Holdren, co-chair of the National Commission on Energy Policy. “And we are already starting to do a little of each one.”A summary of the third and latest report’s scientific chapters will be released in Bangkok after review by political representatives of more than 100 nations, including the United States.The key debate in Bangkok, Drexhage says, will center on a simple chart. The chart shows ways that fast economic moves worldwide, both in technology and in imposing taxes or fees on emissions, would limit global warming. The key goals are keeping this century’s average surface temperature rise roughly below 3.6°F, he adds. That’s the point where many dangerous impacts, such as declining grain yields in Africa and the spread of tropical diseases toward the poles, almost certainly loom.The report evaluates mitigation from a number of angles:•Technologies ranging from better building design to nuclear power to carbon sequestration, which shunts greenhouse gases from smokestacks into underground rock formations.FORUM: Should we rely on nuclear energy as a way to combat global warming?•Future emission “scenarios,” ranging from a “business as usual” world in which fossil fuel use continues unabated to ones with strict limits on greenhouse gases.•Economic estimates from combinations of technologies, policies and scenarios.A ‘monumental’ task“The truth is we are facing a monumental challenge in climate change” tied to humanity’s widespread reliance on fossil fuels for energy, says Vicki Arroyo of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Combined with cement production, which requires heating immense amounts of limestone in a process that releases carbon dioxide, that dependence adds more than 6 billion metric tons of carbon to the atmosphere annually. The next climate report, Arroyo says, “will make clear there are costs of not acting, and there are costs of acting, to deal with it.”Money, not science, becomes the point of debate over climate change with the release of the mitigation report, says report co-author Anthony Patt of Boston University.On one side, Patt suggests, some will take the position outlined in February by Newsweek pundit Robert Samuelson that significantly changing emissions “would be costly, uncertain and no doubt unpopular.” Others will agree with last year’s Stern Review, an economic review of global warming’s implications headed by the United Kingdom’s chief economist, which argued that reducing carbon dioxide emissions would lower economic growth modestly this century, while inaction would trigger global recession by 2050 because of the environmental effects of runaway climate change.“In my view, I think the report will make plain that a lot of avenues exist” for addressing climate change, Patt says.No one technology or policy will address climate change by itself, Holdren says. The energy commission he co-chairs, for example, released an April report calling for charging businesses a steadily rising price per ton on carbon emissions, combined with government incentives and technology developments to lower emissions. “People are starting to notice climates changing, see it in their real lives,” he adds. “It’s too late to stop global warming. The real question is whether we can prevent catastrophic (man-made) interference with climate.”Source:
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/environment/2007-05-02-climate-fix-cost_N.htm
Response #2Your Question:
What is wrong with the world today and how can we fix it?Answer from NowNow:
Apathy, ignorance, greed, povertyApathy, ignorance, greed, poverty.  I’d say those are the biggest.  I think education is a big help.  Starting with one’s own self of course.Source:
opinion
Response #3Your Question:
What is wrong with the world today and how can we fix it?Answer from NowNow:
It can’t be summarized in one lineGosh, too heavy a topic for me for so early in the morning, but I am going to do my best to tackle it.  This is something I started thinking about a long time ago, and I don’t think there is an easy solution to the problems of the world today.  I think overall, the problem is that people think too small.  They often fail to see the big picture of things, and how the smallest action can create a “butterfly effect”.  People often fail to think globally—instead they think locally.  They think “how can this help me”, or even, “how can this help my community” instead of “how can this help the world”.  The big picture gets blurry in the immediate crisis people are having, say, feeding their families because gas is over $4 per gallon.  It is hard to think about kids in ethiopia DYING of starvation, when they are planning to serve Ramen Noodles to their own kids to feel them.  And when put into one sentence, it seems silly to worry about getting a scant meal here and there, supplemented by more nourishing meals, when children are dying off by the hundreds in a faraway country because there has been no rain to nourish their crops.  The question shouldn’t be what IS wrong with the world today, it should be what ISN’T wrong with the world today.  It is possible to fix it, but it is going to take a willingness on the greater part of humanity to fix—and that is the hard part.  Humanity can be cruel sometimes.Source:
http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2007/09/can-we-fix-it.html

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