It has been said of every generation in the U.S. and it is said of ours as well: Every young generation faces the prospects of impending doom and a plagued society. We must be the saviors of the world or we shall surely face a regression to the Stone Age. The scenario has been played out many times over and we have yet to find ourselves in an apocalyptic doomsday, no matter how hard some boneheads in power seem to try.
While I’m not saying we are facing an inevitable storm of you-know-what, the clichéd mantra that “We need to change the world” appears to be coming true. We are in a position as the “millennial” generation to make a choice between sticking with the status quo and making necessary efforts to shift the momentum in humanity’s favor.
So here it is, the three issues that will mold our generation and our future:
1) Radically Change Our Food Supply
As the world’s population pushes past the seven billion mark, we face a dire food-supply crisis that is the most important issue to address if we are to improve our population’s health and basic ability to live.
One billion people don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Yet here in the U.S. we have the opposite problem. Heavily processed, sugary, fatty foods make up the bulk of our diets and it has resulted in an obesity epidemic. More than one-third of Americans are obese and the trend isn’t slowing. This is creating a more expensive health care industry with huge increases in obesity-induced diseases.
On the worldwide scale it’s quite the opposite. In order to meet our growing appetite, we need to double our worldwide food supply by 2050. But, the real challenge is to do so without further destroying our ecosystems and expanding our carbon footprint. Watch out fellow carnivores. I hate to say it but we need to shift our omnivorous tastes more toward the veggie side in order to halt our inefficient and ecologically harmful appetites for meat.
Watch University of Minnesota Professor Jon Foley’s informative and realistic solution to this problem.
2) Adapt Our Education System for the Future
We face an increasingly inefficient and ineffective public school system that doesn’t address the needs of all our students. Over 25% of students in the U.S. K-12 system are minorities, and whites are expected to be the minority in schools by 2023.
Yet with this reality, minorities do not enjoy nearly the same success and opportunities as many white students. Forty percent of minorities fail to graduate in four years, and most to not reach a college level. This is due to a curriculum and system that is outdated and ill-equipped to engage and support a changing population.
Rather than banning books that embrace our different rich cultures, we should foster an educational atmosphere that encourages cultural acceptance and focuses on widespread success rates. While fixing these injustices, we simultaneously need to upgrade our education to compete in a advancing global job market through K-12 language programs, technology integration, and more applicable methods of science.
If this is not addressed, we face an uneducated and uncompetitive workforce.
3) Invest in New Energy Ideas, Move on from the Old
The issue isn’t whether to drill here and drill now or remain hostage to foreign oil. What we need to focus on is changing the unsustainable culture that our energy choices have created. It might hurt to admit, but driving your Tahoe 40 miles to work every day ain’t gonna last for long. Gas prices may fluctuate up and down, but they will continue to increase over time and that will not change.
We need to convince the big energy industries that are stuck in their old ways of one thing; sustainable energy will be more beneficial to their pocketbooks in the long run. This might be an odd angle to go at it, but it’s no secret; money speaks louder than words.
Innovative new sources of energy create new jobs, industry, and economic upturn. Plus, no matter how much the climate change naysayers gripe, it doesn’t hurt to treat Mother Earth well.
These are three starting points which are all interdependent and connected. Their successful change will bring us back from the brink of misery and put us back on the track toward prosperity.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons