The Least Read but Most Important News
Al-Nahar, Lebanon, November 17
As columnists, we often find ourselves writing about what we think our readers are interested in reading, and not necessarily about what we think is important. However, today I’ve decided to do the opposite and update my readers on what I think is hugely important for their lives: climate change, terrorism and modern technology. Taken at face value, these three issues seem unrelated. But the truth is that the three are directly connected. You see, the issue of Earth’s changing climate is related not merely to an increase in global temperatures or even to the disappearance of certain cities; it also has to do with the rise in bloody conflicts, revolutions, and migration waves. The depletion of water resources and the rise in the price of food and basic commodities is directly correlated with conflict. For example, the current conflict in Sudan is a conflict over farmlands and access to agricultural resources. In neighboring Ethiopia, the conflict between local ethnic groups emerged due to scarce resources and water rights. And even in Syria, climate change pushed people to migrate from the countryside and into the cities. Even the 2015 European refugee crisis – the crisis which, perhaps, threatened the European Union more than any other crisis it had ever faced – could be attributed in part to climate change. Migration from South America to North America has also been exacerbated by climate change and the depletion of resources available to people, leading to political turmoil at the country of origin and to growing anti-immigration sentiment at the destination country. And, as we know, immigration always carries an inherent risk of terrorism, since terrorists abuse political turmoil to spread their presence and establish new cells. Finally, there is the issue of technology. While technological advancements provided huge benefits to mankind, they also introduced several threats. Today, information – be it correct or fake – is no longer restricted to a small group of people, but has become available to everyone. The third factor is the tremendous development in technology, which is on the one hand beneficial to mankind, and at the same time harmful. Today, information (correct and incorrect) is no longer restricted to a small group of people, but has become available to all people, and technology and the attempt to discover drugs have developed to release the worst that the human mind can produce, harmful to the masses of people. As for spreading ideas and subversive sayings, they roam the world in minutes, if not in seconds. Furthermore, the technology used to discover cures to the worst diseases is the same technology that can be used to threaten mankind with novel biological weapons. Finally, cyberwarfare has become a growing threat on both developed and developing nations, with non-state actors taking down banks, voting stations and critical infrastructure like power lines, with the simple click of a button. Problems like climate change, terrorism and the regulation of technology are not issues that can be solved by the United States, the EU or China alone. Rather, the entire world has to come together and collaborate. At the recent UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), China and the United States were able to overcome their differences and cooperate because both countries have a common interest to fight global warming. Just like the two superpowers could work together in the field of climate change, they can also find ways to work together to fight international terrorism and regulate technology. – Mohammed Al-Rumaihi (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)
This Hanukkah Give the Gift of Truth
The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact based news that deserves your support.
The Media Line