Global problems are the natural consequences of modern globalisation and unrestrained economic growth. They are the result of: irrational natural resource management; the expansive character of the current hydrocarbon-based economy; and the geopolitical standoff of superpowers possessing weapons of mass destruction. They are also caused by processes such as uncontrolled production, consumption, pollution, population growth, and pressure on the ecosystems.
Problems become global when they meet the following criteria:
- they encompass the interests of the whole of humanity in the present and future;
- they have a total and world character in relation to the nature of man, society and ecosystem as a whole and in principle;
- they have the ability to influence historically and evolutionary on the level of social and planetary existence and development;
- they possess a large-scale risk potential, and present a high level of threat in the event that they are not resolved;
- they are characterised by an absolute impossibility to be resolved on a local or regional scale using local resources, private instruments and mechanisms.
Global problems present both a t Global problems can be ranked in the following way:
- increasing environmental harm and the risk of environmental catastrophe;
- asymmetric development of humanity and social-economic disparity between people and nations;
- demographic problem: uncontrolled growth in the poorest countries and birthrate decrease in developed countries;
- international terrorist threats;
- a threat of a Third World War;
- food crisis and famine;
- resource and energy crisis and a deficient hydrocarbon energy sector as a current economic basis;
- socio-cultural and religious conflicts and conflicts of civilisations;
- regional separatism as a form of countering globalisation;
- latent class struggle, the deepening of classical capitalist contradictions and the emergence of new ones;
- pandemics in Third World countries and “diseases of civilisation” in developed countries;
- decrease in the general human intellectual level;
- the advent of the Sixth Techno-economic Paradigm and economic risks caused by the unequal levels of development in different economic and production sectors as well as unequal consumption markets.
- threat of a planetary scale and a factor of planetary unification.
It is remarkable, however, that the global problems themselves, whatever they touch, only stimulate a further process of globalisation. They do not require quantitative expansion as much as qualitative change, its own evolution and transition to something higher in terms of organisation, goals and, essentially, human integration. This is quite logical, because the global character of these problems (the environmental crisis, mentioned earlier, or the current state of the environment and the inertia of biosphere processes) incommensurately exceeds the solution potential at the disposal of individual states and even some international associations.
It makes absolutely no sense to try to solve problems caused by globalisation, which have become problems of the global world, based on the established pro and contra arguments of the Golden Billion Theory supporters and anti-globalists. We should have a qualitatively different scientific-practical platform encompassing conditions not only for constructive criticism but also for practical harmonisation of world design.
Otherwise, no such activity or criticism of globalisation from the standpoint of private interests or individual problems will ever be constructive, nor will it ever alleviate sharp contradictions of the global world or resolve essential problems that have reached the level of the planet’s survival.
It is impossible to resolve global problems, remove contradictions, and minimize risks to global world design when only one or several countries are involved, even if these countries have the largest populations and strongest economies. These are global, international issues at least because they have international legal status and require colossal funding. The need to achieve universal justice in the world forces us to take account of the interests of all participants of the process. Even the remotest participants in geographical terms from the epicentre of any problem qualify, because it is caused by a global problem. We cannot allow either any exceptions or minorities whose interests would be unaccounted for or ignored.
At the current consolidation and human integration stage for global problem solving, it would be naïve to suppose that any country would entirely abandon its own interests for the sake of global human interests when it involves global project practical implementation. However all countries realise that the global community has a common future, and in the event of the predicted collapse the whole of humanity will be affected.
The Planetary Project offers its own approach to analysing, interpreting and evaluating global problems of the modern world and a research platform for solving them in a systemic manner.