Complex World Problems – Do You Feel Overwhelmed?

“Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes, a framework for seeing patterns and interrelationships. It’s especially important to see the world as a whole as it grows more and more complex.”
Peter M. Senge, Author The Fifth Discipline

What is your response when the problems in the world seem too complex? Do you feel overwhelmed?

                                      An Inconvenient Truth, featuring former vice-president Al Gore, please buy or rent it. My hope is you will be motivated to action and share the film’s message with friends and family, just as I’m doing here. It is a documentary film about climate change, especially global warming, based largely on a multimedia presentation that Al Gore developed over many years as part of an educational campaign around the topic.

                                       Larry King called it “One of the most important films ever” and Roger Ebert wrote, “In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film.”

Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere, which is necessary to keep our planet habitable. The gases are released by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, gas and oil, land clearing and agriculture, etc. However, we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and the inconvenient truth and reality of our planet is temperatures are rising. The evidence is overwhelming and undeniable-all ten of the hottest years on record, globally, have occurred in the last fifteen years.

                  website restates these facts:

The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years. 
Malaria has spread to higher altitudes in places like the Colombian Andes, 7,000 feet above sea level. 
The flow of ice from glaciers in Greenland has more than doubled over the past decade.
At least 279 species of plants and animals are already responding to global warming, moving closer to the poles.

A very disturbing fact is the rate at which of of this is occurring exponentially. If the warming continues, scientists say we can expect catastrophic consequences:

Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years — to 300,000 people a year.
Heat waves will be more frequent and more intense.
Droughts and wildfires will occur more often.
The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050.
More than a million species worldwide could be driven to extinction by 2050.
And the most alarming threat that should resonate with us all and move us to further action today is that global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide.

                       stop global warming for a comprehensive list of suggested actions you can take right now to promote positive change.

“Linear thinkers are always looking for a thing or person who is responsible. System thinkers take on greater responsibility for events, because their perspective suggests that everyone share responsibility for problems generated by a system.” Peter M. Senge, Author The Fifth Discipline