There is never a perfect day; then we could just die of boredom! What make us get cracking at dawn are the challenges of another day; of course, we all need some respite. Weekends are supposed to usher in some peace, but the problems are never far away; they just play on at the back of our minds. That is human nature. Maybe other fellow beings feel the pangs of hunger, find food and then sleep. But not quite; all have enemies, if not others then it should be us! As we are in the last week of the year, what ails and assault us take a brief pause; but will be back, with a vengeance, in the New Year!
US/ China impasse: It is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. That they both need each other makes us breathe a sigh of relief that there would only be some fireworks for mass consumption but both will not rock the boat and others also find themselves in the waters in the bargain! They are adversaries due mainly to politics. Any outcome from meetings between them is analyzed to determine who is the loser; making all out resolution impossible. China is accusing US for printing money, but are they also not buying up all the excess dollars from trade surpluses, releasing equivalent of their currency of about $ 250 billion a year? The US is already threatening harsher action as they are hurting from the lopsided trade.
Climate change: The issue is not only the deleterious effects on the environment but also the fast depletion of cheap fossil fuels. The oil price will sky rocket if renewable energy does not make a dent to reduce our dependency on oil, gas, coal etc. Also, many countries are at the doors of nuclear energy, with attendant risks from terrorism. The business as usual is just not on.
Economic crisis: Apart from US/China issues, Europe is beset with debt crisis with some like, Greece, Ireland getting help to stay afloat. With others also tottering on the brink, the crisis could get out of hand which can throw the whole world economy into turmoil and affect the unity of Euro zone countries and the future of Euro.
Dangerous Hotspots: The situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, North Korea and Iran can flare up drawing super powers into opposing sides. That could prove the last straw on the camel’s back, as the relationship is already mired in distrust.
We cannot help but wake up to the dawn of the New Year with much carry forward problems that cry for attention. It requires fine balancing act on the part of super powers not to get carried away into a trial of strength by playing to the gallery. A much weakened US and an emboldened China is a new reality in world politics. There are other minor players assessing their self interests in the changed world realities. The economic situation could tip over and when the reality bites from the excesses, some now swept under the carpet, we could face fresh pressure points.
It requires wise diplomacy and accepting the harsh new realities to overcome the challenges. The hope should never be lost; every step behind can also be a step forward. Necessity is the mother of invention and we can rest on history that we will find our way, despite the hiccups along the way. Many in Europe thought they might die in a nuclear holocaust during the height of the cold war days. That is history now; how it panned out in the end was like a miracle. Similarly, none benefits from conflicts that serve the self interests of few. It is clear that the ordinary man wants to be left alone everywhere; he is unwilling to fight proxy wars to stroke the egos of few leaders. Finally, he is the victim as his lot becomes worse with such mindless violence. Like a World War I veteran reminisced and wondered: what use sacrificing lives when countries sign a piece of paper, and is back to square one!
Let us see the big picture and not carry on with unwinnable stresses and strains. It is clear all be losers if we do not change tactics; let the headlines from New Year call for unity for progress; the good everywhere uniting to tackle the few enemies of mankind!