World peace is nothing new in the political sphere.
It’s an ideal towards which politicians and political activists have been striving for centuries. Looking at the history of nations, it does seem that we live in a more peaceful age in the twenty-first century than any other age humanity has experienced. Then again, that might not be saying much. War and poverty are still very strong realities for many of the inhabitants on our planet. And, with some of the issues facing our species in the present day, those problems might only become worse if we don’t take action. Is peace something that can be realised on a global scale? Let’s talk about some of the political issues that need to be resolved before a peaceful global civilisation could ever become a reality.
You don’t need to be a political expert to know that division is the main political issue preventing us from developing a truly peaceful society. This has always been the main thing preventing peace and unity in the civilised world. Of course, “division” is a broad term, so what does it look like to have a divided society in the current world? Well, an American president has divided the left and the right with dangerous rhetoric about immigration and gun control. A British government has divided the left and the right with a referendum on the country’s membership in the European Union. It’s 2019, and there are still major issues in the U.S. with regards to voting rights.
People are always going to have different political views. That isn’t the problem. Division stems from a failure to reconcile those opposing views into meaningful policies that actually benefit society as a whole. Division stems from a government full of leaders that seem to serve their own careers and self-interests rather than the will of the people. Still, there are plenty of political figures seeking to share peace in the world. The key to that ideal being realised is a willingness to accept opposing viewpoints and different people. The fact that immigration is viewed as a bigger issue than climate change speaks volumes about the work that still needs to be done in our society.
Obviously, the topic of climate change is not always a simple one to discuss. Whilst the scientific consensus on the matter is definitive, the political consensus on the matter certainly isn’t definitive. That’s a testament to the frustrating nature of political deliberation, at times. Even when the world’s scientists in a particular field of research explain the severity of a situation, leaders weigh up their options. And, in many cases, political figures seek to preserve their financial self-interests tied up in fossil fuels and other industries which might be dismantled if a zero-carbon society were to become a reality. So, climate-friendly policies are blockaded by misinformation. Scientists who don’t specialise in climate-based research are funded by energy companies to deny climate change, and certain portions of the general public accept that information as fact.
Of course, you don’t even have to pay attention to the scientific community to see the political hypocrisy surrounding climate change. Greta Thunberg has spread the word about this important issue and inspired younger people, but her achievements have been diminished by many people because of her age. Even when the obvious effects of climate change and environmental degradation are displayed to the world, many want to deny what they’re seeing. This comes down to a fear of change; widescale societal redevelopment would be necessary to reduce our dependence on carbon-based energy. However, a failure to change and adapt will also threaten our way of life. People will lose their homes, and conflicts will arise over resources. The rise in refugees will cause conflicts in itself. Peace can only be achieved through an acceptance of the most important political issue facing the world: climate change.