Today the world is still running on fossil fuel. A vast majority of the vehicles that we have are dependent on petroleum. Many of the world’s power plants are still running using coal. This is a problem because, fossil fuel is limited and there will come a time when it would run out. When that happens we would be facing a tremendous problem and all countries would have to face that.
Signs of Depletion
There are signs that the sources of fossil fuel around the world are starting to dry up. Oil wells in places like the Middle East are starting to run dry. As evidence of that, the various governments there are already looking for some alternative sources of income just to be ready once their oil wells really run dry. But the drying up of the world’s oil sources is not going to happen all of a sudden. It would be a gradual process as one by one the places that produce oil would shut down their facilities. The prices of oil would then skyrocket and the places that still have oil wells would then have more power.
The ones that would be held hostage there would be the countries that have little or no oil and have little economic and military power. They would be held hostage by the countries with oil and would be forced to pay whatever price would be demanded for petroleum. If they don’t do so then their industries and their transportation would ground to a halt.
We Have Got to Be Ready
The good news is that the running out of fossil fuel need not become an apocalypse for human civilization. There is a lot that we can do. We can look for alternative sources of energy because there are so many out there. All that it takes is for us to use the technology and utilize it in the same way that we used the internal combustion engine. We can use this as an opportunity to get started once again and use energy sources that are renewable and does not harm the environment.
Not Taking the Necessary Steps
Unfortunately, the governments of the world are not taking the necessary steps that are needed in order to avert the disaster. Instead of spending billions on research and the adaption of alternative energy sources we are still seeing the policymakers gearing towards the positioning their respective countries to gain access to the existing fuel sources.
Countries are entering territorial disputes because of land and of claims that other countries are intruding into their rights over islands and seas that are believed to be rich in petroleum. This is such a short-sighted thinking that would cost everyone a great deal in the future. When the time comes for us to face the reality that there is not enough petrol to go around then all hell might break loose. Countries could go to war in order to get a few million barrels of oil. That would really be an apocalyptic future.
The resignation of Benedict XVI and the election of his successor brought to light the problem of secularism in the Western world. Secularism is the principle that the government and those tasked with handling government duties should be separate from religious entities.
There are many ideas behind secularism. In one way it is a means of providing religious freedom to citizens. Since no one religion would be able to influence government decisions against other religious groups, every religion would have an equal chance. But in the most usual sense today, secularism is the belief that government activities should be free from any kind of religious taint. No religious group should become part of the decision and policy making bodies of the government.
Secularism in the Western World
The latter meaning of secularism is the one that is taking deep roots in the Western world today. This is proven by the fact that church attendance even in traditionally Christian countries are dwindling. The Catholic Church is having a hard time in finding young people to join the priesthood. Europe which has been the bastion of Christianity for centuries is now appearing to be quite done with religion. Surveys suggest that the number of atheists in these societies is increasing with each year and unless the various religions can come up with something, the trend is set to continue.
Religion and Government in the Rest of the World
While secularism is taking hold of the Western world, other countries are not facing the same problem. Countries that are predominantly Muslim for example do not have the same situation. Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam has a government that is run on traditional Islamic lines. Modern ideas have no place in it. The law there is followed as it is written in the Koran. The same is true with so many other Islamic countries and secularism has no place there.
Other countries in the East and in Africa are also having some issues concerning secularism but not in the same degree that Westerners are facing it. In fact the numbers of Catholics are growing in Asia and Africa are growing which means the number of faithful there is on the increase.
That is one of the reasons why they elected a Pope who did not come from Europe. Francis I is an Argentinian. He hails from the part of the world that has the greatest number of Catholics. This is seen as an important step for the Church and is taken as a sign that the church is finally taking steps in order to fight the rising number of non-believers in the world.
Secularism for Progress
But more than anything else, secularism is seen by many as a means of progress. The people who advocate it claim that religious beliefs are actually getting in the way of human progress. That instead of promoting new ideas, it is holding back human progress. They claim that while everyone should be free to pursue their own beliefs no one has the right to hold down the belief of others.
The recent attack on the Boston Marathon is a tragedy on a national scale. It has raised the fear of many people around the world. If a city such as Boston can be attacked with such devastating effects, then who is safe? Who can be free from the fear of such a terrorist attack?
But aside from raising the fears of ordinary citizens, it has also given rise to the concern of a small but growing number of people. These are the people who believe in conspiracy theories.
A conspiracy theory attempts to explain an important event on a national or even a global scale as something that was engineered and created by some group or organization. In some cases the theory points out to governments as the one behind the events. Almost all of the important events in recent history have become the subject of conspiracy theorists.
UFOs and Aliens
Conspiracy theorists just love talking about aliens and UFOs. They believe that the truth behind those things is not being revealed to us. A lot of people are claiming that the United States government is withholding a great deal of information from the public.
The most common claim is that the United States has discovered a crashed spaceship somewhere in New Mexico and that it contained the body of an extra-terrestrial in it. The theorists even say that an autopsy was conducted on the body of the creature that was found inside the spaceship. They say that the body and the remnants of the spacecraft are still stored in a government facility called Area 51.
No Moon Landing
Another fantastic claim by the conspiracy theorists is that the United States didn’t really reach the moon during the Apollo space missions. They say that the footage of Neil Armstrong bouncing around the moon surface was just staged in studio facility on earth. There are several things that they are pointing out which they hold as evidence against the astronauts really reaching the moon surface. One of those is the way that the United States flag was kind of flapping like there was wind there. Theorists say that it should not move like that on the moon surface, where there was no air.
Why would the government stage such a monumental hoax? It was meant to be propaganda of course. They want Americans to rally behind the American flag and it was effective in achieving that aim.
The September 11 Attacks
Now the most recent and the most disturbing claims of conspiracy theorists is that the September 11 attacks were not done by terrorists but were perpetrated by government agents. They claim that the World Trade Center buildings would never have collapsed the way that they did because of the impact of the planes and the power of the plane that it caused. They say that explosive planted inside the building would be the only cause for a collapse like that.
Now the same conspiracy theorists are tying the event in Boston with their own ideas.
The whole world was shocked by the terror attack on the Boston Marathon. The attack has left three dead and more than a hundred injured. But more than its direct effects, the attack has left a scar on people’s confidence to be safe from harm. This is the real message that the perpetrators were out to give to the world.
No One is Safe
More than anything else, the attack serves as a reminder to us that no one is really safe. Terrorists can strike anywhere that they please. That was one of the messages that we got during 9/11 and that is the reminder that we got on the attack in Boston. If terrorists can target cities like Boston and New York then they can target almost any other place on earth. Security measures would have little meaning. We have to remember that the Pentagon too was attacked during 9/11. That building is one of the most secure facilities on the planet. It was the command centre of the United States military and yet terrorists were still able to carry out a full scale terrorist assault on it.
Little Could Be Done
These events just highlight the fact that people who want to harm others and cause panic and terror can do so if they want to. There would be little to stop them. The less connected that a terrorist is the less likely that his intentions would be picked up by authorities to prevent his attack. The best that authorities could do is to take special measures to prevent the likelihood of an attack, but if the terrorist is still determined they can go on with it.
That is what’s happening in the Middle East where the authorities are aware that there are elements out to cause disruption. But because the attackers are willing to carry out the attacks despite the risks they are still successful. When the attackers are willing to lose their lives in the process, then it would be very difficult to catch them.
The attackers on Boston are not suicide bombers but still their kind of terrorism is hard to catch. They have worked under the radar of intelligence units and that is why they were so successful. With the sprawling security apparatus of the United States they were still able to do a great deal of damage then that just means that anyone can carry out the same kind of attack anywhere in the world.
The confidence that we can be safe, that is what the bombs destroyed in Boston. Now we would start to think twice before we can go out in public. Now we would no longer feel safe when we are in crowded places unless those become terrorist targets.
In a place where fear reigns supreme there can be little freedom. We would not be able to exercise our full liberty when we feel that we have to limit our actions because of the possibility of terrorism in our midst.