Much has been said about millennials and their view of the world, but one positive thing about this generation is that they share a general concern for their surroundings. Many of the studies and information developed on millennials tell that they are focused and purposeful. The following lists the world’s most severe problems according to a recent survey of millennials.
For the third year in a row, climate change ranks at the top concern for millennials. It is a pressing matter for the world over as the effects of climate change are devastating. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: “Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.” Human activity has contributed significantly to the current warming trend. According to NASA, the average surface temperature of the planet rose around 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) compared to the 19th century.
Likewise, 2016 also ranked as the warmest year to be recorded. Many species are struggling to adapt to the changing climate leaving them endangered. Climate change also seriously affects water systems across the globe. Some areas are in drought while others must deal with flooding. At some point, something that communities or individuals care about will be endangered if the climate continues to change rapidly and adversely.
War and Conflict
You hear on it on the news often, countries in conflict, thousands of people dying. Millennials named massive conflicts or war as the second most serious problem in the world. From Afghanistan to Syria, we have seen what battles can do. People lose loved ones, communities suffer, and lives are changed forever. Not to mention the impact of the conflicts on those who fought for them. There has been considerable coverage and even portrayals in movies and tv shows about how post-traumatic disorder can affect people. Large-scale conflicts impact the world over, not just when it is happening but long after it is done. Emotional traumas don’t heal like wounds, and some people carry the effects for as long as they live.
Inequality and Discrimination
Access to goods, services, and treatment that lead to a better quality of life is not available to everyone. Previously, women could not go to schools or study. That condition remains in certain areas to this day. They were also not allowed better employment or leadership opportunities, but continues to change. Women got and continue to get their place in society. However, as the world adopts, new types of discrimination rises.
From gender to race, there are many instances when someone became the victim of unfair treatment just because they belong to a specific group. There are inequality and discrimination everywhere. This affects social mobility and impedes the potential of people who otherwise could have changed things but were not given the option. The World Economic Forum suggests that countries can see their GDPs improve if they address inequality such as gender discrimination and so on.
Poverty comes with all sorts of problems. Across the globe, more than one billion people are suffering because of it. Poverty comes with starvation and disease. It can also lead to domestic violence, slavery, substance abuse, child labor, child abandonment, and even terrorism. The United Nations has already started its Millennium Development Goals, and while it has succeeded in some respects, there is still much to be done. UN agencies and affiliated charities continue to work on the initiative but not without challenges. Funding remains a problem with some areas hard to reach because of their location or ongoing conflicts.
Religion can be a compelling thing, and that’s why many people fight over it. Religion can even cause rifts inside families. Throughout history, religion has figured in some of the most prolific conflicts. Even today, it is a significant factor in terrorism. It has taken center stage, thanks to globalization which has changed and challenged everything. For many regions, religious identity can survive, and it can also become even more significant when political and national alliances fall apart. Some examples include the Serbs, Bosnians, and the Croats; Yugoslavia during the early 1990s; and disagreements between Muslims, Catholic and Christian Orthodox groups.
Not to mention how the Qur’an acknowledges the propensity of humans for conflict that it permits defensive warfare to an extent. This causes problems the world over, leading to so many lives lost.
Even on TV shows like Narcos on Netflix, you’ll see why some of the world’s biggest drug cartels prosper: corruption. People tasked to keep peace and order, ensure everyone obeys the law and prevent crimes are also the ones who allow criminals to roam free – for the right price. Corruption has taken a toll on many regions. Tax money that can be used to improve the lives of people goes into the pockets of crooked politicians leaving society with subpar and limited resources. Corruption is a hard thing to eradicate. It will continue to challenge the world over.
Other problems that millennials identified that will continue to challenge the world include food and water security, lack of education, safety, security, and well-being, and the lack of economic opportunity and employment. Generally, awareness and collective willingness to address these problems may help alleviate the impacts of the existing issues and provide hope in addressing them more effectively in the future.