INSPIRATIONAL, 18 Feb 2019
The first advanced civilizations emerged about 6,000 years ago in the Nile, Euphrates and Yellow River valleys when farmers faced problems that they could not solve alone.
To prevent recurrent floods and droughts, it was necessary to build dams to control the flow of those rivers, requiring the organized cooperation of thousands of individuals. This gave rise to the first states, the development of written language, the codification of laws, and a flourishing of science and the arts.
Today we face some problems that not even a superpower can solve by itself, like preventing the spread of nuclear weapons or global climate change. Hopefully, this will lead to greater worldwide cooperation before it is too late.
Many governments are still reluctant to join a global authority to deal with global problems out of fear that they would lose part of their national sovereignty. But that fear is mistaken.
No country today, for example, has sovereign control over the ozone layer. By joining a global authority that can allocate and enforce emission quotas, we do not give up control over our destiny. On the contrary, we gain added control that we do not now posses and could never achieve at the national level.
Dietrich Fischer (1941-2015) from Münsingen, Switzerland, got a Licentiate in Mathematics from the University of Bern 1968 and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University 1976. 1986-88 he was a MacArthur Fellow in International Peace and Security at Princeton University. He has taught mathematics, computer science, economics and peace studies at various universities and been a consultant to the United Nations. He was co-founder, with Johan Galtung, of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment in 1993.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 18 Feb 2019.
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