The Three Most Important Issues
They are, in no particular order:
- The threat to the Internet. The Internet is the hope of the world. For the first time in history, the little guy has access to the whole world. They may not find him, but he's out there, shouting from his or her Web page, and some of the combined information is incredibly valuable. There's been the concept of "Net Neutrality" - that the telecommunication industry provides the pipes but ignores what goes through them.
But the telecom industry is upset that they've built this expensive cable network across America that companies like Google access essentially for free. But others fear this is the first step towards offering users what is likened to a "walled garden" whereby consumers might find their access to various sites limited by those providing the pipes.
We need to be especially vigilant. Democracy defends on the informed consent of the governed. And since the mainstream media is not informing us appropriately, all we have left is the Internet. If that goes, it's all over.
- Our vote. Electronic voting, without proper oversight and audit protocols, threatens to rob us of the only voice we have in our Democracy. Groups all over the country have gone to their county and state authorities to help press for appropriate legislation. But this is a race against madness. If we lose this battle, we won't have a voice that counts on any other issue.
- Global warming/environmental degradation/end of oil. We're poisoning our planet, and we're entirely dependent on a non-renewable resource. If history is a race between education and disaster, I think disaster is well-out in front, at this point. There's no profit in replacing oil yet. But if we wait until we are past the point of recovery, what then? What happens when in the space of a month, families find they cannot pay their oil bills, and start defaulting on their credit cards? When oil stealing becomes prevalent, and a new black market opens on the streets of America for short-term oil supplies? Someone needs to do an 'end of the world' movie about the end of oil. Or maybe they already did in Mad Max, which I've never seen. But seriously - we need people to slow consumption and really start to invest in alternative forms of energy. Just imagine what your life would be like if you were without electricity for a month. No nighttime activities. No hot water. No computers. No Internet.
I applaud all the activists all over the world working to save lives, to save the environment, to improve education in their communities, and these issues are always important. But let's keep an eye on what I think are the 'big three', because they're going to need extra special vigilance. If we lose the fight for a school bill, there's always the next election. Unless our vote no longer matters, or we can't drive our kids to the school anyway, or there's no important information to learn when they get there...