This world has lots of issues.
But, would anyone argue that at the top of the list are:
1. Radical Islam
2. Oil and all of its related issues: economic, environmental, political
Think how much better this world would be if we could focus on more productive, healthy topics.
Well, if you will bear with me, I have some thoughts.
The radical Islam we need to worry about are groups like al Quaeda (which means "The Base"), the Taliban (which means "the Students") and related splinter groups like Pakistan's Lashkur-e-Omar and Lashkur-e-Taiba (lashkur-e means "army of").
Radical Islam has a number of characteristics that should make it quite easy to stamp out.
They are primarily Sunni, and many are Wahhabi, a fundamentalist radical sect of Sunni.
There are 1.57 billion Muslims in our world of 6 billion according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. And 9 out of 10 Muslims are Sunni.
Radical Sunnis make life miserable for the majority Sunnis. Sunnis have lived peacefully amongst their neighbors in India, China, Indonesia, Germany, Russia and Turkey for generations.
Suggestion #1: Sunnis of the world, unite. Turn in and/or turn on your radical cult groups yourselves. You have the power, the numbers, and the information to eradicate this scourge from the earth. Think how much your fellow believers and your neighbors around the world would appreciate you fixing this.
The Base (al Qaeda) has declared war and been at war with Russia, China, the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Indonesia, Spain, India and Turkey.
Today, a high-ranking al Qaeda leader has called on China's minority Uyghurs to prepare for a holy war against the Chinese government.
"There is no way for salvation and to lift this oppression and tyranny unless you ... seriously prepare for jihad in the name of God and carry your weapons against the ruthless brutal invader thugs," Abu Yahia Al-Libi said Wednesday in a video on an Islamist Web site. He delivered his message in Arabic.
This won't sit well in Beijing. (How do you say "Goodnight, Dick" in Mandarin?)
Surely, between China, Russia, Europe, Turkey and the U.S. we can agree that radical Islam is an unnecessary evil.
Suggestion #2: The Dream Team of the above-mentioned superpowers unite with those willing Sunni countries to eliminate the marginalized Sunni terrorists. The Dream Team has enough economic and military clout to nudge moderate, rational Sunnis to action. And if Sunnis don't respond, the Dream Team can handle it themselves. And then, will remember who helped and who didn't.
Iran was once a home of radical Shia thinking and terrorism.
Iran continues to support terrorism, but it is not because of Islamic thinking. It is good old organized crime.
The imams of Shia Iran and their hired guns, the Revolutionary Guards, have figured out how to intimidate Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, many of the tiny oil oligarchies around the Persian Gulf thru economic and physical terrorism.
Iran sees itself as owning all of the oil in the Middle East in the not too far distant future.
Suggestion #3: Sunnis, as I understand your beliefs, those who worship power and money over Allah are infidels. And the imams in Iran worship money and power more than Allah. 1.3 billion Sunnis can't be wrong. And the Shia minority in the middle East wants all of your oil. Stop them. And guess who will support you?
That's right. The Dream Team will have your back.
OK, then oil. What do we do about oil.
First, let's realize it is a recent phenomenon. Most historians agree that the first oil strike was in 1858 in Titusville, Pennsylvania by Edwin Drake. That's only 151 years ago.
Why was Mr. Drake drilling for oil? It was thought it would be useful for lamp fuel.
Inexpensive oil from the ground was discovered to be useful for many more things. Heating homes, fueling locomotives, powering combustion engines, and driving production of electricity.
Oil was discovered in Persia in 1901. That's 108 years ago. My grandfather was born before that. And yet in that time, we have allowed this simple commodity to cause wars, pollute our environment, corrupt countries, and impact the map of the world.
In the meantime, we have figured out how to fly. And, how to fly to the moon.
We have figured out how to split atoms and turn that microscopic process into power.
We have discovered that helium can lift huge objects because it is lighter than air.
We have invented computers that are approaching human thinking and physical capabilities.
But, we haven't figured out an alternative to oil.
Let me speak to just us North Americans for a second.
Here's the reality. There is enough oil in and around Canada, Mexico and the United States to keep us running for at least thirty years. Maybe fifty.
Suggestion #4: North America, swear off buying one more gallon of oil from anywhere but here. Forever.
Yeah, it will drive the price up. For a short while.
But it will also force us to figure out how to do without oil. Which will then drive the price of oil way down.
But North America will then own the new technologies and industries to sell to the rest of the world.
Just remember, it wasn't that long ago we couldn't do without typewriter ribbon. Or paregoric. Or rabbit ears for our black and white televisions.
The point is we can change things fast if we want to.
Necessity is the mother of invention. We need some Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs thinking around here.
Until the spigot is turned off (or the syringe is taken out of the arm), there is no motivation to change.
Think of the the new industries, new technologies, new jobs, new freedoms we would enjoy without dependence on middle Eastern oil.
And with the good riddance of radical Islam, the world could get focused on cooperation and competition as opposed to fear and loathing.