A billion people live just above subsistence, where the slightest change in weather or resource delivery injures them. Non-sanitary water injures 2 billion people annually. These are terrible human problems. However, they are small when compared to the over 6 billion people injured by social conflict -- directly through physical harm, or indirectly through waste of resources used in aggression or defense.
Starvation could be stopped by minor redistribution of current harvests. Universal clean water could be provided for a fraction of what is paid for vacations.
However, no behavior seems available to reverse the growth of social conflict.
Past efforts, to stop ongoing conflict, have caused little more than interruptions in ever increasing carnage.
Just mounting a defense against attack contributes to social conflict because the time and resources consumed cause downward slides in our wellbeing.
We would like to believe that tinkering with governments, religions, and cultures (or their leadership) will produce peace. However, the growth in social violence has outpaced any past improvements in social design or its implementation.
We would like to believe peace results if good deeds and advancing technology annually provide more people with the basics of life. However, it is not people at subsistence that are growing more violent. It is the ever-growing portion of the globe's inhabitants who are experiencing decreasing wellbeing (independent of their initial status) who then act violently to regain their loses.
We want to believe that population pressures underlie this rising social violence, and that if we just stop population growth the conflict will subside. However, SKIL Note 26 outlines why social violence would increase even if global population were constant (or even slightly declining.)
It is time for a reality check. We don't want "ever- increasing social violence" for our progeny, but none of our active solutions stop and then reverse that trend.
That's why the solution, everyone has put last, has to be placed first. Impossible as it may seem to implement, rapid population decline, (RPD = one child per family across 6 billion people) is the medicine that will fix the human community's social violence disease. Every day we delay, that cancer advances.