The Biggest Challenges Facing America and The World

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A young child walks home in an area known for heavy drug dealing on July 18, 2012 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Honduras now has the highest per capita murder rate in the world.
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This Labor Day, The Takeaway takes a close look at the biggest challenges facing America and the world.

Later this month, 193 world leaders will gather at the United Nations to lay out what’s been described as the most ambitious universal global development agenda to date. These “sustainable development goals” are designed end to extreme poverty, to fight inequality and injustice, and to fix climate change.

How did these goals get selected? And how do we measure success? David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee and former U.K. Foreign Secretary, and John McArthur, one time chief executive officer of Millennium Promise and senior fellow with the U.N. Foundation, explain.

Do we have a moral responsibility to do more to fight climate change? Pope Francis thinks so, as he stated in his encyclical on the environment earlier this year. The Takeaway hears from religious leaders working to protect the environment and inspire parishioners to act, including:

Imam Mustafa Umar, education and outreach director at the Islamic Institute of Orange County in Anaheim, California; Rabbi Steve Gutow, chair of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, and Rabbi Lawrence Troster, founder and coordinator of Shomrei Breishit: Rabbis and Cantors for the Earth.

What innovations will it take for the world to sustainably grow and feed 9 billion people? We look at the role of big data with Catherine Woteki, chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

We end the hour with a look at the challenges related to global health. About 1 billion kids lack of access to clean water—something that puts them at risk for worm infections that can contribute to malnutrition, anemia, stunted growth, and early death.

Edward Miguel, professor of environmental and resource economics at the University of California, defends recent concern over a deworming pill given to millions of kids in Africa.