Hot Topics: 'Rise of the Drones' and Davos World Economic Forum

Join the national conversation in the top stories of the week.

This column is designed to offer a platform to discuss national stories on a local level. Share your opinion in the comment section!


PBS' Nova debuted "Rise of the Drones" on Jan. 23, documenting how these unmanned aircraft have changed the face of war in less than a decade.

Ten years ago, the United States owned around 50 drones - now, that number is closer to 7,000, with no hint of slowing down. In fact, the 2012 budget included $5 billion for research, development and procurement of drones. 

The controversy surrounding the use of drones is not new; one question brought out by the documentary, however, is. What will the U.S. do with it's thousands of drones once the War on Terror is over? A federal law signed in February of 2012 compels the Federal Aviation Administration to "allow drones to be used for all sorts of commercial endeavors — from selling real estate and dusting crops, to monitoring oil spills and wildlife, even shooting Hollywood films," according to the New York Times.  

Local police and emergency services could also send up their own drones. Many of these drones take pictures with very high megapixels - billions of them, in fact. Which basically means they can zoom in and get an accurate picture no matter how far away they are. 

Ideally, in a Utopian society, they would just be used to deliver us tacos, like this company wants to do

What are your thoughts on drones? What do you think their role will be in our future?


The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is taking place this week. The forum is an international group of people "committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas," according to their website

In simple terms, it's a group of very rich, very well-connected people -- such as Huffington Post's Arianna Huffington, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the current one, David Cameron, Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke, Congressman Eric Cantor (R-Virginia), Mike Duke, President and CEO of Walmart and Drew Faust, president of Harvard University -- hashing out the problems of the world. The big dogs. (Click here for the full list.)

What have they been talking about? Energy, global security, the science behind human decision-making, China's growth, basically everything under this sun. 

What would you discuss if you had the attention of these powerful people? 


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