While the pandemic raged,much of Asia flooded. The West didn’t take much notice — even though China’s largest dam isnow at it’s limits. And yet the megafloods Asia just experienced are just like megafires — natural phenomena that are getting worse on a seasonal, yearly cycle. Within a decade or two, these floods will also threaten habitability.
“Habitability,” by the way, is a polite, anodyne way to say: the ongoing survival of countries, cities, societies, economies.Whole gigantic chunks of our civilization are going to simply melt away like the arctic ice.
Are you beginning to get what I mean by “accelerating pulsation of disaster” yet? As we head into the age of catastrophe, a new range of calamities will become our dismal new normal. They’ll recur, in cycles. Only each time the cycle spins, they’ll get worse and worse. Megafires, megafloods, pandemics, extinctions.
Take another example: Covid.Covid isn’t an anomaly— it’s part of atrend.SARS, bad, MERS, worse, and Covid, world-changing. Many virologists were expecting a respiratory Coronavirus pandemic precisely because such a thing has been on the cards for the last two or three decades now, as respiratory Coronaviruses have gotten more widespread, become wider-spreading pandemics faster.
What’s the cycle of pandemic? It’s not a seasonal cycle, like flood or fire. It’s something more like — at least if take SARS and MERS as pointers — something more like a decadal cycle: every decade or so, a new respiratory virus has emerged. A decade or so from now, it’s probably likely we’ll be hit by another pandemic. Will it be worse than this one? If recent history’s any indication, yes.
His lasting point is strong and draws lot for us to think/reflect on.
Our World War, our moonshot? It’s saving human civilization.
And the problem is that while your gut knows exactly what I’m talking about, your brain’s still disputing it, because all this is outside the current range of human experience. And yet the megafires burn, while the megafloods pour, while the pandemic rages, while the planet burns, the ice melts, the animals die off, while the lungs and limbs of life itself choke and grow feeble — and all that is only going to get worse, year by year, decade upon decade.
This is not a drill, my friends.It’s time to stop acting like it is, burying our pretty vacant little heads in Netflix-and-chill and Instagram envy and the latest gender pronoun and Fakebook friends. That’s all, history will rightly say, garbage for the human mind and spirit.This is it. We’re not going to get another chance.
Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.
Can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
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