In a time of the current pandemic, there now seems to be a willingness to act on its seriousness which Trump had earlier been disclaiming.
Now let’s hope the world is getting the most important message from this pandemic; let me argue what that surely must be.
Having written and read unheeded overpopulation messages for decades my colleagues and I are now wondering if the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic will be perceived as the ultimate threat long posed by human numbers overwhelming our limited planetary resources!
The deaths of possibly millions worldwide could be dismissed as just the urgent need to find a new vaccine—certainly a priority—but will its development give world leaders any sense of the urgency to stabilize human numbers?
From 2 billion people on Planet Earth at my birth in 1931 to nearly 8 billion now means global warming, endless wars and, yes, endless health crises until there will be no peace or prosperity for anyone.
True leadership now will not come from people such as The Great Divider as I call Trump but from those who see the urgency of husbanding our scarce resources and building bridges of human accommodation across ideological divides long held unbridgeable but now unavoidable!
Such bridging is already underway as we see aid from China and others coming to those newly afflicted. The starkness of the pandemic jolts all world citizens to recognize our common dilemma.
We are at a seminal moment in human history and that recognition is now mandatory.
I await the voices of leaders who understand the urgency for constructive new connections between people so that the planetary resources remaining can be somehow shared without conflagration for the broadest human benefit.
Getting to that understanding rapidly will be vital for safe constructive survival not only for humans but for the other fauna and flora that have so far allowed the wanton excesses of human exploitation to bring us to the world wide pandemic in which we now find ourselves.
As the scholars of The Club of Rome warned us there are limits to growth and COVID-19 tells the world we are getting there fast.
This realization by world leaders does not mandate sovereign powers to abdicate their governing principles but simply to adopt the ability to share commercially the fruits of our limited world’s resources.
Like those frequent tv images of some shoppers trying to take all of a store’s toilet paper home, sharing and cooperating as we now are to stem this virus exemplifies the only sane way to the future.
The alternative scenario of not adjusting to this new reality has now become unthinkable, but history is full of many human stupidities. This time however ignoring serious cooperation among all of us could certainly be more hugely fatal to us than ever before.
From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013
By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
Final Warning Limits to Growth
Sir David Attenborough on Overpopulation
Al Bartlett – Democracy Cannot Survive Overpopulation
How the world went from 170 million people to 7.3 billion, in one map
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