The question is, how do you turn the tide? I’ve had a few ideas, but as with all things, there are downsides. Here are a few things that might save the world as we know it:
Giant asteroid. I’ve seen the bumper stickers, and that would certainly stop people from being jerks. The problem is that everything would be dead, along with the planet. The same is true for any interstellar object or event affecting the planet – meteors, comets, rouge planets, gravitational irregularities, and massive solar flares clean house too thoroughly. Heck, the solar flares can actually cause increases in anxiety and aggression if they’re big enough, and nobody’s got time (or patience) for any more of that crap. I believe that’s what they mean when they talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water.
Quarantine. We could lock everybody up until cooler heads prevailed. The plus is that it would remove the distractions that keep people from concentrating what’s important. It’s also a dream for introverts who are sick of being bothered by tempers blowing up all over the place. The problem is that isolation breeds instability (as if it’s not bad enough already). People would “lose it” and break the quarantine, resulting in a state of anarchy that would be chaos followed by the heavy hand of dictatorship to restore order. Not a pretty chain of events.
Space colonization. I can vouch for the fact that the population in my area has exploded during my lifetime. Traffic like I sat in yesterday on the way home from work didn’t exist when I was a kid, because we didn’t have that many people living around here. Urban sprawl will do that, added to the fact that the population is growing. Many scifi writers believe that overpopulation will indeed be our “big problem” of future centuries, and propose solutions of moving people off of Earth to give us more space to live and for the planet to rebound from the damage we’ve done. I’ll agree that the thought of setting up the government on Mars and shipping all of the politicians off world has merit. The problem is that all things still have to come back through Earth. You can’t be completely independent in space, and would have to resupply from here from time to time, which really wouldn’t reduce the burden on the planet. Plus, it’s dangerous. One mistake, and everybody dies.
Terraforming. Using science to drop the temperature twenty degrees in June – August would cool tempers by making the environment more agreeable. The problem is that it’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If our summers go from 90-100 degrees to 70-80 in the south, it’s nice for a season, but what happens in the fall, when it starts snowing in September? And how does that affect everyplace else? The fact is that all things are connected, so messing with one thing throws it all off balance. A cooler summer could mean an ice age that drives a lot (perhaps even humanity) into extinction. It goes back to that “butterfly effect” that philosophers love to debate.
Alien attack. Aliens would certainly force us to put aside our differences, and shelve our pride and aggression toward one another. The problem is that if aliens come, that means they’re smarter than us because they have technology beyond our scope of comprehension, leaving us at their mercy. Maybe they would help to make this a better world and us better people – but how likely would that be if they were out and about searching space for other places out of curiosity of benevolence? If they’re like humans, then some desperate need probably drove them to the skies. Desperate doesn’t bring out the best, and if they have the same self-serving instincts that we do, then we’re toast – especially if their first glimpse of humanity is at Walmart.
The rapture and apocalypse. For Christians, this is a best case scenario. The true believers escape without having to go through the inconvenience of death, and this world isn’t their problem anymore. The bad news is that Satan rules the world for seven years, and those left behind have to live through the world being destroyed, which will lead to the worst days this planet has ever known.
*Sigh* All of my ideas to save the world lead to it’s destruction. Are there any solutions that don’t? Oh well. I guess all we can do is pray that cooler heads prevail despite it all, and keep doing our best regardless of the circumstances. Humility and discernment are more critical now than ever.
That’s all today. Take care. Have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a wonderful weekend.