Now to the world's real problems.

 As the world begins to emerge from lockdown and strives to get back to normal, it is important to remember that normal was a crisis with far more serious implications than the one we have just overcome. And this crisis is ongoing. Whatever you choose to call it, think of it as the dark shadow of a predator - and we are the prey.

The normal which the world is turning back towards is a rising vortex of consumerism, economic growth, inequality, and for the most part morally and ethically bankrupt leadership. A seemingly unstoppable behemoth slashing and burning its way through the limited resources of the earth.

There is no point quoting statistics here - dire predictions backed by science are easy enough to find. Suffice it to say that most rational people believe that climate crisis 'is a thing', and we have learned recently that we can stop the juggernaut; when the chips are down we can make big changes quickly.

So how is it that we can move mountains in minutes in response to coronavirus while remaining largely oblivious to the greater threat of environmental destruction?

The answer lies in scope and cycles. For a gazelle the current cycle might be drinking the water it needs from a river without being taken by a crocodile.  A zebra grazing the savannah will keep one eye on the horizon, watching for danger, and when a lion breaks its cover the zebra will run. If the zebra were to look further into the bush it would see  a legion of lion, hyena, cheetah, drought, injury, vultures, humans, and more ranged against it. But in terms of survival it need only deal with the closest.

From an evolutionary point of view, and in my opinion any other point of view is misguided, this makes perfect sense: the aim of the organism, in its most basic form - the gene, is to survive. This means surviving the the most immediate threat.

In politics a natural cycle would be time elapsed between elections, hence the concerted efforts of despots through the ages to make that time span as long as possible. In business it might be between AGMs. For the average family in western society, a cycle might be the time elapsed between mortgage payments, or even one payday to the next.

Anything which might occur within the current cycle is 'within scope'. In the case of coronavirus, for the human race as a whole, drastic and life changing consequences were within scope and so it was imperative that evasive action be taken.

The human race has evolved to the point where we can reason that a set of circumstances in the present might rationally be expected to produce a different but predictable set of circumstances at some identifiable point in the future.  It is therefore incumbent upon the human race that we overcome our evolutionary wiring and look further into the bushes at the predator which is undoubtedly coming to get us.


Popular posts from this blog

On the path of least resistance

And now for the 'good' newsLine

Plastic - How fantastic?