I don't want this post to be pessimistic or melancholy but I have been pondering lately the possibility that we are close to extinction.
Now when I say close, I am talking the big picture, the long haul. Could our species become extinct in say, the next couple of centuries. I know that with technology we are in a much better position to handle pandemics, but seriously look at how much trouble COVID is causing us. I know that many people have lost loved ones and my heart goes out to them, but it is a relatively benign virus when compared to something like Ebola.
Imagine for a second if COVID was as deadly as Ebola, had a similar mortality rate. And please I am no scientist, this is all hypothetical and just my thoughts. Ok, forget Ebola, let's just say this "hypothetical" virus is lethal and if you contract it and it kills you within 24 hours. It is airborne and highly contagious. Would we really be able to stop a virus like that?
I know what you are thinking, why has something like this not happened before, but again look at the big picture. We, as a species have only been on this planet for the blink of an eye. And it has happened before. What about the bubonic plague? And in 1720 there were no airlines to carry the virus rapidly around the globe. There were no congested cities with millions of inhabitants.
Even if a virus does not wipe us out, will our poor old planet be able to hold on. I believe climate change is frighteningly real. Have we passed beyond the point of no return? Even the most ardent climate change non-believer has to admit that we have done damage to our eco-system.
If we have done irreparable damage, will our developing level of technology enable us to reach out and find another planet with the conditions we need to survive? And if you think this sounds like something from a Hollywood movie with Bruce Willis, just think, even 20 years ago, if you would have told me that I would hold in my hand a phone which at the touch of a button would enable me to recall information on just about everything we have learned in the last 2000 years I would have told you that you were crazy.