Point of View
UNITED STATES—We all remember January 1, 2000; the day that all the power grids went down; that all the machines rose up against their human masters with blood lust in their eyes; that every missile carrying a thermonuclear warhead launched itself erratically. It was the day that our modern civilization came to an end. All thanks to two lines of code displaying two digits for the year instead of four.
Of course we all know this did not really happen. The Y2K bug --as it was called -- caused our daily lives no personal discomfort as we entered the new millennium. Yet that didn’t stop hundreds of thousands of people to hoard supplies to gain a fighting chance in the harsh post-apocalyptic wasteland that was sure to come.
Now another end to our civilization has come and gone. No stray star entered our inner solar system. The Yellowstone Caldera did not erupt. There was no meteor impact to thrust us into a harsh nuclear winter. The Mayan apocalypse has come and gone and we are no worse for wear.
Perhaps it is time we stop preparing for the end of the world. Perhaps it is time to realize that our destiny as humans is and always has been of our own making. We must realize the only doom saying worth listening to does not come from old books and stone tablets; and we must learn to turn a deaf ear to fear mongers and those that seek to make a profit from our insecurity. Yet that doesn’t mean that there are no dangers to face in our future.We are living in a time where our decisions will make or break us as a species.
The world’s oceans are becoming ever more acidic as a large island mass of garbage in the pacific has grown larger than the state of Texas.
Big oil is encroaching on precious rain forest in South America, even as the threat of global warming continues to rise. These are all very real threats created by humans that can be avoided by humans, and we have the technology and means to overcome them.
We are at a time where our technology and global integration can be used to achieve great works as a species. We are reaching new heights of discovery with every passing day. As bleak as the world can look at times, we must remind ourselves that it won’t always be so. There will always be new horizons, new beginnings and a new discovery.
The late great Carl Sagan said it best , “The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate[…]To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”
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