following statistics are difficult to comprehend and not at all
reassuring. They have caused many to hide behind hopelessness in order to
justify inaction and/or the continuation of business as usual. This is a luxury that
we can no longer afford. Because of
advances in technology, everyone in the World is now at similar risk -- rich
and poor alike. This leveling of the playing field confirms, for the first
time in human history, that we all have a direct stake in the
quality of everyone else's life, if we expect to ensure the
continuation of our own. This conclusion amounts to a moral /ethical
imperative of unprecedented proportion. One the world can ill afford to
can hopefully act on, before it’s too late.
"I was happy and indeed honored to
receive a copy of your letter to Allan Greenspan together with its
informative supporting material. I fully endorse your argument and
congratulate you on your courage and energy in putting it forward so
forcibly and so widely. My own concerns have been in the same
direction for more than thirty years...
One aspect of your Greenspan letter
struck me forcibly -
"it is actually our thought process that
is responsible for the predicament we find ourselves in."
I couldn't agree
more. Unless we find the means to change our thinking I
can see little hope in solving the supreme problem of humanity
-- its impending extinction."
Founder of the
(One of the World's preeminent think tanks)
Countdown to Chaos
uring the last century alone,
the number of dead from political and religiously contrived situations,
including war, genocide, tyranny and their aftermath, numbers upwards of
250 Million people; and, this is a conservative estimate. Prior to
the twentieth century the slaughter was similarly horrific.
You would think that 6000 years would have been
sufficient time for humankind to
figured out a way to stop this senseless carnage; but obviously it hasn’t
since it continues unabated. Even as you read this war wages on several
continents, threatening to draw humanity into an exchange of weapons of
mass destruction that will cause the prior suffering (at least in numbers)
to pale in comparison. If all this were not bad enough, a new threat has now
emerged in the form of secular terrorism, a dynamic for which there is NO
In addition to these more obvious liabilities, there are an endless number of other
problems that also threaten to eclipse our problem solving
capability. Equally alarming, they continue to grow in both complexity and
threat. As such, they are further unwanted antagonists to what has
already become an impossible situation. In the interests of time, I will
reference only the most pressing. The following
information is from demographic studies commissioned by the United
Please note: Although statisticians would have us
think differently, the results from all their analysis amounts to nothing
more than approximations based upon
specific methodologies, all of which are inherently biased and therefore bias the conclusions reached.
This is particularly true with regard to estimations of global
magnitude -- because of the infinite number of variables involved and
the difficulty in ascertaining accurate specifics. As a
result, data is inherently bound
to vary from study to study. Knowing that, the best one can do is
to try and find the middle ground between proposed extremes.
Hopefully, the following information reflects that.
21.5% of the world's population is currently
undernourished. This translates to 1.3 billion people, and results in
some 50 million starvation related deaths a year. 14.6 million of
these are children.
1.5 billion people do not have safe drinking
water. Without relief from current situation this number will swell to
4 billion by the year 2025. 3 billion people lack basic
sanitation. Disease related deaths from these antagonists remain
In the larger cities of the world 40% to 50%
of the population lives in slums. This translates to 740 million
people who are constantly being exposed to significant health risks.
Worse, this number is increasing at an alarming rate every year.
1.3 billion people are currently unemployed
That constitutes 1/3 of the World's total work force. At the
current rate of job loss this number will rise to 1.5 billion by the
year 2017. That is more than 1/5 of the world's population.
All who depend upon these workers are destined to suffer accordingly.
This deprivation cannot help but further exacerbate the already serious social
unrest that exists in the world.
The complexity and incurability of new
diseases is also on the rise. Part of the problem is due to the
conditions cited above. Another part is due to overmedication
and the pathogenic resistant organisms it promotes. Then there
is the moral/ethical
breakdown that attends the uncontrolled proliferation of information,
and the wanton disregard for long standing cultural constraints it
promotes. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome),
accelerated by sexual deviance and promiscuity, provides a tragic
Approximately 33 million people have HIV in the world (the precursor
to AIDS). This amounts to 1 in every 100 sexually active adults
under the age of 49. Over two million of these are children.
Seventeen million are women. More than
7,200 new cases of this infection occur daily. 2.6 million occurred
in 2009 alone, and 1.8 million people died. By 2009, some 25 million adults and children were
already dead from this fatal disease. AIDS has also resulted in 16.6
million orphans and by the year 2017 that number could swell to 25
hit are third world countries. In some areas of Africa one in
four adults are infected with the HIV virus. Future hotspots
include India and China. Worldwide,
U.N. studies indicate that "this disease now rivals the
greatest epidemics of all time." The physical debilitation that attends this
illness provides an optimum incubator for a whole host of other
diseases that are now on the rise. Since the cost for AIDS
treatment remains prohibitive, there is little hope of relief for the
majority who have contracted it. No one yet
knows how this tragedy will end, but the suffering evident in the
middle suggests nothing good.
you factor in the World's ever increasing population (currently at 7
billion and expected to increase by approximately 20% over the next 15
years) it should be obvious that the struggle for food, water, housing,
medical care, education, employment and the rest, will be fierce. Include
the rush to modernization, of "developing" countries, which
when combined account for 98% of the world's current annual population
growth, and the increase in energy they will use, at a time
when current usage is already adversely effecting the environment,
spells environmental catastrophe. At present:
20 million acres of forest are
lost each year to any number of causes. That's 50,000
acres a day. At that rate, 40%
of the remaining forests on earth will disappear by the year
2050. With them, so goes the quality of the air we breath.
"The world’s grain harvest fell
short of consumption by nearly 6% in 2010, marking the
sixth time in the last seven years that production has failed to
satisfy demand. Weather was the main cause. As a result of these shortfalls, world carryover
stocks (at the end of 2010) dropped to 72 days of consumption, the
shortest buffer since the 64-day-low in 2007 that triggered
close to a
doubling of grain prices." - Earth Policy Institute
Of the total land mass of the World only 60.5% is suitable for
agriculture. Of that amount, 24.9% has already been
significantly degraded. At present, 29 million acres of productive land is being lost
annually to fundamental misuse. Deforestation, overgrazing and poor farming
all of which result in soil erosion, are high
on that list. Some 24 billion tons of topsoil is involved, topsoil that cannot be
replenished. It takes 1.2 acres of land per year to feed a varied diet
to one person. Currently there is only 0.6 of an acre
available. In 40 years, at the current rate of loss, available
land for farming will be down to 0.34 acres per person.
Regardless of advances in science, that translates to worldwide
90 percent of all large fish species
are now gone from the world's oceans according to the international
journal "Nature," commercial
over fishing and pollution are being blamed. The study, which took 10 years to
complete, paints a grim picture of the Earth's current
populations of such species as sharks, swordfish, tuna and
marlin. "I think the point here is that there is nowhere
left in the ocean that is not over fished," said Ransom
Myers, a fisheries biologist at Dalhousie University in Halifax,
Nova Scotia -- and lead author of this study. Since the sea
provides a significant amount of the world’s food this
constitutes yet another serious problem.
Warming temperatures (Greenhouse Effect) of as
much as 3 degrees (by the year 2050) could conceivably produce ocean
level increases approaching 2 feet. If this happens,
considerable land mass will be lost to habitation. The US National
Academy of Sciences reports that "as many as one billion people,
or 17% of the world's population, live on lands likely to be
inundated or dramatically changed by rising waters. Low-lying
countries in the developing world, such as Egypt and Bangladesh,
where rivers are large and deltas both extensive and densely populated, will
be hardest hit. Obviously, this mass displacement of people will
only make the whole thing worse.
In 2011 the ozone hole over the
Artic was the largest ever observed. It was estimated to be 5
times the size of Germany, or 700,000 square miles. The ozone hole
over the Antarctic in that same year was likewise the largest on
record at 27 million square miles. Ozone plays a vital role in
supporting life on Earth. In the atmosphere it helps to absorb
harmful solar radiation before it can reach the Earth's surface. Included is a significant portion of the ultraviolet light known as
UV-B, which has been linked to various types of skin cancer,
cataracts and damage to the human immune system. UV-B is also known
to be harmful to some crops and marine life. Any changes in
the amount of radiation that penetrates to the Earth's surface, has
potentially serious implications for human health and ecological
systems. The depletion of ozone in our atmosphere has been
directly tied to a number of chemicals that are used in industrial
processes. The process to controlling them has only just begun.
addition to human/environmental problems, global stability is also being
threatened by financial system instability. As we begin our journey
into the millennium, the world is experiencing its worst recession in over
50 years. Nearly every nation that lacks the necessary resources to
meet its growing need is now financially unstable... and, that
includes most countries of the world. Of the 177 countries tracked
on the "Failed
States Index" by the Fund for Peace, 124 are considered to be in
varying states of serious decline. Although countries in Africa
headline this list, the Euro Zone is also in trouble. Greece, Iceland,
Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Spain, and France are now financially
unstable. Several have already had to be bailed out. Even
the United States has not gone unscathed. It is currently the
world's greatest debtor nation, with an increasing trade imbalance that
is inherently self-destructive. Worse, all of this is happening at
a time when no resolution to basic socio-economic system polarization
exists -- hence, it heightens the possibility for open conflict.
In this backdrop, the potential for the misuse of high technology continues to
grow, hanging like an
ominous cloud over humankind. Five
nations now possess extensive nuclear weapons capability. They include the
United States, Russia, Great Britain, France and Israel. Others that
have already demonstrated the ability to build and detonate nuclear
weapons include: China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, South Africa and
possibly Iran. The Director General of the International Atomic Energy
Administration (Mohamed El Baradei) recently indicated that between 30 and
40 nations now have sufficient expertise to achieve nuclear capability. Many of these are both politically and economically unstable. Several,
still cling to despotic rulership, others to Communism. Hence, the
dynamics for nuclear confrontation are very much alive in many
quarters of the world. It should be evident that even a contained exchange of these weapons would
have a catastrophic effect upon the many interdependent systems that
constitute our modern world. As a
result of the complexity involved, we can't even begin to imagine the consequences, let alone prepare for them.
Add to this situation bacteriological and
poison gas threats and the outlook gets even bleaker. Both
are capable, in existing amounts, of radically destroying significant
amounts of life on earth. Worse, they are easier to produce, more
easily hid, can be dispensed in any number of non-technical ways, and are
far more insidious in the way they achieve their purpose.
In the case of bacteriological weapons; which are now considered by many
authorities to have superseded nuclear weapons as the World's greatest
threat; they can be genetically altered, self-proliferating, and
near impossible to defeat. Recent developments in genetic research
indicate just how insane it has become.
The National Science Advisory Board
for Biosecurity (NSABB) chair Paul Keim, a microbial geneticist, says
this about a recent breakthrough in genetic engineering: "I cannot discuss
specifics; but, I can’t think of another pathogenic organism that is as
scary as this one.” Keim, who has worked on anthrax for many years
then added, “I don’t think anthrax is scary at all compared to this one.” He
referring to a genetically altered form of the Avian bird flu virus
(H5N1). Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam,
Netherlands, said he created the contagious form of the deadly H5N1 bird flu
strain "easily" by mutating a few genes within the strain. Once
slated for full publication, he has now agreed to omit details from his published reports. The
decision came after the U.S. government warned Tuesday that published
details could be used by terrorists to create a biological warfare weapon.
Data from the World Health Organization (WHO)
indicates that 60% of cases classified as H5N1 result in death
regardless of where they originate.
In third world countries, the mortality rate for those infected with
this new genetically altered form is thought to approach 100%. As such, it is indeed a very "scary organism" as Keim concedes -- and, one
that could be used to constitute an ultimate weapon. Not only is this
an unacceptable threat to any sane person, but the maintenance and further
development of such technologies, including potential defenses against them,
drains away valuable resources that might otherwise be spent on improving
the human condition.
To add to this problem, an artificial
form of DNA was recently created which is totally foreign to the natural
order of things. This complicates the picture even more. It could be likened
to what was feared might accompany our astronauts from their excursions into
outer space. In their case, we proved smart enough to quarantine them upon
their return; but, no such wisdom appears to be in place with respect to
this artificial DNA. Its introduction into existing organisms has already
begun. What will result from all this obviously exceeds human understanding,
and yet it continues.
And then, there is a new form of energy release which continues to be
explored for the purpose of advancing weapon's development. The mentality in
place here is...
"if we don't do it someone
else will, and then they will be in a position to blackmail us
and the rest of the world with it."
This form of energy release is
considered to be so powerful that real world testing remains an
impossibility. As a result, its affect is being explored in computer systems
that serve to emulate the World's environment. In that way, it is hoped that
a approach can be discovered to selectively destroy parts of the World that
power becomes disenchanted with. Where all of this inventiveness will end is
impossible to say; because, it is being propelled forward by an
inquisitiveness that is driven by a fundamental insecurity that cannot be
quenched by whatever results are achieved.
Obviously, the most fragile part of this equation is "economic" in nature.
The introduction of any of these weapons of "mass destruction" into the
environment would induce a level of fear that would drive chaos into the
global financial marketplace, causing an immediate collapse of existing
structure as it is currently known. The ensuing Chaos would be
uncontainable. In an environment like that no one would be safe, and no
further use of weaponry would be off limits.
a less dramatic but nonetheless insidious problem is that of pollution.
With the additional resources and energy required to sustain the
world's growing population, enormous stress is being put on the
recuperative powers of the earth. They in turn are essential to our
survival while we attempt to find ways to limit our abuse of them. In many cases the earth is failing to meet this
Twenty mega-cities already have hazardous air
Heavy metal levels exceed safe parameters in
the drinking water of most major cities. The more common culprits are
cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury and zinc.
At present there are some 73,000 chemicals in
use in the world. Over 70% of these have never been tested for their
effects upon the environment and living organisms. Of that number 1200
are currently suspected of producing adverse effects upon living
things. Many are found throughout our food chain at unacceptably
high levels. The more dangerous include PCBs (polychlorinated
biphenyl), PAHs (polycyclic hydrocarbons), dioxins (polychlorinated
dibenzodioxins), furans (tetrahydrofuran), and a whole host of
chemical components indigenous to the manufacture of pesticides.
Carbon dioxide levels from growing combustion
have recently been linked to the destabilization of climatic
conditions. Therefore, as CO2 levels inevitably increase with
unchecked population growth, it would appear that our weather
patterns are destined to become more and more erratic.
Oil spills and the growing contamination of
our oceans already threaten aquatic resources. Since the sea
provides a significant amount of the world’s food this constitutes a
particularly serious problem.
Garbage disposal constitutes
yet another issue where the solution is totally inadequate to the
challenge it faces. Burning pollutes the atmosphere, landfills
pollute surrounding aquifers, and ocean dumping destroys the aquatic
is nowhere near all of the problems we face. There are many more. And, each is rapidly
growing in both scope and magnitude. So what’s going on? Why don't
we just take stock of these threats and begin fixing them?
The Underlying Cause:
Diverse as the above problems appear to be, one thing links them all
As unbelievable as it
might initially seem, it is actually our "thought process"
that is responsible for the mess we find ourselves in. The
reason is because it is "infinite" in its potential to yield
ideas, while we are limited in our ability to understand their
implications. Because of this fundamental difference, it was
only a matter of time before it provided us with insights that
outran our ability to control them. Unaware of this liability,
no checks and balances were ever put into place to prevent it.
And so, we are now faced with a knowledge base that dwarfs our
capability to comprehend the realities it empowers.
Instead, the quasi "intelligent" from
have placed their trust in computers to try and offset this problem.
But, it hasn't worked. In fact, computers have only made the whole situation worse. Analyzing information at speeds approaching
33 petaflop (33,000 trillion floating
point calculations per second) computers have now pushed complexity far beyond our
ability to ever verify its relevance. Unable to contest the validity of
this burgeoning body of probability, our dependence upon the "management of
this probability" has now risen to the fore. The result is a dependency relationship between man and
machine that is once removed from the initial objective for which it was created in the first place.
This leaves only monitoring and subsequent modification of machine activity
as the last remaining defense in this lopsided
equation. When faced with competing probabilities, arising from contrasting
ideologies, we are at a loss as to which to choose -- because, we
are unable to any longer understand the factors that would allow us to make
an intelligent decision. When situation nonetheless forces us to do something, especially in time frames that are insufficient for meaningful reflection, the unholy union between man and
machine becomes truly evident. For all who optimistically believe that
this disconnect does not constitute a real problem, consider the following.
Currently, the flight time between nuclear capable protagonists is
down to less than 4 minutes in several parts of the world. This
reduced time interval clearly precludes human intervention into this
equation because the specifics involved are simply
too complex to comprehend, and act upon, in the time available to do so. As
a result, "threshold formulas" that rely upon mechanical sensors
to determine threat, and initiate retaliatory schemes, have already
been formulated and placed into the bowels of computer systems for
"go /no go" determinations. Unfortunately, as with everything
else human, there is a lot of room for error here. However, computers are
not concerned with the existence of potential error any more than they are
concerned with ensuring human survival. Their sole objective is to evaluate the information they receive and compare it to the mathematical
formulation that empowers them to act. Hence, they are quite capable
of initiating nuclear war and eradicating all life on earth. This is
just one of the clouds we live under.
As of 2015, there are currently 435 operable nuclear
reactors in the world with another 71 under construction -- all creating
nuclear waste whose disposal remains problematic. Many are vulnerable to
natural disasters in addition to human error. Chernobyl and Fukushima serve
as two reminders of this threat. Chernobyl displaced upwards of 200,000
people and caused an estimated quarter of a million deaths from cancer. For
the next 300 to 1000 years the place will no longer be habitable. With
regard to Fukushima, it displaced over 136,000 people and the death toll
won't be calculable for many years to come. Radioactivity from this disaster
is now present in the ocean and on the shores of British Columbia some 4,590
miles away. Its toll on fish and wildlife is obviously incalculable and the
threat has yet to be contained some 3 years after it happened.
In addition, we are now faced with another problem that is just
as unpredictable as computers are predictable. And, it seeks to gain
access to the very technology we are currently fighting to control. It is called terrorism.
And, with the inability to contain its proliferation in evidence,
worldwide, the need for an immediate solution to long-standing cultural
problems has now become necessary to defuse the unrest which fosters it. Without this solution, it is only a matter of
time before weapons of mass destruction enter into this equation along
with their use. So, how big of a threat does terrorism actually pose,
given its limited ability to effect geographical expanse? Well,
that may not be necessary to maximize its impact. With the world’s monetary system now dependent upon hypothetical
possibility, as opposed to actual reality, it would not take much for a
well-placed attack to collapse the whole thing. If that were to happen,
chaos would immediately onset. Beyond that, no one knows what might
In the past, force and intimidation have proved successful in
suppressing unwanted social dissent. However, with the growing
availability of high tech weaponry all this has changed. Small groups
and even individuals are on the verge of acquiring a destructive capability
that could prove catastrophic to global dynamics. And, let's hope and pray
it is not a genetically altered form of the H5N1 virus. Until the world
comes to this realization regarding its vulnerability and acts responsibly, we will continue to be at
direct risk from all that we forcibly disenfranchise. Hence, its
imperative that we find a way to resolve cultural disputes in a mutually acceptable way,
before it is too late. And, while we’re at it, we need to clean up
the mess we’ve created to date.
Doing everything that is needed to turn things around is not going to be easy; because, most people are
oblivious to the need, or otherwise unconcerned with what is happening. That's just how entrenched our patterns of activity have become, much
like a drug addict hooked on crack or heroin. But, in this case the
culprit is materialism, with its constantly escalating ability to temporarily placate the
emptiness of spirit that haunts one's more contemplative moments. Hence,
these problems are not just going to go away. They can't, until we
are able to bring our thought process back under control. If we prove
unable to do so, then our destiny will lie with the open-ended continuum
that it necessarily promotes... the manifestation of which is already
threatening our existence. In the interim, everything will continue to
spin out of control with ever increasing momentum.
A Solution: So, where do we start to try and make the needed
difference? To begin with, we must stop placing blame in order to find a
way to work together. Difference that is disruptive to this larger
objective is clearly self-defeating. Education necessarily holds the key,
but it must have a central focus... something which it does NOT have now.
Since our system of thought is ‘infinite’ in its potential, and we are
dependent upon it for the validation of our ‘finite’ existence, it is
more than evident that we must adopt a method of self-restraint
that can successfully contain its potential to quantify.
And, this MUST be
done immediately, before we unwittingly employ one of its many ideas from
which there is no escape. The only answer to this is to devise a "qualitative" system of thought,
with "undeniable credibility," that is able to keep its ‘quantitative’
counterpart in check. To do this, it must center upon the importance of
the "human person" as opposed to the possibility endemic to
quantification itself. In other words, we need to refocus our thought process on
the importance of the 'finite' as opposed to the 'infinite.'
On this website I have laid out the principles and methodology by which
this ‘qualitative’ system of thought can be constructed and
implemented -- in the shortest possible period of time. I've called
it the Eden project for obvious reasons. What it proposes is a realistic way
to identify the integrative elements (of otherwise separated problems)
through an in depth analysis of their interdependency within the field of
question. By so doing, this new and innovative approach to problem
solving holds out our first real hope for understanding the
comprehensive answers needed to slow this whole thing down. However, given
our current situation, it must be instituted with all haste; for time is
clearly running out.
There is little doubt that every ‘human person’ owes it to
themselves and those they love, as well as those who are yet to become
important to them, to seriously consider how they can become a part of
this effort. To do less is to deny the importance of the potential they
now defend. There is simply NO room for
procrastination in this equation. If we fail to achieve this objective in
the near future, there is little doubt regarding what the outcome will be.
And, no one will escape this time around, regardless of who they are,
who they know, or what resources they currently possess. Given the
seriousness of this threat, some real soul searching is in order here.
Afterwards, a response
is in order.
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