The Future Has Arrived – Part 2
Today was officially Earth Overshoot Day – the day the human race will have used more of the Earth’s natural resources than the planet can renew in a year. This is one week earlier than in 2016. In 1987 this day came on December 19th. To return to parity we would need to gain 5 days every year until 2050 against a backdrop of growing population, increased consumption of depleting natural resources, greater demand for food especially meat and a species that is living longer. Scientists all over the world work on ways to grow meat in a lab (the US have already created a lab grown burger), on drugs to beat ageing and disease (today it was announced geneticists have been able to alter DNA in an embryo to prevent inherited disease being passed to children and last week that a technique to be able to choose the colour of a babies eyes – designer babies are go!), on genetically modified crops (already prevalent in the US) and SMART technology to control every aspect of our lives (even governments admit robots will have taken over 80% of all jobs by 2050). These are not positive moves, one mistake could ruin millions of lives (when the Chinese tried to alter embryos to stop genetic abnormalities they messed up and the results were Frankensteinian). The logic is that current levels of consumption and ‘progress’ are unsustainable, even in the short term, and the only viable answer is to curb population growth and probably cut the numbers substantially. What happens when the biggest killers of previous millennia, war, disease and famine are no longer killing? In Western countries war and famine are largely of the past and non-lifestyle diseases, except cancer, are less likely to be untreatable. In Africa all three are still keeping the numbers down which is convenient for the West as the African continent, given the same privileges as the rest, would be the richest and most powerful continent on Earth. So, what to do? Yesterday a new report suggested that statins (a pill which lowers cholesterol and prevents strokes and heart attacks – basically Viagra without the erections) should be given to 11.8 million people in the UK including all men over the age of 60 and all women over 75. Those deemed to have risk factors, no matter what the age, would also benefit from the pill. I mention this in relation to Margaret Attwoods Oryx and Crake in which a pill (BlyssPluss) is marketed around the world as a preventative medication with the added benefit of improving sex lives. A marketing dream. The creator of the pill hides a genetic time bomb within the medication and, when the time has come, it wipes out the human race. Just saying, that’s all.