We are all doomed
‘Dont’ bother with trying to save the world, we are all doomed’. Prad called from Honolulu. He had just been talking to his friend Stefan. Stefan Moisyadi, a gene therapy researcher and molecular biologist at University of Hawaii is one of those awesome minds, who truly understand the world of microbs. According to him, ‘the ball has already started rolling down the hill, and cannot be stopped’. I missed half of Prad’s explanation, as I was trying to navigate my cart through the busy aisles at Whole Foods. Still, it sounded alarmist enough, that I started imagining the worst.
What is the tipping point?
Next, I went into crisis resolution mode. Suppose Stefan was right, and we were in a state of immediate world emergency, would I do anything different? A more interesting scenario is, to imagine if we only had a year left to reverse the catastrophic trend. Or two years, three years? The fear would be so great that I would have no choice but act, really do it. I wonder what is the tipping point, the window, at which point, we start forgetting, and living as if we still have the luxury of time? Clearly, that tipping point needs to be brought closer, for global change to truly take place.
The need for clarity
A big issue is our lack of knowledge. We know we are in for trouble, but we do not know yet for sure how soon, and to what extent. There has been a lot of discussions lately about the mathematic models that are being used to predict the outcome. My main take away is all of them fail to take into account factors yet unknown to us. The scientists are constantly discovering new parameters, new catalysts, and new interactions with the potential of altering predictions dramatically. Global warming is still too vague of a threat, both in terms of distance, and time. I need more clarity and definite answers.
The power of No Impact Man
If I we were wiser, we would all behave according to the worst case scenario, just in case. Instead we have chosen to hang on to the tiny thread of possibility that our collective doom is still far away. And we want to believe that small steps, if at all, are all that’s needed at the moment. Intellectually, I know this to be the wrong path. From looking at me, and how I live my life, you would not know that I know. I still take airplanes, I still drive my car, I still shop, I still consume quite a bit of electricity, I still generate more garbage than I really need, . . . There lies the power of No Impact Man.