A Century of Extremes

“The twenty first Century is an superb time – a century of extremes. We can create a great deal grander civilisations or we may want to cause a brand new Dark Age.” James Martin *1

As people and the civilisations we’ve got created have evolved, the choice to behave or now no longer to behave has had ramifications for growing numbers of humans. In the Rift Valley of Africa among one and million years ago, selections could have an effect on a own circle of relatives or tribe. At the start of the Common Era, any such choice could have implications for as much as one million humans (the believed populace of the town of Rome at its peak). Today, a choice to behave or now no longer to behave on sure problems may want to threaten all civilisations, the real lifestyles of human beings, and possibly even the lifestyles of lifestyles at the planet.

To apprehend James Martin’s remark there are possibly 4 regions we need to explore:

The demanding situations we face:

· The viable solutions
· What may assist us conquer the demanding situations
· What may avoid us in overcoming the demanding situations

Let’s study those one at a time.

The demanding situations we face:

· Resourcing.
Resourcing problems centre at the location, ownership, extraction, intake and with the aid of using-merchandise of sources. Resources consist of the whole thing people require to guide the lives we’ve got made for ourselves – from air, water and food, via to power production, and into the production, shipping and intake of purchaser goods.

· Climate.
As we take tens of thousands and thousands of years’ really well worth of carbon atoms from the earth’s crust and launch them into the atmosphere, we cause comments occasions just like the warming of the oceans and the shrinking of arable lands. These occasions conspire in an exponential manner to boom the rate and severity of adjustments to the weather.

· Pandemics.
Highly cell populations, a discount in bodily residing area and an improved use of antibiotics, detergents and antiseptics create the suitable typhoon for pandemics. AIDS, chook flu and SARS are current examples.

· Population.
Feeding, housing, teaching, using and pleasurable a international populace of seven billion (predicted to be nine billion with the aid of using 2050) is each inflicting and magnifying the abovementioned problems. The increase of mega-towns populated with the aid of using big numbers of underclass residing in squalor and but inside spitting distance of wealth and privilege is a slippery slope to, at best, revolution, and at worst, anarchy.

· Thinking.
At its extremes, lazy, indoctrinated or uneducated questioning is each at once and circuitously chargeable for the upward push of spiritual fundamentalism, political extremism and simplistic famous regulations and actions. Just due to the fact some thing is famous does not imply it’s miles good.

The viable solutions:

Of path there’s nobody solution. Overcoming the demanding situations referred to above would require essential shifts in every of the subsequent regions.

· Education.
Solutions will come from teaching girls in 1/3 international nations; growing the desire of the media to educate; growing the schooling of humans who’ve get admission to to the sources required to clear up those solutions; and teaching the general public to apprehend the demanding situations, pick out after which put into effect the solutions.

· Technology.
Solutions will even come from advances withinside the software of technological know-how and creativity withinside the regions of food, communications, shipping, fitness and medicine, safety and power. Access to facts via communications generation is each an schooling and a generation solution. It may be argued that this performed a big function withinside the Arab Spring. It may also cause a revisiting of Victorian virtues and ethics.

· Law.
Part of the answer to poverty, negative schooling, pandemics, weather and resourcing will come from the passing and policing of worldwide laws.

· People.
There are many examples in records of humans running with a not unusualplace cause to create lasting and significant change. Kony 2012 is a current instance of a grassroots motion that has raised recognition of a specific issue.


· China.
China is cashed-up, it has a lifestyle of long-termism, a effective primary authorities and a huge workforce. ‘Here lies a dozing giant… while he wakes he’s going to shake the international.’ (Attributed to Napoleon)

What may assist us conquer the demanding situations:

· Evolution.
It is the character of evolution to adapt out of a crisis. There is a exceptional quote from the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still: ‘Only on the precipice can we evolve.’


· Curiosity.
When we see the surroundings as being mainly secure we emerge as curious and playful. This interest and playfulness is the precursor to ingenuity.

· Track Record.
Our mind length and records deliver us an unheard of tune report of fixing troubles.

· Momentum.
Momentum = mass x speed. With the arrival of the communications revolution, problems are capable of advantage a mass and a speed that become best a dream as low as 50 years ago. The task might be to create the momentum across the best factors of leverage.

What may avoid us in overcoming the demanding situations:

· Momentum.
Momentum is a double-edged sword. Momentum is what kills you in a automobile crash. Momentum is the distinction among losing $one hundred and your lifestyles financial savings in a inventory marketplace crash. Today, momentum can be stated to be at the facet of troubles in preference to solutions.

· Greed and corruption.
In our post-enlightenment secular society it is simple to be crucial of the corruption and greed of religions and their institutions. But records could advocate that corruption and greed were the hallmarks of the pre-eminent corporation of the day. There become a time while the pre-eminent corporation become the town; this then have become religions, then the state, and now a possibly the corporation. The not unusualplace denominator right here is that energy corrupts humans, and pre-eminent establishments of the day are fabricated from companies of humans.