Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Life Towards & Beyond 2050

First of all I should thank GP for inviting me to join you guys on this amazing journey, which will take us to 2050. And I am honoured too, to contribute to something like this.
When I first came to this site and saw the title, my first reaction was whether we can get there safely and happily…. Can we lead a happier and safer life through to 2050?
And following questions started popping up…It is not fair, only me thinking about all these…. So thought of sharing it. Here we go…
Will our life on earth end before 2050?
If the human life is going to end, how will it be?
Will it be a sudden end such as nuclear explosion or so-called alien invasion?
Or will it be a sudden natural disaster like Tsunami or even a large asteroid space fireball hitting the earth and wiping everything off?
Or will it be a slow pain full end such as global warming or an epidemic?
Or it could be our own Technology turning against us such as hi-tech robots?
Or will we over come everything by our shear determination and technology?
Only time will answer these?
So what are the biggest threats to human life and what we can do about those….

Global warming is going to be a big factor in our life cycle. We don’t need to look further than the events happened in the last 6 months.Glaciers melting, Sea Levels rising, Lakes shrinking, Rivers running dry, Floods in Mumbai, Severe drought in Europe, bush fires sweeping across Portugal and Australia. the list can go on.
We have been cutting down forests and burning oil and gas; these have poured Co2 and other gases into the atmosphere, which increase the average temperature. Scientists reckon that by the end of this century the average temperature will have risen by 2oC. And I read somewhere if all the ice in Arctic or Antarctica melts, the sea level can rise up to 20 feet. These will make some part of the world less habitable. And people will migrate and people will start fighting for their resources in their own country…I know it wont be easy for us to suddenly stop using all the fuel and other stuff which harms the atmosphere, but we have already pumped enough impurities into the environment that if we stop right now it will be enough to warm the world for the next decade or two at this rate.
Global warming is a threat but a slow one…which we can live with…. bit of technology and common sense we might be able to get thru this…

Nuclear war…from North Korea to Pakistan and from USA to Russia…everyone got these..and it is only a matter of time that they start using it. But the way we have structured our international society this will be under control. And people still remembers 1945.

These days our society is very sensitive to terrorism, because of the easiness to get all the technology, arms, etc.. And the widening gap between the lower class and the upper class will not help either. And not to forget so called Jihad.
Threat from this remains very large, because of the availability of Chemical and nuclear bombs, which will wipe out a whole community easily.

Epidemic…. Major pandemic can sweep the whole world within days.The world has become very small because of the links by sea and air, so If a virus learns to transmit from human to human then it could sweep rapidly around the world.

Natural Disaster, which we can’t do anything at all. Tsunami last year, within few hours it has killed more than 300,000 people. And made us think of how we are vulnerable and helpless in front of nature. Volcanoes, Floods, Earth Quakes, bushfire etc. Although we are helpless, we can use science and technology to minimise the effects and causalities.
And the population growth…although the population is growing all the time, the growth rate is going down. As the population grows fast, the consume resources grows even more faster, and the amount of resources like water in the world is finite. So it is bound run out one day…. A third of the world's population lives in water-stressed countries now. By 2025, this is expected to rise to two-thirds. Technology can help. Like cleaning more water and recycling, drip irrigation, Desalinization seawater, etc.
Last but not the least is the threat from outer space. Although this happens every million year, the threat of near earth objects hitting us remains a possibility. As the list suggests nature is the biggest threat to human life… Can science get us through?
Lets be optimistic…. and say yes.
Thought for the Post
" Time is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen at once"


Kartoshka said...

For some reason this post brings me to think back to somewhere 2003 about "John Tittor",so colled time traveler. From what i read he was popping up in chat rooms and IRC's and talking about future, there is plenty information available on goole about him. He posted "pictures" of his time car. He comes from 2030's. He said that there supose to be a civil war in US this year or year back(not sure). And that eventually there will be nuclear war. But i have not seen the war yet, and hoping there will not be one.

Chez said...

A point well said! A lot of things are happening around us, some obvious to be noticed and some arent, as you said. But, rather than brooding or fearing the future, i always felt like taking the bold step. being a staunch believer in Theory of Natural Selection, one can only expect such an attitude from me. Life will move on. The world has survived the Dinosaurs, the ice age creatures, and it will survive the humans too.. :-)

Karthick said...

I came to know of your blog through muralis pic log, it is a real good article, 2050 sounds like a long way from now but in reality it is just 45 years away, considering the life expectancy these days, it is most certain that all of us will see 2050, I'm glad atleast some people like you think about, I hope it to be a inspiration to many people so that eachone can contribute to the betterment of the world to what ever extent they can
PS: I dont blog or maintain a website, if you have any comments mail me at karthick@uab.edu

ekantha said...

The Self-Destruct
I could be really morbid and say that humanity has had planted in itself a seed for its own destruction with its ability to mould and control the environment around it. After looking at the possibilities, what strikes me as a most plausible end is humans self-destructing. The earth has gone on so long without any environmentally shattering troubles that it couldn't handle until we came along and changed so much. Our impact on earth seems to be different/unstable/constantly mutating.

Our self-destructive tendencies:

Well, there's that issue of our'us'and'them'mentality which makes 'us' build bombs and wield other threats to make 'us' feel 'safe' against 'them' who build bigger bombs and brandish even greater threats against 'us' in what is a vicious cycle to terrorise the world with war for the sake of peace (doesn't really make sense does it?)

And then, what else? Oh yes, there is our insatiability for our planet's natural resources which has already killed off other elements of our world that have been in our way. Now that insatiability could even eliminate us. Maybe we are consuming too much water, electricity and food at a rate that our world simply can't sustain. What if one day there simply wasn't enough and things started to run out? Could we adapt in the space of 0 time or would we die off like the other species who were not allowed time to evolve after being confronted and shocked by the arrival of humanity?

Furthermore, every day there is more and more harmful chemicals being created by us that are killing our world slowly but effectively. We don't seem to be able to get enough of petrol and cars, CFCs, burning coal or using nuclear energy. What if the pollutants we have released make this planet uninhabitable for us. Serves us right, you say! What about those who come after us, are they the ones who are meant to deal with the results of our mistakes?

And lastly, what is a self-destructive tendency but is also a reason to hope is our ability to think. We think, hence we are able to call ourselves human, able to manipulate the world around us, able to overcome many obstacles and able to love. Yes, we can use this ability to think of contaminating the world but we can also use our thoughts to choose not to do just such a thing. Humanity has in itself the capability to self-destruct that comes with being able to think but that same ability to think gives us a reason to be the hope for the world. If a crisis should arise humanity has within itself the knowledge and power to save itself. But more importantly, perhaps humanity has the ability to show love and intelligence to the world by saving it in the face of any disaster, be it man-made or natural.

I mentioned a seed at the beginning, whether or not that seed is to germinate in each of us individually is the choice we have that comes with thought. We have the choice to save our world. But we must never ignore the threat that we as humans constitute. Perhaps we should try to minimise impact and maybe showing understanding and trying to improve the plight of the world will be the next step in our evolution.

In its ignorance, humanity seems confident of being able to save the world from impending doom and disaster but what if we were the disaster, could we remove ourselves?