Dreams of a rational world

A long-term look at the future of humanity

There is much to fear and much to be hopeful for. We must think globally and rationally to safeguard our future, argues futurist and Astronomer Royal Martin Rees.

 

We learn two things from COVID-19. First, our entire world is interconnected:  a catastrophe in any region can cascade globally. Second, international science can be our salvation – as in the development of vaccines.

Let’s hope that, when this crisis is passed, we can focus on the longer-term challenges the world faces: providing food, energy and healthcare for a rising population, with an ever heavier footprint on the planet, without irreversibly degrading the biosphere. Unlike COVID, these interlinked crises are slowly-emergent: they don’t lead to public pressure for urgent action. But our predicament parallels that of a frog in a warming pot who fails to respond until it’s too late to save itself.

But there is some good news: a sustainable and benign l

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