Fatal combinations

Author: Metta Spencer

Get up! Our house is on fire!” a thirteen-year-old girl calls out. Exactly. Get up! We adults have been acting as if there were no emergency, although we are confronting the hardest challenge in human history. So, get up! Hurry!

We must rouse all the other grown-ups too and do everything possible to save the world from six potential catastrophes: militarism (the foolish reliance on weapons and warfare for security); the climate crisis; and four other impending threats—famine; pandemics; massive radiation exposure; and cyberattacks.

These are all real risks and we caused them all, so it’s up to us to handle them. And we may fail. But after all, the most interesting problems are the hard ones. As John Kennedy said, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

Saving the world will be even harder. But just as much fun!

Okay, What Shall We do?

First, let’s find out what we need to know. Second, let’s talk about it. (All the time! Bring up the subject out of the blue four or five times every day! That’s how to wake the others up.) Third, let’s act—but act according to the smartest plans we can devise.

Unfortunately, no university offers a course called “Save the World 101,” though that is what everyone needs. But I was a university professor who specialized in teaching introductory courses, so I’ve prepared a mini-course for you to take by reading the next eight pages. After you finish it, please go to our website, tosavetheworld.ca, which offers lots of resources and a page for each of the six global threats, including a comment column for discussions. And pick one of those problems for your own, if you haven’t already.
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