Letter to the Editor: World faces a crossroads and extinction a possibility

Letter to the Editor: World faces a crossroads and extinction a possibility

“More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly”

That was the inimitable Woody Allen in Complete Prose, but it does prompt one to see what’s happening.

Extinction is certainly about. We are losing count of how many species of plant and animal life are disappearing. Indigenous people continue to be systematically wiped out by commercial interests. Will climate change or pestilence see us off? Don’t forget the H bomb. 

Allen wryly put it “Have you ever seen what happens when one of those things falls of the desk accidentally?”As for artificial intelligence, is it possible that robots may take over the world and humans will be phased out like the Neanderthals?

Awful happenings in the world at the moment would have us along that path of despair and hopelessness. We have been harming each other in dreadful ways since the time of Cain and Abel. 

Technology and globalisation is now adding an awesome dimension to that facet: Take drones, which can kill anywhere, in the world, like angels of death, at the press of a button thousands of miles away, by a few people, without feeling or conscience.

Surely the above cannot be our prospect? Allen’s crossroads offer only two outcomes, but strictly speaking, crossroads have three forward-facing routes. Two may be characterised above: what could the third route offer? Greta Thunberg, the modern-day Joan of Arc? 

World Economic Forums and such-like gatherings to knock sense into the powers that be? Religions coming together to revitalise the waning virtues, particularly charity? There can be peace, goodwill, enjoyment and wonderful people in this world.

Who/what can now help propagate these features and keep the world on the right track “going forward”?

Ted O’Keeffe
Ranelagh
Dublin

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