Doom!

Today in my inbox I found a couple of end-of-the-world news stories that caught my attention.

Prince Charles has calculated that we have just 96 months left to save the world. The article doesn’t give any detail about how these calculations were made. It does note that “the Prince has been criticised for his own indulgences, including dozens of staff to run his homes and hundreds of thousands of pounds spent travelling around the world.”

On the one hand, I want to try to restrain my snarkiness here, because, you know, fish, barrel, etc. On the other hand, this seems at first glance like a clear case of “Stop being on our side; you’re making us look stupid”. On the gripping hand (+1 geek points!) it’s really just a question of scale. Yes, it seems slightly ludicrous for a guy who logs tens of thousands of kilometers of flight time every year to be campaigning against global warming. But how many environmental events have we all been to where everyone showed up in their cars and drank coffee out of styrofoam cups? We’ve all got blind spots. We can all improve. God knows I need to make more of an effort in a lot of areas; so does everybody. And at least Prince Charles is thinking about the topic, which puts him way ahead of a lot of people, including a big chunk of the readers who commented on this article.

On a more science-based note, the other article I got today on the we’re-all-doomed front is from CommonDreams.org. A report by “a diverse range of leading organizations such as UNESCO, the World Bank, the US army and the Rockefeller Foundation” has essentially said that we’re in for widespread catastrophe if we don’t start getting it together pretty darn quick.

I don’t have as much to say about this one, but this sentence from the report is worth highlighting: “Too many greedy and deceitful decisions led to a world recession and demonstrated the international interdependence of economics and ethics.”

Now, I can’t deny that I have serious problems with a diverse range of leading organizations such as the World Bank, the US army and so on, but I’m glad to see ethics getting into the conversation. It’s past time.

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