Palliative care for humanity

This article by Roy Scranton (author of   Learning to die in the Anthropocene: reflections on the end of a
civilization. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2015) draws an analogy between the relief of suffering for dying individuals and palliative care for our species as the terminal phases of our current civilisation approaches. Here is a taster:

Like  a  gravely  ill  patient  trying  to  remain alive,  our  whole  world  is  struggling  to  find  a  silver bullet. 

  • Our economic  models  are  not  working, 
  • Our political structures  are  corrupted, 
  • Our ability  to respond  and  adapt  to  our  rapidly  decaying environment  is  wanting. 
  • We worry about the many threats  to  our  civilization  but seem  to  be stubbornly  confident  that  they  will  find  the  path  to  salvation. 
  • Pundits of  all  stripes  peddle  their  solutions,  their prescriptions. 
  • Economists invoke  the  invisible hand, 
  • The devout  pin  their  hopes  on  the  divine  and
  • Scientists assure  us  that  –  given  enough  funding  –

They  may  all be  deluding  themselves,  and  us.  Our  proposed cures  may  provoke  only  more  suffering …

In 2008, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimated that it would take US$30 billion in aid annually to eradicate hunger in the world.  As of September of the following year, we had already injected over US$17 trillion into the private banking system in an effort to cure the financial crisis – enough
to save the world from hunger for 600 years! 6 We can no longer say we cannot afford it.

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