Hello World, where are we headed?

I often wonder how the world can handle ever-growing human population, economy and what not. The population surpassed staggering 7 billion on March 12, 2012. If we keep going the way we’re going, there’s going to be serious consequences…

Oh, that’s right. Some of the consequences are already here today. Steadily rising temperature alone is devastating enough for the centuries to come, but I digress.

Humans resemble ants. From high places, whether a view from a skyscraper or from a mountain top, humans even look like ants. While I have a lot of respect for the insects who are social, hard-working and all, I’m not too fond of them, especially when they come inside.

Last summer, some small ants found a way through the kitchen door to eat the crumbs on the kitchen floor, and they came back with friends and family. Lucky for them, we have a catch-n-release system for all bugs that wander inside using a clear plastic cup and a postcard. Every day, we relocated many ants while trying harmless ways to stop them from coming in. I’ve heard that drawing a chalk line would prevent them from crossing the line, but I didn’t have any chalk. So, I broke open one of those lime desiccant that’s often included in food packages and lined the entry point. It seemed to work somewhat, but I need to get some chalk soon.

Upon searching for a method that works for our ants, I learned an interesting but scary fact: To collapse a colony of ants, the best thing is to offer a whole cake! That’s right a cake. I suppose one of those cheap supermarket one with bright colors would probably do. The theory behind this is that the earnest ants will eat till they drop.

I don’t have a heart to test this on our backyard ants, but it made me think of the human world – how we are rapidly “eating” our way out in the name of “economic progress.” I’m not too proud to be a part of it, but I am. We have been embracing many things that were discovered, invented and mass-manufactured to make our lives more convenient for a long time. On the flip side, however, we face many serious problems associated with “progress.”

Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” warned us more than a half century ago that we must rethink our paths. We failed to act upon it. Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” came and went. Then the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident rang loudly around the world. How many more times are we going to hit the snooze button before we finally wake up?

Ancient civilizations all fell. There’s no guarantee that our global civilization won’t fall. I’d like to believe that we’re smarter than ants. We ought to be able to adjust our paths, so that we won’t destroy our environments, contaminate food, or bring on other man-made catastrophes.

I know I’m chanting to the choir, but here I am hoping that it will eventually change for better if the chant gets loud enough. Perhaps it’s better to try than never. I hope you join me.

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