Most people, everyone, that I talk to seem to think the world as we know it is in deep trouble. Population overshoot, natural resources used up, climate rapidly changing for the worse, and people living beyond their income because they won’t ever have to pay off their debts. There is no tomorrow! Live for the moment! Spend everything you have for any pleasure you can get. Why worry? We will soon be dead! Some people I know look forward to the end of humanity because they claim we are ruining the world for all the other living things. Of course, humanity will progress toward the collapse of civilization if the people with these attitudes have their way. Groups of people are driven by fear, and the usual response to fear-driven motives is violence.
I don’t feel that we are doomed, only that we are at risk of calamity. It does appear to me, because of my personal history with H-bombs, that the calamity will be much worse than most people imagine, and that population numbers will drop back to the times of the Greek philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Alexander. That doesn’t sound too bad until you realize that the population of the Earth at that time was only a hundred million or so, which is one-eightieth of our present population.
I believe, or at least like to believe, that humanity can, with the experience of a total collapse of civilization, turn their fear of that disaster ever happening again to a kinder world view. What we need is a new world view of what human life is about, based not on a proclaimed abstract love of people, but upon a society of people behaving with physically kind actions. We can learn to perform kind actions routinely, and we can learn to teach children that it is a good thing to actually do kind things for other people. And because we as groups are driven by fear, it is necessary to make obvious to the children, and to everyone else, that the result of not treating others with kind actions is the annihilation of the human species. That idea is annoying!
Cheer up! There is hope! It is a tiny hope because it runs counter to the impulses of natural humans to be purposefully kind.