Over the millennia there have been persistent existential threats to the human race, some real, some imagined, but none like we are facing today.
In the contemporary world chaos and destruction abounds as ideological terrorism spreads across several continents. Making matters worse is an ever-growing population needing to be fed and sheltered in the midst of intense regional warfare, creating mass exoduses of war-torn refugees to overwhelmed neighboring states. As civic and paramilitary pressures mount, there is little surprise that unstable governments are crumbling with others teetering on the brink.
After digesting the daily news, there’s a good chance that at some point we’ve asked ourselves "Are we humans slowly doing ourselves in?" It’s not a pleasant subject to broach, but the future of human life on the planet must be addressed for the benefit of our children…and the sooner the better, as it will take many decades to turn around the mess created by ideological conflict, outmoded economic systems and ineffectual population management. In an effort to assess the challenges ahead, let’s take a short, but hard look at reality and global fears about what might be coming our way.
Here are some of the scientifically acknowledged forces that could suddenly destroy humanity:
- A huge asteroid strike
- Nuclear and/or broad scale chemical wars
- An unstoppable pandemic.
On the other hand, there are more insidious degradations that over several decades might bring life to a halt on the planet:
- Perpetual wars on all continents
- Irreversible pollution in our biosphere with marine and terrestrial bio-system failures
- Soil depletion and decertification, resulting in serious loss of agricultural production
- Fresh water shortages affecting all terrestrial life forms, particularly the cultivation of food for humans
- The death of oceans from pollution with the loss of fisheries and other marine life
- Ecological collapse with microbial and/or species extinction
- Overpopulation coupled with climate change making all of the above more probable.
Background fears of impending doom include:
- Alien invasion and take over
- A clash of civilizations with huge losses of all life and supportive infrastructure
- Religiously inspired apocalypses or Armageddon.
Needless to say, this worrisome picture would hardly inspire one to get up in the morning. Yet, the above lists help us realize that human existence on the planet is a very iffy proposition. Despite socio-economic and technological progress made for billions of inhabitants, our sprawling presence in of itself has multiplied threats over time.
Consequently, highly respected researchers and scientists are now questioning humankind’s ability to survive the century. Said another way, longer-term sustainability of all planetary life is questionable and by mid-century we should have a better idea of our fate. Rather than waiting until then, wouldn’t it be better to play it safe by launching a world-wide effort starting now to conserve both human life and the very nature that sustains us?
By managing our presence to better fit nature’s capacity to support us, instead of spurning natural limitations, we would have a better chance of creating a world-wide community living prosperously with less fear of a frightening collapse. It is in this framework that the Foundation for Human Conservation (FHC) has been established.
We believe that the insidious degradations previously mentioned, along with nuclear and chemical warfare are indeed priority threats, requiring an all-out effort to diminish, if not eliminate them. And the only way to do so is to squarely face the root cause of our multiple problems: too many people chasing far too few resources. As a result there is and will be ever-increasing conflagrations with brutal and irreparable results, as we see now in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.
As to the fears of impending doom, would it not help to lessen them, if the nations of the world were able to provide the basics, such as enough food, water and shelter, without perpetual war? As shown over the centuries religious leadership has a profound impact on human fears and behavior. If humankind is to survive, the potent powers of the clergy must be engaged and put to work on solving the quintessential human-nature equation.
It is the fervent hope of FHC that the spiritual community would join hands with scientists in helping humankind revert from a self-destructive path to one of living successfully within the laws of nature and sustainability.
For more details, we invite you to read through our Mission Statement and Guiding Philosophy located behind the Mission tab.
FHC also has an allied site called ElbowroomUSA.org, an educational resource to guide you through a wealth of information on America’s complex demographic issues. There you will find suggested solutions and action steps that Congress and the citizenry can take to help the nation meet its population challenges.
Thanks for visiting us,
W.J. Van Ry, Founder