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Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Doomsday 2020?

Eyewear was - you may recall - scared mindless last year by the Swine Flu Pandemic - which today the WHO has officially declared kaput.  Good riddance.  The panic was worse than the disease.   Today's Guardian mentions two brewing media stories from reliable scientific and medical sources that promise disaster in ten years or less.  One reports that a new bacteria in the human gut carries genes that make it resistant to almost all antibiotics - in ten years the bug which 1% of people in India already carry - will apparently be 100% resistant, and bring about deadly pneumonia.

Also, today, we are told that if the world warms by even 2% in the next ten years, which it may well do, the Greenland ice will melt, raising waters enough to wipe out low-lying coastal cities like New Orleans.  So - will 2020 see us dying of deadly stomach bugs in droves and drowning like lemmings?  History shows that bad things happen at a constant rate, and humankind manages to (barely) adjust to most developments, except when catastrophic shifts happen (like ice ages and massive meteor strikes).  I suspect we will muddle through to 2030.  But when I am 54, if I get there, I expect the world to be a wetter, hotter, and maybe sicker, place.  Fortunately, 3D TV, emotional robots, and genetic life-prolonging treatments may balance this out.  And Jack Underwood may be the new poet laureate.
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