I recently posted the following comment to an article in Scientific American:
This article is screaming to tell us about a lot more than bacterial resistance. For me, the primary message is about the irresponsibility of both government and scientists.
Because of the explosion of technology over the last 100 years, the complexity of life has moved far beyond the ability of simple “human intuition” to control. The scientific community has repeatedly made this known to the governments of the world. But due to the inability of our current form of democracy to elect wise leaders, because it is structured on the greed, ignorance and predatory competition inherent in human psychology, leadership across the world is no longer up to the challenge. To be sure, there are “system” methods that can deal with the complexity. But, the refusal of society to face up to how deeply greed, ignorance, and competitiveness are built into our culture completely suppresses system thinking. I also fault the scientific community in this process. Their personal greed, a focus on self interest above world needs, leads them to hide and play the game to maintain their positions and funding, rather than storming the government with protest.
The point is, the world has now reached multiple catastrophic tipping points. World resources, climate and the medical environment have the potential to cause large scale population crashes – possibly exceeding 80% of world population. We have also learned, from recent discoveries over the past decade, that these crashes can unfold on timescales as short as a few years. The world governments and business leaders are irresponsible not to take drastic new actions to mitigate the damages that might result.
The current article is a perfect example. Given the rate at which super bugs can spread around the world, and how long our existing “free market” would take to respond, there is no excuse not to take drastic preventive steps. When new bugs are discovered, they should be eradicated immediately, while their populations are small, rather than waiting for measurable economic impacts. These issues are discussed further at A3soceity.org.