Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

One planet, one nation! Can we survive?

One planet, one nation! Can we survive?

In a previous blog, I commented on humanity and the constant need for war. Today we are talking about a similar topic: can humanity be there forever?

When we talk about the eternity of humanity, we are not talking about whether every human being will live forever. Immortality according to medicine is currently impossible, even in theory. The reason for this is our cells stop dividing over time and it is a natural process that cannot be stopped. The only cells that can divide forever are cancer cells so immortality is impossible, the end!

So we are not talking about immortality but about the survival of our species forever. What problems are threatening us and can we face them?

Okay, let’s turn on a little imagination. The question is: Can humanity avoid destruction?

To better answer this question, we will make a list of problems we may encounter. But we will set it up as follows: We will throw out of the equation problems that we cannot influence – that is, problems that we did not cause. So we eject any impact from space, such as meteor strikes, solar flares and the like. We will also rule out both natural extinctions and natural disasters (bonus fun fact: 97% of the species that have ever lived on planet Earth are extinct).

So we have on the list: climate change, nuclear war and every other form of self-destruction.

Let’s start from the beginning: Humanity evolved 200,000 years ago with the advent of Homo Sapiens, modern man, the only dominant human species that still exists today. We are all Homo Sapiens. Our ancestors lived hard lives. Our story begins in Africa, today’s Ethiopia and Somalia, the cradle of humanity, our Eden, our beginning. From there, we spread all over the planet. Back then, it wasn’t life, it was mere survival, fighting for food every day, protection from the weather, protection from wildlife attacks. It was their daily routine, but they succeeded.

They have succeeded, and thanks to their strength, their endurance, and their bare instinct for survival, I can write this today and you can read it. They made it possible for us, by their struggle they prevented the extinction of a species that is physically inferior. Think about it: how many animals can you defend yourself against with your bare hands? Can you defend yourself from a wolf, bear, lion or tiger? Of course not… Then how did we do it? Because they worked together, they fought together, warming each other in the hard times of the ice age that froze life in the northern hemisphere at the time.

Times passed, we survived from caves to the first primitive settlements, and then to wooden houses that eventually became stone, then concrete, and today to live in high skyscrapers, to live lives worthy of a human being. We have food, we have water and enough all to survive – at least some of us. Unfortunately not all are able to have it, but we’ll talk about that later.

If we have all this, then why am I questioning our survival… so even though we have everything to survive, something has gone wrong in the meantime… What went wrong and how?

Although, unfortunately, there have always been hunger, wars and poverty, this has never called into question our survival… Why??

The answer is in the planet Earth and our first and potentially biggest problem, and that is our frantic taking of Earth’s resources. It is to be expected that we will use what our mother nature gives us, which keeps us alive. Then where is the problem?

The problem arises in unfair exchange. Let me explain a little better.

Before the advent of money, there was something called “barter” or a commodity trade. It worked in the following way: if I give you a kilo of apples, you will not give me money, but, for example, a kilo of pears or a new T-shirt – that is, goods for goods.

In the context of our destruction of the planet, it looks like this. We take food, oil, gas, everything from the Earth! And what do we give her in return? Absolutely nothing! We draw on limited resources like oil, destroy forests, and give nothing back.

How should this work? So like this, if we cut down one tree to build a house in the woods, we need to plant 10 new ones. It is something called natural balance, perfect balance, balance that keeps us alive. We have upset that balance with our arrogant behavior. It is something I wrote about in my blog about Climate Change, so read that!

Our next problem is the potential outbreak of World War III, or nuclear conflict. How much is that actually possible?

The power of nuclear weapons was seen by the world in 1945 in the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. We need to be aware that these bombs were firecrackers compared to the nuclear weapons we have today. We are all witnessing ugly events from Ukraine and the question is often asked can this escalate into a nuclear war?

Well, I think a nuclear war can happen, but it won’t.

Why? Look, a nuclear war would mean the end of humanity, there is no debate about that. In the event of a detonation of only 150 nuclear missiles that would be the same as those in Hiroshima, the world would sink in 3 days into something called nuclear winter. Smoke, ash and radiation would go to higher parts of the atmosphere and block the sun’s rays, which would take the world into a nuclear winter that would last at least 10 years.

There would probably be survivors, maybe a few thousand or millions, no one can know that and we pray we will never know. But personally in such a world, I would not want to live, there would be nothing better than the previously mentioned team that lived in caves. It would take hundreds of thousands of years to get back to what we have today.

I believe that in this world, among 8 billion people, there is no lunatic who would like a nuclear war. And the leaders of the nuclear powers are also aware of that, so I don’t think that’s ever going to happen, but it’s a real threat and we still have to be careful.

Nuclear rockets are not such a bad thing, I talked about potential life in space and if there are aliens far away who want to attack us, if they come, we can show them what beautiful rockets we have and send them where they came from… I’m kidding, of course. Nuclear energy is a fantastic thing if we use it for noble purposes like getting electricity, new types of propulsion and the like, but it should never be used for military purposes again, never again!

In the end, will we be able to get through all this? Of course we will, humanity has experienced everything: supervolcano eruptions, earthquakes that move mountains and much more. The better question is can our way of life survive, can we sustain our civilization?

We can, but if we fight our problems together. Try breaking one twig, it goes easy right? Try taking 193 twigs – as many as the UN has members – and break them all together. Is it too hard? The twigs are too strong now?

There is our strength. Together! Together we are stronger! This blog is in a way a continuation of the past, and you will be able to read more about this in my book, Eternal Humanity, which I am working on.

The last blogs I write are not very happy topics… I know that, but I am writing them to warn us all about the problems we are facing. These are primarily climate change that is there, we cannot prevent it, we will have to learn to live with it. And we will, we will learn, but all together. Together we are stronger, together we are unbroken, together… we can do anything!

One planet, one nation, human nation!

See you next week, bye!

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