Preventing civilisation collapse: Australia should lead the way

Feb 26, 2023
Australia from space at night with city lights of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, view of Oceania,

Can we avoid, what a growing number of researchers and writers, consider, will be the likely collapse of human civilisation in the not-too-distant future, if we do not quickly and radically change direction?

Two books, published in recent weeks, one by Canberra, science writer, Julian Cribb and the other, by a distinguished panel of authors, who are members of the Club of Rome, explore this question in detail and offer their prescriptions for Human Survival.

Cribb’s book is entitled “How to Fix a Broken Planet: Advice for Surviving the 21st Century.” This is his sixth, widely acclaimed book about ten catastrophic threats that we are all facing.

They include 1. Climate Change, 2. Food Insecurity, 3. The extinction of non-human species, 4. Poisoning by human made chemicals. 5. Excessive Human Numbers, 6. Uncontrolled, and unregulated proliferation of technologies including artificial intelligence, 7. Shortage of Essential Resources, 8. Pandemics of disease, 9. Potential Use of Nuclear and other weapons of Mass Destruction and 10. Widespread Delusion or Deliberate Misinformation about these Threats.

In his new book, Cribb elaborates on the urgent need to respond to these interacting human-made threats, which, he argues, must be managed as a package, by governments and communities everywhere. He offers detailed actions for individuals, community groups and their governments.

In “Earth for All. A Survival Guide for Humanity, (E4A), The Club of Room team argues that societies around the world are in the midst of a planetary emergency of our own making. The goal in the book is to show that we can achieve rapid systemic transformation, and their analysis argues that it is possible to bring the most humanitarian, social, environmental and economic benefits to all, through adoption of five extraordinary global “turn-arounds” in relation to poverty, inequality, gender equity, food insecurity and climate change.

The authors of E4A acknowledge that the task ahead is monumental and that the barriers are huge. They say that the risks are profound; the timeline is short and that the heavy lifting must begin immediately.

They consider that a global end to poverty within one generation is in reach. They argue that it is feasible to contemplate abundant clean cheap energy by 2050 with most countries having abundant energy for the first time. It is also argued that within a single generation, the population of the planet could peak and begin to fall. And that if we start today, we could have a liveable planet by 2050, with resilient societies better equipped to adapt to change.

But Cribb points to the fact that no government on Earth is yet facing up to this comprehensive challenge, and both books point to the fact that there is absolutely no time to waste in developing a global response.

So, how should we Australians respond? A Council for The Human Future (CHF) has been developed under the joint leadership of former politician, John Hewson and Julian Cribb, which is seeking a meeting with Prime Minister Albanese.

The group has been in touch with the Secretary General of the United Nations about the need for urgent global action and coordination and the response received, was the need for a UN member to place the issue properly on the United Nations agenda.

Australia is well placed to take that vital step and show the way forward.


For more on this topic, P&I recommends:

A plan for human survival

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