There’s always been this part about human behavior that’s always baffled me.
Looking at our behavior as a group, why is it so much more difficult for us to recognize and prevent a dire situation when we have the capability to do so. but so easy for us to pray for the victims suffering from our collective inaction?
Could it be because leaving a mess we created up for god to clean an easier pill to swallow than taking responsibility for our poor choices?
That may be the easy answer to this riddle, but then I would respond by asking why as complex being do we choose to take the easy route, especially when we know inaction is devastating for a civilization?
In a recent piece by Anna Clark, she refers to a quote by Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.
On Ebola, a gruesome disease that has infected about 1,000 in West Africa, Garrett says,
“Today the word ‘Ebola’ carries so much stigma that few ailing individuals even seek diagnosis.”
Clark goes on to write,
“Denial is not endemic to West Africa or limited to Ebola. Every day, all over the world, humans choose immediate gratification over long-term or collective considerations.”
Ebola may not be an immediate or real threat to Americans or those outside of Africa, but make no mistake, the implications of the outbreak are far-reaching.
For instance, who doesn’t want to live comfortably? Everything comes with a cost, but the drawbacks associated to civilization are rarely acknowledged or discussed in a manner suitable for proactive measures.
West Africa, which has one of the highest levels of deforestation in the world, has removed the natural barrier between diseases and human populations.
Terrence McCoy of the Washington Post reported,
“Extensive deforestation and human activities in the depth of the forests may have promoted direct or indirect contact between humans and a natural reservoir of the virus.”
This train of thought is directly in line with a Nasa-funded study purporting that global industrial civilization could be in jeopardy due to “unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.”
The story, as reported by Nafeez Ahmed, concludes that the overconsumption of earth’s resources in conjunction with the ‘economic stratification of society’ are two important factors in how we as humans could be slowly creating a fertile environment for resource wars, increased economic disparities between rich and poor and an inability to sustain agriculture.
Even the United States’ military is researching the effects of a rapidly changing climate, especially in parts of Africa in the Middle East which are contributing to the escalation of complex regional tensions between racial and ethnic groups.
Secretary of State John Kerry has already vowed that the findings in the government’s report would influence the United States’ military actions at home and abroad.
If the military has been forced to react to our changing environment, you know it’s real.
Many people already know it’s real, but would rather leave solutions up to future generations.
It’s much easier to blame the media for an alleged propaganda push and then beg for help from a higher power to get involved when your home floods or your local produce section no longer exists as opposed to taking action necessary to keep the earth sustainable for everyone.
Americans just don’t give a damn about anything anymore it seems like. To get us to care about an issue that’s complex is futile. It will be much more enjoyable to grab a bag of popcorn and watch the Weather Channel’s greatest disasters brought to you by an incompetent and apathetic general public.