Eve of Destruction
We live in an extremely delicate era, beset by forms of danger so horrific and inescapable, even the best of us can barely function through the Fear. We're all aware by now that virtually everything we do in the world upsets the ecological balance we need ultimately to survive. Some of us do our best to mitigate that damage; some of us seem not to care nearly enough. And some of us move to shacks in the wilderness and start making declarations about the need to kill 9/10ths of the world's population. And enjoy respected members of the scientific community, in some insane channeling of the Third Reich / Khmer Rouge cult of death, standing to applaud them. Every person who cheered at the meeting in the article linked above should be drummed out of the scientific community and placed on a terrorist watch list. When we at LAist can agree with Redstate on anything, it would normally be a cause for celebration. This is not. Our world is sensitive to all kinds of shocks and disasters, our civilization is on the knife's edge between illumination and complete chaos. Many of us are doing our best to save the world, and this is NOT what we need right now.
Already, most of us seem to take for granted that the Earth as we know it will not go on much longer; that it's a miracle our species survived the last century, and there's no way in hell we're gonna make it through the next. Whatever you say about historical mass-catastrophes, they were geographically limited. There seems widespread agreement now that we're living in the most precarious epoch in the history of our species as a whole, and no, that's not just our egocentric view. So the last thing we need is to have the intellectual cream of our society decide that helping guide and care for the rest of us is no longer their responsibility. And are we -- the stupid, KFC-eating public at large -- wholly responsible if the scientists turn their backs on us, and decide to release some monstrous disease that will liquify us all in our Hondas, right there on the 405? If so, why? It's one thing for scientists to be sanctimonious. They've earned the right to feel superior, we suppose. But when did they become so bloodthirsty?
Who knows. Civil society was imposed on human specialization to avert just this kind of eventuality, so we all must have done something dreadfully wrong. Maybe we made fun of these guys (and you know they're all guys) for having bad skin. Cheerleaders wouldn't sleep with them for their minds, and now the nerds are lusting for revenge -- with airborne Ebola virus. As the Christian right (another holier-than-thou group who couldn't get laid) and the Muslim extremists (ditto) move toward thinning one anothers' numbers by the sword, our science community seems unable even to wait for the bombs to fall.
We were more than depressed and disgusted to hear about these scientists' plans for the rest of us. We were outright terrified.