Saturday, 19 April 2014

"Sod the 'cradle of humanity'..."

“The worrying thing is that its [Africa] supposed to be the 'cradle of humanity' as the earliest humanoid fossils were found there. Considering that that means that people have lived there longer than anywhere else, the place is remarkably backward in health, education, political short, all the things the rest of the world have in far better condition. Sod the 'cradle of humanity' - I'd rather have the comforts of 21st century civilization!!!”
A contributor to Facebook

So, far from being the 'cradle of humanity' Africa is reduced to an uncivilised continent that has contributed nothing to the civilising of humanity. That is humanity as measured by someone cosy with the comforts of Western civilisations.

I wasn’t aware that the 21C had been reduced to a single civilisation.

However, that aside for now. Let’s examine the comforts of this century, shall we? What about that darling delight coming our way, Global Warming? On the bad side a great swathes of land submerged in water which will either displace or kill billions. On the good side… there is no good side.

Pollution is already out of control in many of the developed countries on this planet. Now that China, India and Brazil are in the race to produce more goods the use of fossil fuels will rise over-proportionally given the size and scope of these economies.

The real threat of desertifaction of massive areas of the USA and Central Asia; and a creeping southwards of the Sahara Desert in Africa. Attendant on desertification will be reductions and loss of vital water supplies. In volatile regions such as the Levant and Middle East this will exacerbate existing relations between states, relations that are already tenuous or even non-existent in some cases.

Then there’re the other great comforts afforded by 21C civilisation. Neo-liberalism and the growth of greed to ginormous heights. The division of wealth that today sees awning gap the size of the Rift Valley between the rich and poor. Over 1,000,000 people were forced to resort to food banks in the UK, the 7th richest country on earth, in the past year.

In the world’s richest economy, the USA, 3.5 million citizens experience homelessness in a year. 18% of US citizens have no medical insurance. Some 50 million Americans struggle with hunger at any one time.

Those are the real “…comforts of 21st century civilization!!!”

Finally the very real threat of another war engulfing much of the world is never too far away in this 21C idyll in which we exist. Since it is so backward and that Africa has contributed the least to many of the great achievements of the 21C will this undeserving continent then be excluded from the great comforts such as global warming; air and water pollution; and destruction in a nuclear holocaust?

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