Citizen Action Monitor

CONTEMPLATING HUMAN EXTINCTION! — COVID-19 pandemic’s worst case scenario

Will humans heed or ignore the call for a precautionary approach to worldwide travel? Continue reading…

No 2767 by fw, August 16, 2021 —

Kurt Cobb

“The vaccine requirement for entry into the United States being contemplated by the Biden administration is an admission that our worldwide connectivity has become not only dangerous, but a lethal threat. It’s unknown whether such a requirement will be temporary or permanent. But there are complications ahead for this type of restriction…. My guess is that the U.S. vaccination requirement will ultimately become unworkable. Nature’s wily ways care nothing about the requisites of smoothly functioning global human systems. But it’s hard to imagine world governments giving up a high level connectivity under any circumstances. That means they are risking ruin under a scenario in which a much more dangerous virus makes its way across the world. … To quote [risk analyst] Nassim Nicholas Taleb: ‘With increasing transportation we are close to a transition to conditions in which extinction becomes certain both because of rapid spread and because of the selective dominance of increasingly worse pathogens.’ ….What Taleb is saying is that the global system we have built is subjecting the human population to the possibility of a wipe-out if we expose ourselves without restriction to novel pathogens worldwide.”Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights

Kurt Cobb is a freelance writer and communications consultant who writes frequently about energy and environment.

Below is my abridged repost of Kurt Cobb’s article echoing the frightening assertion that “the global system we have built is subjecting the human population to the possibility of a wipe-out if we expose ourselves without restriction to novel pathogens worldwide.” I have included subheadings, text highlighting, some editing changes, added images, and added information [in brackets].

To read Kurt’s longer original piece (I excluded a beginning section), click on the following linked title

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Vaccine passports, globalism and the threat to humankind, by Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights, August 15, 2021

There are complications ahead for “proof of vaccination” requirement for entry into US

The vaccine requirement for entry into the United States being contemplated by the Biden administration is an admission that our worldwide connectivity has become not only dangerous, but a lethal threat. It’s unknown whether such a requirement will be temporary or permanent. But there are complications ahead for this type of restriction.

First, there is the problem of what counts as “vaccinated”?

First, there is the problem of what counts as vaccinated. As a colleague of mine often points out, there is no such thing as “the vaccine.” There are many. And, there are many more new vaccines on the way. The World Health Organization stated that as of December 2020 there were 200 vaccine candidates and 52 in human trials. Each vaccine has different characteristics and different levels of effectiveness against the many variants of the original COVID-19 virus. Which vaccines will be on the list used by the United States? Will those getting a vaccine not listed be barred from entering?

Second, what standard will US use to determine how recent a foreign traveler’s vaccination must be?

Second, boosters are already being approved for vaccines which are still being given under emergency authorizations themselves. The immunity conferred by COVID-19 vaccines appears to be relatively short-lived. Since immunity conferred by vaccines declines over short time spans, what standard will the United States use? In other words, how recent will your vaccination or booster shot have to be?

Third, appearance of more variants risk evading vaccine protections, necessitating revaccination; how feasible will this be?

Third, as more variants develop, some may evade the protections offered by vaccines altogether. How feasible will it be to revaccinate billions of people every time this happens?

Fourth, how effective can vaccine passports be when confronted with large numbers infected by variants?

Fourth, since it is already known that vaccinated people can be infected in large numbers by variants, how effective can vaccine passports be in stemming the spread of the various versions of COVID-19—which is the whole reason for the passport program in the first place?

Given these four complications, will the US vaccination requirement ultimately be unworkable?

My guess is that the U.S. vaccination requirement will ultimately become unworkable. Nature’s wily ways care nothing about the requisites of smoothly functioning global human systems. But it’s hard to imagine world governments giving up a high level connectivity under any circumstances. That means they are risking ruin under a scenario in which a much more dangerous virus makes its way across the world.

And if world governments choose to ignore risk of pandemic spreading via rapid increase of new pathogens…?

To quote [risk analyst] Nassim Nicholas Taleb [warned in Systemic risk of pandemic via novel pathogens – Coronavirus]:

With increasing transportation we are close to a transition to conditions in which extinction becomes certain both because of rapid spread and because of the selective dominance of increasingly worse pathogens.”

If we expose ourselves to novel pathogens worldwide, we risk possibility of wiping out human population

Contemplate that for a moment: “extinction becomes certain.” What Taleb is saying is that the global system we have built is subjecting the human population to the possibility of a wipe-out if we expose ourselves without restriction to novel pathogens worldwide.

We’re playing Russian roulette with millions of microbes, but it only takes one lethal one to wipe us out

I have used the analogy of Russian roulette before. But it is worth repeating: If you play Russian roulette with a hypothetical gun with a million chambers, only one of which has a bullet in it, you will probably survive if you pull the trigger once or twice. But if you pull the trigger one million times, you will almost certainly perish. Humans are being exposed to novel viruses every day around the world, perhaps millions of them. Almost all of those viruses have little or no effect. But it only takes one lethal and easily spread microbe to threaten the entire human population now.

Will humans heed or ignore Taleb’s call for a precautionary approach to worldwide travel? What do you think?

It is hard to imagine our world becoming less and less connected over time as a way to mitigate the threat of novel viruses. Rather, it seems more likely that we will not heed Taleb’s call for a precautionary approach to worldwide travel. Instead, we will continue to our connected ways until something—possibly a high-lethality virus—forces us to stop.

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