When Will the Frogs Drop from the Sky?
This phrase popped into my head a week ago when I heard that the tallest volcano in Indonesia had a massive eruption. This on the heels of the volcano in the Canary Islands, the on-going eruption and lava flow in Hawaii. A search provided the fact that there have been 70 eruptions from 69 volcanos in 2021 of which 22 are new eruptions this year.
Volcanic eruptions, a plague, floods and fires of biblical proportions, huge tornados, massively destructive storms, cicadas last year and locusts this year.
So, when will frogs rain down from the sky?
A wry reaction to breathless mainstream media reporting of the latest catastrophe.
Armageddon, the Apocalypse, the Book of Revelations have all been mentioned somewhere since the start of the pandemic. Such concepts have existed in human history as beliefs or ideas that get mentioned whenever we entered a time of turbulence or perceived negative events.
COVID-19 in and of itself has caused all of us to feel threatened, fearful, disoriented, and open to radical changes and/or new habits. Then add on all the intense and heated political polarities and dynamics of Black Lives Matter, January 6 and all that has followed, and now massive resignations, business start-ups and significant – though temporary- inflation.
These are historically unprecedented times. As readers of this column know, I believe that the decade of the 2020s is the single most disruptive decade in history. There will be more change in these 10 years than in any 30-40 year period in history. It has become the focus of the books that I write .
We have COVID-19 with us and will for the rest of the decade. Resistance to vaccines in the developed countries and the absence of vaccines in the developing countries guarantee that the virus will be with us somewhere and in some form going forward.
I just hosted a symposium of The Sarasota Institute – A 21st Century Think Tank called “The Future of Vaccines and Public Health in the 2020s”, simply the most informative session I have experienced about COVID-19, The Delta and Omicron variants and the genetic paths of corona viruses. Given the current state of the vaccine resistance and the woefully inadequate distribution of vaccines in developing countries it is certain that the current variants will be with us, perhaps for the rest of the decade. It was very comforting to get confirmation that getting the booster and wearing masks in public will largely protect me.
The climate crisis has already been responsible for the floods, fires and storms mentioned above. It could be said that many, if not most of the intense weather stories we have experienced this year can be sourced back to the climate crisis, We must significantly alter humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels this decade.
In addition in the 2020s we will need to manage exponential scientific and technological growth. We will need to develop ideas and agreements around human/technological enhancement, longevity and genetic alteration.
Humanity finds itself at a fork in the road this decade. On all the issues listed above and almost any major issue you could think of, is really at a fork in the road. The road from the past that we continue to barrel down or the road we want to collectively create that becomes the good future for us.
As I have written here and elsewhere, I was one of the initiators of the #forkintheroadproject. Hundreds of people, including some well-known global thinkers and creators signed the manifesto and committed to bringing urgency to the realities of this fork in the road. We are truly at a fork in the road and the signs all point to the road we are on as the road to these various forms of oblivion. We can, we will, we must all realize that we can detour off this accelerating journey that we don’t want to face or have our children and grandchildren live in.
We must take this feeling of disorientation, cognitive dissonance and feeling upended and realize that it is a humanity-wide challenge to alter our course, and one we can make. If we do, we give the generations that follow a clearer road, a better civilization and an opportunity to live fully. If we don’t, well, then I will worry about the frogs.