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(5,947 posts)
Wed Jun 19, 2024, 04:56 PM Jun 19

Scientific American: We've Hit Peak Denial. Here's Why We Can't Turn Away From Reality [View all]

We’ve Hit Peak Denial. Here’s Why We Can’t Turn Away From Reality
We are living through a terrible time in humanity. Here’s why we tend to stick our heads in the sand and why we need to pull them out, fast
Scientific American, June 18, 2024: By Marianne Cooper & Maxim Voronov


Objectively speaking, we are living through a dumpster fire of a historical moment. Right now more than one million people are displaced and at risk of starvation in Gaza, as are millions more in Sudan. Wars are on the rise around the globe, and 2023 saw the most civilian casualties in almost 15 years.

H5N1 bird flu has jumped to cows, several farm workers have been infected, and scientists are warning about another potential pandemic. According to data from wastewater, the second biggest COVID surge occurred this winter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates at least 24,000 people have died of COVID so far in 2024.

Last year was the hottest ever and recorded the highest number of billion-dollar weather and climate disasters. Not to mention that over the past few years, mass shootings have significantly increased, we’ve seen unparalleled attacks on democracy and science, and mental health issues have skyrocketed.

Welcome to the new normal, an age where many things that we used to deem unusual or unacceptable have become just what we live with. Concerningly, though, “living with it” means tolerating greater suffering and instability than we used to, often without fully noticing or talking about it. When authorities tell us to “resume normal activities” after an on-campus shooting or give guidance on how to increase our heat tolerance in an ever-hotter world, we may sense that something is awry even as we go along with it.


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