I woke up to read this news first because in some bizarre way the Google News page updated the last news first when I refreshed my screen. An array of thoughts passed through my mind when I read this. The news report predicts through some survey that by 2022, the number of elderly people on the planet will be so high that it will take a toll on the welfare measures adopted by governments all over. Japan suffers the most now with around 40% of the country being older than 60. As if it is some catastrophe, the UN also predicts that by 2050, there will be more pensioners than workers. They are guessing a situation similar to the famous Charlton Heston movie, Soylent Green (1973).
So what if people get old? Is that supposed to be a burden? What are we supposed to do? Build a craft and send them to space? By 2050, I’ll be old. I’ll be 64. Will I be send to Mars? Or will I be processed into Soylent Green? This news does not freak me out but the way it is been given with all the facts and (sci:) fiction can be described in only one word: insensitive.
In one way this news might serve as a warning to many governments to take a look at the future where a population explosion is inevitable. But there are similar warnings going around on different issues: hunger, poverty, abuse against women, religious persecution etc. How many of these were ever stopped. In spite of the humanitarian efforts hunger and poverty are only increasing. When War on Terror practically becomes War on Islam in certain places, numerous Christian minorities (Eastern Orthodox congregations, especially) get systematically wiped out. Nobody reports on that. Coming back to the point, nobody cares about these issues when there are more pressing matters to do. The only warning that might have gotten governments interested so far will be the one that fossil fuels are depleting fast and by 2050 the world will have to run on something else!
My take on the whole thing?
Governments are most likely going to turn a blind eye towards the issue of aged people. They are on their own. That is more or less like saying in 2050, I am going to be my own.
Today is world Elders Day.
Let’s take a minute and say thanks to all the elders for raising us, giving us all the knowledge and made us what we are today. We wouldn’t be here if not for them. Thank you.
P.S: I guess I will have to do some planning…
the most appealing one is to buy a boat or something (fill it up with books and booze) and spend the rest of the years in the vast ocean because I’m not sure if there’ll be any land left free.
I’m gonna go offline for a few days. Just a small trip to Karnataka with a couple of friends.
I wish you all a good October. Will be back soon to bore you all to death with my stupid stories. Till then….
- The Soylent Green Card (eradica.wordpress.com)
- Soylent Green, My Friend, Is People (bobmschwartz.com)
- The 10 Most Diabolical Dystopias in Cinema (Short Ends and Leader) (popmatters.com)
- Swarm: Population peril (wvgazette.com)
- Harry Harrison, author of ‘Deathworld’ and the book that inspired ‘Soylent Green,’ dies at 87 (theverge.com)