Boomtown fat cats will destroy us all, says Geldof
EUROSCIENCE OPEN FORUM:IT MAY have been 27 years to the day since Live Aid, but Bob Geldof has lost none of his ability to hold a big audience.
In a talk at the Euroscience Open Forum he confessed to knowing “absolutely f**k all” about science, saying he was dumbfounded by his lawnmower, never mind the workings of the universe.
This did not stop him extemporising on the limitations of scientific endeavour and how mankind needs to change its ways.
Geldof delivered a 40-minute keynote address without notes in the Convention Centre Dublin in which he sounded an apocalyptic note about the future. He said science sought to answer some of the biggest questions about who we are and why we are here, but that only makes sense if you believe there is a point to history and that human experience is driven towards a single goal.
Even if scientists figure out the big questions, “so what”? We’re living longer; “who cares”? His aunt is 103 and wants to die and who wants to live to 300, he said.
He said there was no point to life, but that did not prefigure nihilism. It was enough to be alive and be conscious. He went on to say for many people in the world the biggest question was whether they had enough food. We live in “an asymmetric world” where 50 per cent of the population survive on under $2 a day.
The planet cannot feed more people than it is capable of feeding. At current rates there will be 10 billion people on the planet by 2050 needing 70 per cent more food and water. By 2100 consumption will be 16 times what it is today and then it will be “game up” for humanity, he warned.
“Growth” was a euphemism for “more” and more often meant greed. “We cannot keep on consuming. It is an economic, environmental and evolutionary dead end.”
He said scientists have discovered ways of making us live longer, but it amounted to an “economic Ponzi scheme of age” with more of us living longer and needing more young people to take care of us.
He concluded saying: “We really are tiny little things . . . we’re bedevilled by the curse of self-awareness that finally comes to us exhausted at the moment of dying,” leaving the audience in a distinctly perplexed and sober mood.