Eminent Australian scientist Professor Frank Fenner believes that humanity will die out, maybe in one hundred years.
In a recent and rare interview, Fenner, who is emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University in Canberra, said that homo sapiens will not survive the current population explosion and what he termed the “unbridled consumption” that is taking place across our planet.
“Homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years,” he says. “A lot of other animals will, too. It’s an irreversible situation. I think it’s too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off.
Fenner is most widely known for overseeing the eradication of smallpox while he was Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research at ANU. He announced to the World Health Assembly in 1980 that smallpox had been eliminated, and is still seen as one of the greatest chievements of the World Health Organisation.
“The Aborigines showed that without science and the production of carbon dioxide and global warming, they could survive for 40,000 or 50,000 years. But the world can’t. The human species is likely to go the same way as many of the species that we’ve seen disappear.”
The human population has undergone an almost impossible spoke over the last millennia, and Fenner believes this, in conjunction with our consumption of the planet’s resources and the effect we have had on the environment will be our death.
“Frank may be right, but some of us still harbour the hope that there will come about an awareness of the situation and, as a result, the revolutionary changes necessary to achieve ecological sustainability,” said Fenner’s colleague and long-time friend Stephen Boyden, a retired professor at the ANU.
“That’s where Frank and I differ. We’re both aware of the seriousness of the situation, but I don’t accept that it’s necessarily too late. While there’s a glimmer of hope, it’s worth working to solve the problem. We have the scientific knowledge to do it but we don’t have the political will.”
Source: The Australian