Humanity’s Historic Maturity Test Michael S. Karlen, Dec. 2021

From war against each other, to war between states we have continued to a war against nature and our planet and indirectly a war against ourselves.
One would say that is the height of stupidity…

We have arrived at a threshold where humanity has to take responsible leadership for our common development on this beautiful planet.
It seems we have not yet grown up enough to do this responsibly.
But we are running out of time, unquestionably.

Waking up to an Emergency
Fortunately the young generation has woken up, a modern Jeanne d’Arc has appeared and has started a global movement of young people who are intuitively feeling that their very own future is in the gravest danger. But it is not only intuition that guides them but it is based on the currently best available science.

The new 4,000-page report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calls for a total transformation of our way of life if we wish to avoid catastrophe. The window of opportunity is closing rapidly. Urgent action must be taken within less than a decade.

The report states that,

“We need transformational change operating on processes and behavior at all levels: individual, communities, business, institutions and governments. We must redefine our way of life and consumption.”

This is following the two earlier warnings by the scientific community in 1992 and 2019

“We the undersigned, senior members of the world’s scientific community, hereby warn all humanity of what lies ahead. A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it, is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated.

(1700 signatures, incl. 104 Nobel laureates)


“Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.”


With the waking up to the climate emergency and the Pandemic and in searching for solutions the young people (and the older generation!) also realize why we have come so far. They realize the extraordinary dimension of exploitation of the earth, the extraordinary exploitation of certain countries by other countries. They are realising the extraordinary inequalities and injustices created by the liberal business model.
The dimension of exploitation is beyond comprehension and deeply humbling. Imagine how this must be for 14-15 year old or even younger child to realise into what a world situation they have been born. I believe the “How dare you” exclamation of Greta Thunberg at the United Nations in 2019 can be easier understood on this background.

Vision, Leadership and Action

It is crucial that we as a humanity can now develop a common vision of the world that we want.

I agree with the writer Yuval Noah Harari that “the next decades might therefore be characterized by intense soul-searching and by formulating new social and political models.”
Mikhail Gorbachev says, we have “to give expression to the eternal values that have always guided humanity. We need some new conceptual vision of the future.”
This can help to find deeper meaning in life, to find our role in the cosmic drama and to develop the global identity and planetary thinking that are necessary for humanity to take its next step as a species.


The only way to do this and to save ourselves is to work together. This is enlightened self-interest.
We should treasure and support the United Nations as our “home”, physically and spiritually, as an important step on our way to a true global family. It is the best global and universal organisation we have that works for the common good of humanity.

There are monumental tasks ahead for all of humanity.

To live up to the task we have go beyond our current capacities and develop new ways of thinking, feeling and acting. And we have to act now.

Michael S. Karlen