Opinion: Contingency Plans

On Tuesday, there was a brief worldwide outage of Facebook, Instagram and Threads. Well, I say brief, but that ninety minutes of social media blackout must have caused grief and anguish in many people.

It so happens that I had not tried to access these services when the shutout happened, and I only got to know when a friend contacted me asking if I, too, had been hacked. It turns out that his desperate attempts to log on and change passwords had been a useless, panicked reaction.

I cannot begin to list the number of things exponentially worse than being locked out of your social media for the length of time it takes a football match to conclude.

Plan B should long have been Plan A – look out of the window, breathe, and watch the slowly changing scenery outside.

The world will not end, life will go on, and your unphotographed meals will still be relatively digestible, notwithstanding the emptiness felt due to lack of likes for approval. Hell, they might even taste better.

We need contingency plans in the face of greater disasters that could potentially lie ahead. Forget social media, our dependence on smart technology and artificial intelligence increases daily.

It would take a hacker an instant to suddenly destabilise simple functions in society. Population growth, global warming, and international conflicts – all promise to be the proverbial riders of a future apocalypse. This is not a doom and gloom lecture, all I am trying to do is emphasise the importance of future-proofing.

We need contingency plans, we need policy-makers who are aware of possible future glitches in the system and working hard to prevent them before it is too late. Are our current batch of politicians invested in any way in this?

It does not seem to be so.

The policies pursued and proposed by politicians seem to be prepared to exploit the boom as much as possible without any awareness of the possible negative repercussions. 

We build more roads, we claim more arable land, we build (badly) more structures of cement and concrete, we milk the health service industry dry, we raze trees to the ground, we propose the improbable, such as bridges and tunnels to nowhere.

We fail to manage our water system, we fail our educators, we propose more legislation that increases the stranglehold over our quality of life in the name of development, we want more cars, and we want more goods. 

Yes, we. We who insist on electing incompetent, corrupt politicians, we who second their methods and interests, we who turn a blind eye or, at best, wag an angry finger every now and then, we watch the deterioration before our eyes.

It’s like sitting on your sofa watching TV while the thieves are running around you, robbing your house. You pause only momentarily to put up the volume because you cannot hear the din they are making.

The contingency plans we desperately need are not for us, they are mainly for our children who will have to survive on the dust heap of concrete that we will leave for them.

Think about that as the European Parliament elections approach, think about who will care for your children.


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Philip Micallef
Philip Micallef
1 month ago

Excellent objective factual article. We elect our politicians so must not complain if we get incompetent, corrupt criminals.

Judy S
Judy S
1 month ago

People have to see, think , and say is my party more important then my children’s and our country;s future as at present we are in a mess and a change is needed .

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