Prevention of Mass Suicide for the Homo Sapiens Species

The term suicide can be used as a noun (the act of committing suicide), a verb meaning to put oneself to death as in “suiciding,” and an adjective as in “a suicide mission.” Whether used as a noun, verb or an adjective it generally is also defined as the intentional taking of one’s own life.  A mass suicide is well defined by the American Psychological Association (the APA) as:

“The deliberate ending of the lives (plural) of all or most of the members of an intact social group or aggregate by the members themselves, either directly through self-injurious behavior or indirectly by choosing a course of action that will likely be fatal. Examples include extremely hazardous missions undertaken by combat units (see altruistic suicide) and the suicides of the more than 900 members of the People’s Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978; the 70 members of the Order of the Solar Temple in Europe and Canada between 1994 and 1997; and the 39 Heaven’s Gate followers of Marshall Applewhite in San Diego in 1997. Mass suicide often occurs at the command of a charismatic leader and may be provoked not by despair but by the desire to seek a “higher state of existence” promised by the leader. Also called collective suicide.”

A closely related term which refers to animals is Animal Suicide which can also take on a Mass Suicide form, as when a pod of whales collectively “choose to” beach themselves:

“Animal suicide is when an animal intentionally ends its own life through its actions. It implies a wide range of higher cognitive capacities that experts have been wary to ascribe to nonhuman animals such as a concept of self, death, and future intention. There is currently not enough empirical data on the subject for there to be a consensus among experts. For these reasons, the occurrence of animal suicide is controversial among academics.”

Most people seem to prefer to avoid a discussion of the issue of suicide even though it is one of the leading causes of death.  Suicide deaths have increased substantially in the past few decades in the US and for a wide variety of reasons suicide rates appear to have markedly increased even more since COVID appearedAnd now, for the first time in my medical career, suicides have become a leading cause of death in young children.  Despite the warning signs, some suicides don’t happen immediately and may not happen for years. Like a diabetic who is dying from eating sugar on a regular basis, the job of the physician is to see the warning signs and make an intervention by confronting the life-damaging and suicidal behaviors as soon as they become obvious.

Since I am trained to address the issue of suicide head on, I do not have the luxury to deny suicidality without endangering my patients.  Likewise, most people I question about the subject on a much larger scale, do not know that our species, homo sapiens, is actively pursuing mass suicide.  Climate Change and global warming is like that.  It is happening slowly and will only become a deadly problem for our species in a few decades unless we take definitive actions to reverse it.  I describe the only solutions that can work in my book, An Earthly Chance. [Gant C. 2022 “The Only Climate Change Solution Possible is Moral, Science-Based, Economically-Responsible, and Healing.” ]

 Basically, we can solve global warming by sequestering atmospheric carbon into our topsoils which makes our food vastly more nutritious.  This process is called regenerative agriculture.  Countries around the world will never limit the burning of fossil fuels as it would endanger their militaries [the military hardware of any country primarily runs on fossil fuels] and starve their populations, [the 40 million tractors that help to grow food in the world run on fossil fuels] so the notion that Climate Change can be addressed by limiting the burning of fossil fuels is absurd. 

The increases in suicidal behaviors, especially in children, is a classic example of pervasive denial in our society. Most people prefer to remain in denial that such suicidal behaviors are markedly increasing.  If my child or my grandchildren are not suicidal, who cares?!  Physicians, on the other hand, are more inclined to not remain in denial, as we often must sign the death certificates.  Suicidality is in our face.  However, most people seem to go on with their candy-coated prosperous lives and seem to avoid concerning themselves with markedly increasing rates of suicide, pretending that it is not happening unless it touches their lives directly.  And if the world is slowly committing mass suicide by not addressing Climate Change, perhaps this is simply just a larger example of such mass denial.  

The cartoons below poke fun at our massive denial systems that are in place as we collectively avoid the issue of Climate Change, or worse yet, promote “solutions” like restriction of the burning of fossil fuels which can never work, [Democrat position] or to not take any action by denying that solutions are even necessary. [Republican postition]  Authentic solutions to Climate Change and realistic approaches to avoiding the mass suicide of our species are slowly gaining acceptance* but since the promoted ineffective solutions, or lack thereof, support various political agendas and profiteering efforts, the authentic solutions to Climate Change are relatively unpublicized so far.

See*:   An Earthly Chance       
            The “4 per 1000” Initiative 
            Kiss the Ground


Climate Change Memes and Cartoons Everyone Should See

The SETI Suicide Hotline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides a toll-free number to call if an individual is thought to be at risk of suicide.  As we approach the 11th hour of civilization or species suicide, I would suggest that we search for an intergalactic suicide hotline, or at least get off of our arrogance and ask for help in some way.  Although as yet “unproven,” on a purely statistical basis, even our medium-sized galaxy of a mere 100 billion or so stars, should be teeming with sentient life.  And that’s just one galaxy in probably hundreds of billions of others.  Instead of simply listening for intelligent signals from other star systems, isn’t it high time to also send out a distress call that we are a suicidal civilization and that we are humbly asking for help?  As we have a mere several decades before we will almost certainly cross into an irreversible Climate-Change-related tipping points and kill ourselves, we need to cut to the chase.  Like a good psychiatrist responding to a suicidal patient, there may be an ethical aversion to helping out until the patient (us) takes responsibility and actually asks for help.

Please review recent UFO footage which has been leaked and shows incontrovertible evidence that extraterrestrial intelligent life is already here.  However, I ask again, is there an ethical aversion to providing help unless we take responsibility and ask for it?  I do not have an answer for this question, but perhaps the irrefutable Climate Change data could motivate enough of us to formulate a sincere request for assistance.  Why would assistance be rendered if we do not take responsibility and ask for it?  Perhaps our willingness to abandon our arrogance is a criteria for first contact.  Obviously, we have come a ways in our technological development and now we are threatened by it, and this must be a recurring theme in our galaxy and elsewhere.  We should continue the SETI search and make substantive improvements as noted in the reference cited above, but now, within those search parameters, a humble request for assistance should added.  Why would any advanced technological civilization offer assistance unless we sincerely ask for it?