What I find myself wondering is, is it wrong of me to want bird 'flu to hit? These 'flu's and viruses do a fairly important job of thinning out the numbers and, to be brutally frank, I think the human race could do with some thinning out. In the last hundred or so years we've expanded way too fast with too little thought. Even though we have decent birth control methods available, we're breeding too quickly. We have major countries making decisions based upon what will be popular at a local level as opposed to making the decisions that are responsible to their neighbours (and ultimately themselves) on a global scale. And most industrial societies have no care or thought as to where their readily disposable items come from, i.e. the real cost in resources, people, etc.
So, I say, bring on the bird 'flu.
Now I know I have just as much chance of dying as anyone. Hell, if it were to kick in at Christmas, my chances of getting it radically improve. But that's as may be. I can think of a few times where I should have bit the bullet. Hell there are kids of seven dying of cancer, I've had five times the life most of them will have, I've got nothing to complain about and only one regret. I may well lose people I care for. But hey, I've already lost people I care for, and I survived that. Ten years later I still miss my dad. But thing is, if myself or a few of my loved ones dying also means that the population of a place like the US is being cut in half, I think it's worth it.
And these days a pandemic is more likely to spread out of control in the more industrially advanced countries than in the third world ones. There are too many ways for the viruses to get in. Oh, the third world countries will get hit, but hey, everywhere will get hit. But it's very likely that the countries that have a lot of folks going in and out of them, and moving around a lot in them, will really cop it.
I'm not stupid. I don't think that cutting the population of the planet in half will make people go to solar quicker, care for the environment more, or truly appreciate where their meat, vegetable and other services actually come from. But hey, when electricity and running water isn't a given anymore because there aren't enough folks to keep the services going, maybe people will think and appreciate it all a little more. Maybe they will learn about how to actually do things, instead of sitting around waiting for someone else to do them. How to actively participate in their culture and society rather than hiding away from it.
And hey, if nothing else, it may give the planet and a few of the species of plants and animals we're wiping out some breathing space.
PS If you see me and I run up and rub a pigeon in your face, you can safely assume I don't like you very much.