Certainly the ultimate Sustainability is the extension of the life cycle — so we mere humans could live to 125 or 150 years of age, for example. But is this something we really want to do? A recent Pew Research Center Study explored peoples’ opinions on living longer and the results might surprise you. In the Washington Post article Americans sharply divided about dramatically extending human lifespan, the poll finds there are interesting divides which raise all types of societal, ethical and religious issues.
“… fifty-six percent of Americans say they would personally not want treatments that would allow them to live dramatically longer lives…”
Some of the reasons given include, a drain on natural resources, negative impact on the economy, boredom and even “social, political, economic, environmental, moral and other questions, including on concepts of marriage, parenting and the gap between rich and poor…” (What might your reasons be if you agree with these views?)
One of the issues that seemed to escape the respondents is the state of one’s health during that extended life. If in the last 40 years of your life you would be physically and mentally in the shape of a current 90 year old, that prospect might not be very pleasant. Poor health in old age can be something that most people would not like to experience for an additional 25 to 50 years. But scientists quoted in the article indicate that health standards would be vastly improved and longer life would provide better health through the life-span.
Religious leaders also brought into the discussion with some musing that delaying the dying process takes away the opportunity to be with God.
My take is simple…I would like to live longer, as long as I was healthy and above all not bored. You would have to evolve a new value system, like writing a bucket list that would last 25-40 years…..and buying cars that would last 15-25 years (Detroit — are you listening?). And work at living a longer life with purpose and dignity. I love what I am doing right now – sharing news and commentary from around the world with our readers. And could continue doing it for another 25-30 years.
Read the article and the study. There are many other interesting results for the ultimate sustainability…a longer life.