Story 14 - Mission Africa.
"That will never happen, Peter," was Tony's reply. "We both know that."
"No Tony, we don't know that. It can happen. In fact, what is required will happen, because we all want to survive. This means it will happen. Maybe it won't happen today, or tomorrow, but it will happen, and it will happen soon. One percent of the global product isn't too much to devote to the rebuilding of an entire continent, especially when so much is at stake. It will happen once people stop denying reality. In addition to rescuing Africa, humanity will have to put up double that amount each year to complete the Eurasian Land Bridge project that is required to link Africa to the world. Without that, the development of Africa will physically not be possible. The economic destruction, and human devastation, that has been heaped upon Africa has been too great for a simple solution to be possible. Rescuing Africa will have to become the focus of the entire world, by which the world
must necessarily be forced onto redevelop itself, too, as a part of the same process. But the primary focus will have to be on Africa. Nothing less will do, Tony, or else humanity will not survive, and that means all of us. We have run ourselves so deeply into the ground, everywhere around the world, that we now have to resort to emergency measures just to survive."
Tony just shook his head. "Man, you're dreaming," he said in a scolding tone of voice. "Get real! None of this will ever happen in Africa. Even if the money can be provided, it will sink into the ground like rain, and disappear. The layers of corruption go infinitely deep in Africa, deeper than anywhere in the world. The people of influence have been corrupted for centuries, by the best teachers of corruption that are found in the West. Africa has been forced into the mud, and has been stuck there for
decades, and this more deeply than our own bus has gotten stuck. You can't reverse all of that with a sudden crash program."
"Of course, I can't," I replied with a smile. "That's not my job. But the whole world working together can get the problem resolved, and this without bowing to corruption. The fight we face here is bigger than the fight we have so far faced against nuclear
weapons, which we never really pursued seriously. I said this a thousand times,
haven't I, that it is physically possible for all nuclear weapons to be disabled in one day, if people decide to do that, but the biological threat that is coming out of Africa, and out of other devastated poor nations, is far greater than the threat of a nuclear war and cannot be eradicated that easily. As a matter of fact, I expect that the world's nuclear weapons will be eliminated in the background to this fight for global survival. I even believe that this is the only way in which the nuclear weapons threat
may ultimately be resolved."
"Get real," Tony replied. "I can see your point, Peter. I fully understand that Africa needs to be rescued, and that it will take the combined effort of the whole world to accomplish that, but this help won't be forthcoming. You are dreaming. Africa won't get this help, even if it is required for
us all to survive. It won't get it. Most people don't give a shit. 'Africa is far away,' they say. 'Why should I care about Africa?' 'What's in it for me?' 'Who needs Africa anyway?' Just go into the streets and ask what people think about Africa. That's what they will tell you, because that is what I witnessed when I watched a group trying to organize support for Africa. You don't seem to understand, Peter, that what you are dreaming about won't happen. Those people who organized to aid Africa couldn't raise a hundred dollars, Pete. You are asking for four-hundred billion a year. You simply don't understand that this won't ever happen."
"No, Tony, it is you who doesn't understand the problem we have to solve. You don't understand the problem at all. The ultimate reason why we are on this mission isn't that Africa needs our help. It's really the other way around. The truth is, the world needs Africa to save itself."