Four Intersecting Pandemics Threaten Continuation of Life

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A triad of intersecting world-wide pandemics simultaneously threatening humanity today are the end results of its own insatiable greedy human desire for endless, unchecked growth. Ugly, profit-based, commercial development, unimaginative high-rise towers or mega-social housing projects continue to destroy everything in their wake in an impossible attempt to try to accommodate the out-of-control millions of human refugees, of one sort or another, who continue to everywhere spread like a deadly virus. The simultaneously-disastrous spreading effects of an out-of-control over-heated planet, with its own endless hosts of mutant variants, each as potentially ugly and menacing as the others before it, continue to adversely impact upon the earth’s flora and fauna. A fourth worldwide pandemic involves the gradual deterioration and loss of democratic principles and rules of law. This combined quartet of pandemics is what the human race now faces in kind because of the particular choice of moral universes it has chosen to create for itself. In the process, a common casualty of this often is the demise of the principles of democracy and democracy itself.


Such principles either begin or end with how much real democracy exists at the local level of every community and the humans who inhabit them, as well as how much latitude and control they collectively have over their ultimate destiny and extent to which they are externally-driven by either the market forces of large entities like Amazon and Facebook, or more local outside development interests, rather than each community’s own collective existential sense of itself and reason for being.


As the Earth becomes ever-hotter with each passing year; the ever-expanding populations of human societies and cultures, combined with the ever-evolving mutations of Covid-19 viruses; continue to meld into a deadly Mega-Pandemic cocktail mix, none of which show any signs of diminishment or lessening in their intensity.

As a result, the consequent accumulative effects of Global Warming have now simply led to long-dormant bacteria and viruses, trapped, for countless centuries, deep within glaciers and layers of permafrost to become revived and awakened as the Earth’s climate continues to heat up. Thus, long hidden viruses like Covid-19 and their endless variety of mutant variants are more and more in the ascendancy. They will only continue to do so the warmer the Earth becomes, with the obvious consequences too frightful to contemplate.

Throughout human history it has been a constant race against time between humanity’s conscious awareness of itself as a species and why the species ultimately is here on earth beyond its basic biological drive for survival and self-aggrandizement.

However, as human society, as some would say, ‘has become more intelligent and sophisticated’, with the passage of the species mental and intellectual development to so proudly travel to far distant places, like Planet Mars and beyond, there are those who would otherwise contend that as time progresses, humanity’s societies and cultures, in the main, instead have only become more stupid and unsophisticated’, especially in matters of life that really count, such as simply spiritually and materially caring for one another as fellow beings, as well as all their surrounding planetary lifeforms alike, as if it were the actual sacred duty to do so that it is.

Allowing Global Warming to continue, virtually unabated, while the debate rages on as to whether humans need ever bigger and more flash SUV’s, or more and more fossil fuelled products or less of them all to reverse it, is one of those as yet still unanswered seminal questions, towards which modern society remains all but at sea to markedly do anything meaningful about as it continues to primarily allow, willy-nilly, its myopic masculine, hegemonial-corporate leaders to continue to basically rule, as they see fit, the course and direction of all life on the planet. The end result is that basic human greed that drives the species continues to facilitate these aggressive, disruptive planetary forces.



At the risk of daring to state for the record yet another monotonous ‘Let Dead Dogs Lie’, ‘Sour Grapes’ footnote observation about the typical kind of endless commercial development and human expansion that continues to happen everywhere on the planet, some still more expansive commentary must be made here about how the larger scale human and environmental issues of our times always get boiled down and translated at the local level; in this case on British Columbia’s North Shore in Canada, and more specifically in the tiny Lower Capilano Community where this writer resides.

In this case, they pertain to a local Lower Capilano/Lower Pemberton green belt tree-cutting issue incident whose lack of ultimate resolution, over the years, from the perspective of some of its community leaders own long-range vision for itself, has come to symbolize, as it always does in every community in Canada, if not the world, the wide gap that perpetually exists between direct community involvement in the health and welfare of the life of their community and that of outsiders who always have a far different goal and perspective in mind. How it directly relates to the overall lofty issues and concerns already mentioned, that one could characterize as ‘the ultimate destiny of life’ that surrounds one’s self, family and neighbors, pertains to the same unresolved, always existant, universal issues of inexorable growth, development and destruction of the natural world.

In the specific case of Lower Capilano, it has to do with the original negotiations and dialogue that once-upon-a-time occurred or didn’t occur between members of the then local Lions Gate/Lower Capilano/Norgate/Lower Pemberton home owner/resident associations and their mayor and council politicians over the type/size/quality/extent of commercial, residential and natural green belt development that ultimately was or wasn’t going to become a future reality in and along the nearby Marine Drive/Capilano Rd traffic corridors and surrounding communities; more specifically over what then was the envisioned concept of what was being called the Marine Drive/Capilano Rd High-Rise Village Plan that outside developer interests and politicians alike were heralding at the time as a soon to become an absolutely world-class, singularly-emblematic, ‘Gateway To The North Shore’.

In the minds of the leaders among the local District home owner/residents and their representative associations, as well as their counterparts located within the adjoining North Vancouver City itself, they already could nervously see, from their unique local vantage points, yet another ‘shuck and drive’ spiel that was being put to them and what, in the end, was inexorably going to happen to life on the North Shore as they knew and loved it.

Reality over the span of years that since have followed have shown that what eventuated has indeed been far less ‘world-class’ or ’emblematic’ then what originally was envisioned by the local people themselves; especially among those who were committed to addressing a wide array of growth issues affecting everything from mega-commercial and high-rise development and expansion to out-of-control climate crisis intervention and sensitive, healthy management of the community’s ‘Bowser Trail’ Green Belt borders along its residential area.

What was conceivable back then as well as even now continues to remain markedly different, if not at odds, with what could be called the hegemonic masculine perspectives of what too many local and offshore developers, corporate investors, city planners and the like, back then continue to have locked into their mindset as to where the evolutionary direction of the North Shore, like it or not, must inexorably go.

The upshot of it all years later, as all the proverbial dust still continues to settle, is that the reality of the mega development project that originally involved the Marine Drive-Capilano Rd corridor in question still remains in process of development, and, as a result, the legacy and still unknown ramifications of so much unwanted, excess development will inexorably demand the eventual need to create yet another third major bridge crossing from the North Shore into Vancouver, along with the consequent further spread of even more high-rise density, and elaborate traffic egress systems on and off the North Shore. “There goes the Neighbourhood”, as the old saying goes.

These major changes to future life on the North Shore, compared to how it once was lived by the local Squamish First Nation people and those early pioneers from other lands who clamored to their shores for the same pristine, untrammeled beauty, were significantly altered back then, when DNV politicians and planners, impatient with the dissenting voices of too many local people who had a very different alternative vision of what the North Shore’s indigenous beauty and untrammeled life still could conceivably become, were essentially ‘cut out of the loop’.

Without any fanfare or District-wide community dialogue, debate, or so much as a by-your-leave, the progressive concept of what back then were local community Official Community Plans (OCP’s), that were the product of years of extensive local resident participation, visionary-imagination and direct involvement, along with a lot of blood, sweat and tears, were simply unilaterally, ruthlessly abolished by the politicians, with the single stroke of a pen. It was as if at the time the powers-that-be were officially saying to we residents, “You and your perspectives don’t really count in the same way any more. We will now run everything the way we see fit.”


What continues to happen in places like British Columbia’s North Shore, as it does everywhere else to grass-roots democracy on a seminal scale in places like Lower Capilano, is small potatoes compared to what continues to happen to the greater demise of democracy and more sweeping and complex, violent reactions to its loss on a larger scale in places like China, Hong Kong, Russia, and the United States

Such violent reactions world-wide could be characterized as yet still another long-standing horrific, unchecked, pandemic – A Democratic Pandemic – that continues to sweep through human civilization. One salient case in point is the violent protests and attacks that occurred in the U.S. Capitol in Washington. D.C.. One could simply characterize all such events, whether at a simple local level or more complex national or international level, as microcosms of the macrocosm.

Another upshot of all the constant political maneuvering and conflicted visions of what life could be and still become, that continues unabated at whatever planetary level of human activity, is that direct, democratic, activist involvement in the future destined course of life, be it on Canada’s North Shore or the Planet at large, is continually discouraged by the powers-that-be; who seek to replace these democratic longings with ever more centralized, distant and aloof autocratic and authoritarian forms of governmental rule, controlled less and less by the directly impacted-upon local people themselves, and more by a plethora of Napoleon, Hitler or Trump-like megalomaniacal forces of visionless change, whether welcomed or not by the people themselves. The rest is history, as yet another old saying goes.

Jerome Irwin is a Canadian-American writer who, for decades, has sought to call world attention to problems of environmental degradation and unsustainability caused by excessive mega-development and host of related environmental-ecological-spiritual issues that exist between the conflicting philosophies of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. Irwin is the author of the book, “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey” (, a spiritual odyssey among the native peoples of North America that has led to numerous articles pertaining to: Ireland’s Fenian Movement; native peoples Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance Movement; AIPAC, Israel & the U.S. Congress anti-BDS Movement; the historic Battle for Palestine & Siege of Gaza, as well as; the many violations constantly being waged by industrial-military-propaganda interests against the World’s Collective Soul



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