John Green on emergencies versus long-term problems

Novelist and vlogger John Green very succinctly raises the point that humans are often pretty good at dealing with emergencies but often a lot less good at dealing with long-term problems. (But see below.)


Of course, John Green has previously said things that at least seem to contradict what he says here. The UN’s Millennium Development Goals, for example, represent attempts to address long-term problems, and a pretty respectable amount of progress has been made, as pointed out by none other than John Green in a video I referenced in this post from 2015.

He’s elsewhere talked about unexpected good news from poor countries and how even 2016 had its good points.

But Green isn’t really contradicting himself. We humans probably don’t do as well with chronic problems as we do with those that can be addressed and fixed more fairly quickly. We ought to pay more attention to the serious problems that exist and haven’t yet been adequately addressed. At the same time, some people are working hard on a lot of long-term problems and in a lot of cases getting good results. It’s reassuring to know that a lot of seemingly huge and unsolvable problems actually can be addressed and at least mitigated.

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