In mid-October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its World Economic Outlook report, which offered some dizzying data. For 2020, the IMF estimates that the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will decline by 4.4%, while in 2021 the global GDP will rise by 5.2%. Stagnation and decline will define the economic activity in both Europe and North America, as well as in large states such as Brazil and India. With a second wave of coronavirus infections in Europe and with the first wave not having been controlled in Brazil, India, and the United States, it appears that these IMF estimates might sink further downwards.
As we start the 21st century and the new millennium, our scientific and technological civilization seems to be entering a period of crisis. Today, for the first time in history, science has given to humans the possibility of a life of comfort, free from hunger and cold, and free from the constant threat of infectious disease. At the same time, science has given us the power to destroy civilization through thermonuclear war, as well as the power to make our planet uninhabitable through pollution and overpopulation.