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Our geological epoch, the Anthropocene, in which mankind is shaping the fate of the planet, is characterized by existential threats. Some are addressed in action plans such as the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. But we seem to be caught between knowing that we should change our behavior and our entrenched habits.

In an overpopulated world, many have asked, “What is the value of human life?” The COVID-19 pandemic has raised this issue once more, framing the question in stark terms: Who should die first if there are not enough resources to save everyone?

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