The planet and the human race are in a poor shape at the moment, quite possibly the worst shape since the end of Word War II. Pessimism is rife everywhere.

Of course, history is dotted with eras when things seemed to be getting worse, not better, on this tiny celestial sphere. However, the pendulum invariably swings, and dark ages are succeeded by lighter ones as rationality reasserts itself. The snag in our present case is that this process often takes decades, even centuries to unfold, and we may not have that much time.

The present incidence appears to be more threatening than all previous ones simply because technology has advanced to such a globally significant stage. Climate change, nuclear capabilities, political implosion fuelled by social media, vast population upheavals driven by growing inequality, these all threaten to bring about seemingly irreversible catastrophe in a way that has never happened in the past.

I do not have the answers to any of those major cataclysmic problems. However, in a somewhat frivolous mood, I do propose three measures for the powers-that-be to consider. If enacted worldwide, I believe they could rebalance the planet and hopefully put things to rights again.

Abolish men

I am a man. I confess to being prey to many of the male species' typical traits. I can be aggressive, arrogant, physical, dominating, unfeeling, etc, etc. I have come to realise in advanced age, and in wiser mood, that the world would be a much better place without my sex.

Men are responsible for most of the ills that dog mankind. Men are behind most crimes, most wars, most tyrannies, most assaults, most cruelties, most inequalities, most fanaticisms, most dogmas. That is not to say that all females are immune to such evils, but if there was a way for women to self-procreate, the world would doubtless be a much kinder, happier, more peaceful place.

If the wholesale elimination of half of the human race seems too extreme, then perhaps the solution would be to make it illegal for men to hold high office, to bear arms, to vote, to have any say on any political or social issue. Confine them to the roles of procreation, joke writing, and refuse collecting. Yes, that sounds viable.

Abolish social media

Social media is responsible for most puerile opinion, for the frying of children's brains, for the spreading of daft conspiracy theories, for the creation of many mental disorders, for the distraction of homo sapiens from most of what really matters in life.

Walk down any street, sit in any restaurant, and the majority of individuals will be existing like zombies, hypnotised by their smart phones. The kids will be playing mind-numbing computer games, the adults will be communicating with others over their devices, instead of with the ones they are actually with, or showing each other old photos of when they last saw each other.

Let's keep the facility to make the odd phone call and take the occasional snapshot of nature or car accidents, but disable all the rest.

Abolish religion

Religious beliefs are a relic from ancient days when primitive humans needed an explanation for the mysteries of the universe, a desperate desire for some omnipotent power to regulate their turbulent lives, and a panacea for the ordeals they suffered.

Superstition is embedded in our DNA. However, with the vast increase in scientific knowledge, there is now no need for the credulous belief in supreme deities, infallible prophets, miraculous resurrections, supernatural phenomena, and all the mystical panoply of theological dogma. It is responsible for many of the world's conflicts, oppressions and cruelties. It is behind most fanatical tyrannies and atrocities. It puts the responsibility for salvation on some imaginary figurehead instead of on man's own shoulders.

Thankfully it is already in decline amongst developed nations. Keep the wonderful cathedrals which are the greatest legacy of superstitious times, but extend man's reach out into the galaxies where genuine Einsteinian wonder lives. Let people read On the Origin of Species rather than the Bible.

Well, I reckon that's enough to be going on with. Enact these three simple measures and there might be hope for the planet yet.