I bet you’re sick of hearing about climate change?
I know I am:
Blah, blah, blah.
Let’s face it, we know there’s a problem — a Wicked one — but none of our esteemed leaders has the will, political or otherwise, to do what’s necessary to avert the end game of the Anthropocene. (“India has promised to cut its emissions to net zero by 2070 – missing a key goal of the COP26 summit for countries to commit to reach that target by 2050.” — BBC News, 2 November 2021.”)
Where does that leave us?
Up sh*t creek without a matchstick, let alone a paddle.
Of course, that won’t stop the opinion fest of social media and all those other green-technology experts telling us there’s still time for us to act and (somehow which is lost on me) that we can collectively row back from our parlous and death-dealing position.
I don’t think so, sadly.
Not that I’ve got a crystal ball, but far from having the ability to stop the engine of Capitalism (which is slowly eating us all alive), it will be a case of being stopped by an avalanche of first one man-made disaster and then another until there won’t be much left save the high places or those places that can still just about sustain life — and of course, only for the select few, i.e. the Billionaire class.
If you asked me what I’d do, I’d make it very simple — and please bear with me during my little folly of a thought experiment. I’d pass an International law requiring all of us to take a pill — you pick the colour; its effect will be the same — where, at the appointed hour, we’d take the pill and all painlessly die. Of course, we’d have to provide for those that couldn’t take the pill, but there would be no ifs, buts or maybes.
I recognise there would be some unintended consequences that, as likely, would cause continued and unprecedented destruction but, at least this way, the world and our non-human brothers and sisters might stand a smidgen of a chance of surviving beyond where we will take them with our pathetic attempts to curb the worst effects of the Anthropocene.
Now I did tell you it was a thought experiment but as someone yesterday on Twitter invited my radical response, this is it.
Of course, no one is going to vote for their demise. It’s not only too ridiculous a proposition to countenance, but it also engages our Lizard Brain which would be on high alert and would do everything in its power to defend its inalienable right to continue now and for the generations to come. Also, no doubt, the hue and cry would centre on our (perceived) technological brilliance and the fact that even though the technology doesn’t yet exist, there’s always hope that we’ll be able to sort out our sh*t before it’s too late. And then there’s the spirituality crowd who feel it’s only a matter of time before we have a mass raising of consciousness so that we stopped all death-dealing behaviour and once again lived in harmony with nature. And that means all 10.9 billion people by the year 2100?
In the end, or at least this is my take on things, it’s all so circular. Yes, there are options, but even allowing for the rhetoric of COP26 and all the other events that will talk up our chances of continued survival, albeit on a compromised planet, for me it’s simply a case of saying if not now, when? 2100, 2200, 2300? Whatever the year, and even if we’re not all wiped off the face of the earth, the future looks very, very bleak when compared to what my generation has lived through and enjoyed. As to someone arriving from outer space, they’re bound to conclude, as was the premise of the film The Day the Earth Stood Still, we’ve made one almighty mess of things.
You might ask why, if the position is so hopeless, I’m even writing on the subject? I’m not entirely sure but one thing that I’m committed to is trying to engage with people over the idea of population and procreation ethics. Not that I’m any expert but having stumbled over antinatalism, it still seems to me that with our proclivity to bring new sentient beings into the world — i.e. we’re pronatalist — it’s about time the conversation was balanced against the harm of doing so. As I’ve said before, I’ve zero expectation of changing anyone’s mind and in fact that’s not where I’m coming from, but I do think it important to ask ourselves what those to come will have to deal with and live through occasioned by our deeply narcissistic behaviour. In this regard, if you see me quote from a range of rather nihilistic sources — e.g. Cioran, Schopenhauer or Benatar (I don’t think he’s nihilistic for the record) — then I make no apologies but one thing that’s clear to me is this topic has been written about well before the latest calamity to befall mankind, which gives me a degree of hope that its time may be now, even on a limited scale.
As I’ve indicated before, I’d love to know your thoughts on the whole climate change/Net-zero thing. Please feel free to leave a comment below.