It’s hard for me to capture the essence of what’s happening or at least what I feel is happening to this once pristine world.
In what sense?
In the sense that we know we’ve made a mess of living on this planet — especially since the age of the industrial revolution — and not enough is being done to row back from our parlous position.
But then again, why would anyone want it all to end, now, or in the near term? I don’t (I think constantly about the world I’m leaving to my children) but the irrefutable evidence hangs heavy in the air that makes it clear to me that we’re well past the tipping point. More like we’re on a collision course to our demise. And what does that say about the human race?
Where do I even start?
Right up there, apropos climate change and loss of biodiversity, has to be the fact (apologies for the finger-wagging) that we’re not very serious people.
Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to making money, accumulating stuff and comfort-seeking we’re very, very serious but of course, all of that is based on the here and crumbling now and bears no relation to a species that’s willing to keep in check its destructive ways. It reminds me of the scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971):
“Mr. Wonka shows them the geese that can lay golden eggs. If it’s a good egg, it’s shipped out, and if it’s a bad egg it goes down the garbage disposal and the incinerator. Veruca Salt says to her dad that she wants one of the geese now and she sings “I Want It Now”. She runs around the room, making a mess of everything and then jumps onto the scale that discriminates the good and bad eggs called the “Eggdicator”. The scale dumps her into the garbage disposal, and her father jumps down after her. The Oompa Loompas then sing a song about Veruca, and continue their work.” — Wonkapedia Wiki
That’s us: we want it Now!
None of what I say is new or revelatory but that doesn’t stop me opining on how it got like this and considering if there’s anything we can actually do to delay our eventual demise?
On this latter point, I’m more inclined to say it’s too late, which might come across as defeatist — more like I’m defeated by how stupid I’ve been in not recognising the ‘problem’ sooner both personally and in my work — but then again, being laid low by something might be, at least for a while, a better, soul-nourishing antidote than having to listen to another fist-pumping, we-can-do-it exhortation that seems shallow in the extreme.
In trying to put my arms around this problem, one thing is clear: it’s not going away. And I suppose as long as we apprehend that, we’re at least further along the road than the everything-will-be-fine cohort or the hope-mongerers that I’ve such a hard time taking seriously when the future is so barren and denuded of life.
Much love, Ju