We stopped buying stuff.
We stopped burning fossil fuels.
We didn’t manifest anthropocentric exceptionalism.
We opened a conversation about antinatalism.
We accepted that we are the problem and no solution is big enough to make up for our past mistakes.
We accepted that the money men aren’t interested in the long-term survival of the human race.
We accepted that this level of population is unsustainable now or in the future.
And when I say accept, I don’t mean some blithe acceptance — as if it’s going to make any or any real difference — but collectively we evinced a deep desire to: a) change the narrative, b) break asunder the status quo and c) live a very different life.
But we won’t do any of these things. We’re either too scared or indifferent to the consequences. And therein lies the paradox of humanity, namely, we’re the most intelligent species ever to inhabit this world but also the most stupid.
Frankly, not that I’m an expert, but I think it’s too late to do very much if anything to change the trajectory. And I know I might be a lone voice but that’s the way I see it. It’s no wonder then, as I near the end of my days, that I’m deeply mistrustful of anyone who trades in hope or the naivete to believe that we can engineer a solution to fix all that’s gone wrong with the world these past 200 years. Let’s face it, we’ve been on the take for so long that we’ve got used to a level of comfort and customer satisfaction that you might say is hard-wired into all our systems, including education, the workplace and how we expect to end our days.
Even if I wasn’t so negative, and we started talking about more grassroots initiatives, less top-down government and more connectedness with our non-human cousins, how the hell do you mobilise 8 billion people to all row in the same direction? I don’t see it. When it was East vs. West or Communism vs. Capitalism perhaps it was easier to see which side would come out on top but the world is so fractured now, with each country and/or its peoples intent on fostering their own agenda, we’ll never get to a point of consensus. And when the shit really hits the fan, in Mad-Max style, instead of nations coming together, they’ll be blown apart and be at war with each other.
As I said, I’m sure I’m a lone voice and for sure not one that’s full of hope. At best, I am hope free and from that space, I feel able to (at least) open up about those issues that might be coming down the track. To that extent, my writing might end up being more science fiction than trying to extinct the worst effects of the Anthropocene.
And I’m fine with that.