So, I talk a lot about “NTE” – near-term extinction. I write about it, post about it – but maybe I haven’t (recently, anyway) – sort of enumerated the … um … collectivity of things that make up (or back up) my firm conviction that our species is toast.
Potentially a good deal sooner than most folks suppose.
Most public figures will not admit to this (even though most, surely, know it as much as I do??).
“Well if we bleah-bleah-bleah-bleah-bleah by the (something-or-other) year, we can “fix” the climate” – keep the temperature rise to bleah-bleah-bleah degrees”
“We need to bleah-bleah-bleah-bleah-bleah & we can still pull this bleah-bleah-bleah out of the fire”
(& of course people have been saying all this stuff for decades already, & we never did the bleah-bleah-bleah-bleah-bleah that we needed to do, hmmm? Scientists way back in 1992 were giving us a World Scientists’ Warning To Humanity, humans. Geez: wasn’t anybody listening??)
So, for the uninitiated (it really does appear as though some folks have truly just simply not been paying very much attention at all)…
It isn’t "just" that:
The ozone layer that protects all life here on Planet Earth is shredded to smithereens (they “fixed” it, you say?? Then how come we are still being told to wear sunscreen? Still being told the “UV rating” every day? How come the UV ratings are so high-high-high-high-high?? How come the sun feels so goshdarn BURNY these daze?) ** recent post from me on this topic
The oceans are positively choked with garbage & plastic & a thousand kinds of pollutants, & are heating up like mad (as well as acidic) & the oceans’ plankton is in a mess & we humans need the plankton to be okay ourselves (well, only if we want to breathe, that is) &
Population growth is exponential & consumer demands are endless & HBs (human beings) have absolutely infinite desires (so it would appear!) on a finite planet &
Resources of all kinds are being dug up/mined/milled/burned/fracked … all of this with huge amounts of related pollution of air/water/soils (not to mention health impacts) &
The “gender-bending” chemicals (endocrine disruptors) have been messing with us all for decades & decades while most of us were seemingly looking in some other direction
“Imagine if, for the last 50 years, we had sprayed the whole earth with a nerve gas. Would you be upset? Would I be upset? Yes! I think people would be screaming in the streets. Well...we’ve done that. We’ve released endocrine disruptors throughout the world that are having fundamental effects on the immune system, on the reproductive system. We have good data that show that wildlife and humans are being affected. Should we be upset? Yes – I think we should be fundamentally upset. I think we should be screaming in the streets!” – Prof Louis Guillette
Babies are now (for God’s sake) born pre-polluted &
Nuclear war (for goddesses’ sake) is an ever-present threat – either by deliberate choice/action or by some sloppy mistake/miscalculation &
The planet is simply blanketed by & with nuclear waste/radioactivity – on the land, in the air (yeah: the bright lights in the nuclear biz – I call them the Nuke Boyz – BURN some of the nuke waste. I only wish I were making this up) ... & in all our waterways as emissions/leaks/deliberate dumping &
Our air is literally carcinogenic &
Our water – our drinking water! – comes from sources heavily polluted by hundreds of chemicals (& assorted radionuclides), & in order to be made “safe” for consumption, must first be brutalized with the addition of additional dangerous chemicals (i.e. chlorine) & let’s not even mention fluoride shall we? &
Did I forget to mention lead?? &
Senseless, absurd, dangerous, inexplicable social injustices/income disparities/racism have always been deeply, deeply embedded in most cultures (the so-called “civilized” cultures) on Planet Earth, & any not characterized by these deadly viruses (as it were) were/have been/are still being fiercely exploited/destroyed/decimated by the members of the (so-called) “civilization” that has run riot over the face of this stunning planet &
Politicians behave every single day in manners so completely insane that one can only shake one’s head, aware, one hopes, that these puppet people (most of them) are utterly captives of the various rapacious corporations that mine & pillage so … rapaciously … that one can only ask oneself whether most of them are actually, genuinely, psychopathic…
Human beings = a war-making machine, waging endless ENDLESS wars on one another (i.e. our own species) & on the planet (see above) &
HBs also = bottomless pits of dissatisfaction, greed, desire; wanting more, always more, always more-more-more, or, to put it another way,
The human tendencies of greed, envy, avarice, hubris & #EgosRunAmok have caused our species to, well, #Run Amok on this beautiful planet, for generations, now, & millennia, & now #HereWeAreHmmmm? … so, to conclude, finally that,
& I’ve left out a thing or 10 (climate change alone has a great many un-pretty & likely not-widely-understood aspects/feedback loops associated with it), but my point being
It is not “just” one of these facts/phenomena that will take us off the world stage
It is ALL of them.
Acting together in messy, unpredictable (inevitably unpleasant) ways, culminating (sooner than we suspect, I suspect) in a climax of self-immolation
(as it were)
Now I’m out of breath.
I get a bit passionate about it all!!
Despairing, at times…)
Be patient with me! I’ve been an activist for decades! Trying to “save the world,” “save the humans”
& sitting watching this endless show, this orgy, of murder/suicide/omnicide
It’s hard at times, okay?
…….pause for breath
You see, a great many “genies” got out of a whole raft of bottles
(as it were)
A very long time ago, now.
(Yes! A very VERY long time ago now. Chemicals/nukes/fracking & such being relatively recent players on the stage, once you dig right down to figure out when & where our “culture,” “civilization” or “system” went off the rails…& I’ve done that, & read & pondered, a great deal, written about it, of course, too, inevitably…).
You can’t stuff genies back in bottles, however much you may want to.
The momentum of this run-away train, now,
Is simply un-stoppable (or so many of us now believe).
That’s where I’m coming from.
& there’s more I could say
But I have said a lot (here on this blog, & elsewhere, over the decades)
Like What Do We Do Now?
& Staying on My Feet <May 2018>
etc. etc. etc.
Many NTE-related items, & also musings about grief are collected up semi-tidily in this Collections posting… (along with additional graphics that are relevant to the current situation).
And, as per this great quotation from E.B. White,
“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I awake in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world, and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” – E.B. White
Since I am still WILDLY grateful for my life/this life/Life --- off I now go, to enjoy the day.
The world as it is! Messy & ruined & still, still! Soooooo enormously beautiful a place to be alive in!!!!
p.s. there is a Facebook support group for people who’ve accepted that near-term extinction is what our species is facing. You can look for it here.
p.p.s.** 2 useful items about dealing with the current human situation:
A Few Quotations that spring to mind
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning of life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re really seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” – Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth ** more JC quotes
“I know what the greatest cure is: it is to give up, to relinquish, to surrender, so that our little hearts may beat in unison with the great heart of the world.” – Henry Miller
“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are confident and the intelligent full of doubt.” ~ Bertrand Russell – quoted in CCPA Monitor, April 2008
“Since Adam and Eve ate the apple, man has never refrained from any folly of which he was capable.” – Bertrand Russell
“The right way to wholeness is made up of fateful detours and wrong turnings.” – C. G. Jung
“The aesthetic indictment of industrialism is perhaps the least serious. A much more serious feature is the way in which it forces men, women and children to live a life against instinct, unnatural, unspontaneous, artificial. Where industry is thoroughly developed, men are deprived of the sight of green fields and the smell of earth after rain; they are cooped together in irksome proximity, surrounded by noise and dirt, compelled to spend many hours a day performing some utterly uninteresting and monotonous mechanical task. Women are, for the most part obliged to work in factories, and to leave to others the care of their children. The children themselves, if they are preserved from work in the factories, are kept at work in school, with an intensity that is especially damaging to the best brains. The result of this life against instinct is that industrial populations tend to be listless and trivial, in constant search of excitement, delighted by a murder, and still more delighted by a war.” (Ouch!!) Bertrand Russell – June 1921 issue of The Atlantic Monthly
“Two centuries of philosophers stand in opposition to the modern American recipe for happiness and fulfillment. You can’t buy your way in. You can’t amuse yourself in. You can’t even expect falling in love to deliver you. The most promising way to happiness is, perhaps, through creativity, through literally creating a fulfilling life for yourself by identifying some unique talent or passion and devoting a good part of your energy to it, forever.” ~ Kalle Lasn/Bruce Grierson in Utne Reader
“This is the true joy in life – the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. The being a force of nature, instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch I’ve got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it to future generations.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Life is a gift,” Baker says. “Gratitude for what remains is more helpful than resentment for what was lost. Ultimately, I came to understand that these days are wicked short and terribly beautiful. All I’ve got is this one breath, and if I’m lucky, I get another.” Sam Baker
Tons of inspiring quotes about this, that & the other thing, here!
** additional graphics in this posting