I’m totally “out of the closet” now about being what some people apparently call a “doomer.” (This is not a term I really associate with myself, btw. But you know, whatever. A rose by any other name, & all that.)
I’m a person who believes, who has come to accept, that the human race is on its last legs; will likely become extinct in the not-very-distant future. Not a hundred or hundreds of years from now, as so many people seem to think. Hmmm. Seems like most folks accept we’re ultimately doomed, come to think of it. So maybe we’re all “doomers” & it’s just the timeline that varies??
Anyway, soon. Within a decade or two. (or, um, sooner even.)
Near-term extinction. (NTE or NTHE – near-term human extinction – is discussed all the time on the Nature Bats Last blog, & this is the place/site where I learned the term & the near time frame, if not the concept of human extinction.)
Clearly, we don’t all believe the same things, we humans. Duh. We don’t all share the same “faith” – whether you’re referring to religious faith or really, any kind of faith whatsoever, deity-based or non-deity-based.
I can’t discuss near-term extinction with most of the people I know. It’s just quietly a topic not permitted in “polite” company. (I am frequently impolite, though, & have a # of friends with whom I do discuss it. There is also a Facebook support group for those who have accepted NTE: it’s here, & I enjoy it a great deal! It’s a closed group, but feel free to check it out.)
So, here I am. Still an activist, mind you – only because nuke issues continue to compel me to continue to act. (I live relatively close to 2 rather large nuclear generating stations. They’re old, they’re creaky, & I don’t trust them a bit.)
I’m not freaking out about NTE, mostly – though there are times when it all makes me feel anxious. Truth? Sometimes I do feel a bit freaked out. (But then, I am merely human, merely fallible, after all, hmmmm? Wiping ourselves off the face of the planet – having turned it all into a vast gigantic toxic waste/garbage heap, causing vast #’s of species to be wiped out, the very oceans filled with radioactivity & acidic, from climate change; well, it’s quite a job we’ve done here, is it not??)
Now? It is what it is.
You can’t really argue with Reality. (Well, you can, I guess, but is there any point??)
Let me explain that I did not come to this view easily, impulsively, or overnight. (My road to this mental place is explained in the post ‘Dear Margaret.’)
So … now what?
Much of what I hear other people talk about these days (sports, TV shows, technology predictions, scientific inquiry, plans to go to Mars, “the future” etc. etc.) sounds absurd to me. I hear people express worry about the mess they are leaving for their grandchildren (people who don’t yet have grandchildren), & I hear people still encouraging young people to have children, to “raise a family.”
??????? Really?? **** see note added in below
These things ring very absurd in my ears. Just saying.
In fact, I know people who have relatively young children who have said to me that, had they known the depth of the climate crisis now all-too-evident in our world, they would likely have chosen to remain childless.
Well. Again. You can’t really argue with Reality. We each live in whatever situation we live in. We have to make our peace with whatever that is … right? Otherwise, it’s going to make you/me/us crazy. (The times are crazy enough without more of us losing our marbles, hmmm? Please don’t lose your marbles! We're really going to need those marbles!!)
I’m a writer. A writer & an activist. These two things make me feel very alive. (I am very alive!) So, I continue to do both writing & activism. I am finding now that some of the stuff I write (& have written) seems kind of beside the point now. A lot of things in general, now, seem rather irrelevant in the face of the abrupt climate change already underway, & in light of the climate impacts coupled with the possible nuclear nightmare(s) likely to be unleashed in the daze ahead.
Much that one hears discussed among one’s fellow humans now seems not terribly relevant or compelling.
But here we are, hmmm? Here we are, now.
I’ll likely keep right on
- being grateful daily
- doing fun things with my peeps
- & worthwhile work
& trying to be a decent, thoughtful, kind person.
As long as humanly possible.
Not sure that anything else really makes sense!
p.s. going to put some useful graphics on a separate page in the brand-new NTE section of the blog. Also, some useful resources, helpful quotes. Off the top I do highly recommend Pauline Schneider's documentary Going Dark. 30 minutes long. Very, very well done. (later note: NTE-related postings & resources can be found collected up in this posting.)
p.p.s. the Dalai Lama says that kindness alone could be our religion. No churches, no dogma, no fighting over who believes what. Just kindness. Many quotations from him here.
**** a p.s., really, 3 days after posting this: regarding having children. I feel I must add this: I never lie to ANYone about how much of a high motherhood has always-always-always been for me. I have never in my life done anything that has caused more joy, ever, than being a mother. Okay? I have grown children, & as I recently said to someone, "Motherhood trumps everything." So let's just be 100% clear about that. Parenthood is awesome & wonderful & I would never in a million years have missed out on it, not for ANYthing. However, having said that, the world was not in the parlous state it is in now when I embarked on parenthood, OK? This simply cannot be denied. I could not now, in good conscience, encourage anyone to become a parent in the world that exists today. I simply could not. That's all. I thought I ought to explain this. & of course, people will do with it as they will. I cannot live anyone else's life for her/him.
‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “We are here to help each other through this, whatever this is.” – Dr. Mark Vonnegut (son of writer Kurt Vonnegut), when asked “Why are we here?” (Kurt Vonnegut’s last speech can be found here. For the record, I’ve been a KV fan for lo, many a decade now. Probably since about 1974, or thereabouts. The incomparably wise, witty, cynical, “old fart” Kurt Vonnegut. Bless him…)