This is going to be short & … well, not sweet, exactly. Contemplating/facing up to/accepting our own extinction as a species is not exactly a pretty topic. Heck, most of us can’t even handle the idea of our “own” death, let alone that of the entire species!? But I’ve written tons elsewhere, as have others, on this topic, & other duties call.
This is being put together as a short & dirty for close friends/colleagues/family members who stubbornly cling to the idea that we 2-leggeds are going to be around for a while.
Me? I think not a very long while at all at all at all.
I want to challenge you to put a little time & effort into this.
** Human beings going extinct: is this not worth an hour of your time? To do a bit of reading/researching?
If not, then I guess you just really don’t want to know. Fair enough. We all gotta do what we gotta do, & you are certainly not alone if you are unable/unwilling to face this very difficult topic head-on. Denial is rampant & ubiquitous. I am certainly more than used to that by now!?
Information Sources I Recommend
Guy McPherson’s Nature Bats Last blog is where I first encountered the term ‘near-term extinction.’ I’d already accepted that we humans are on our way out (as an environmental activist for 26 years now, I’m uncomfortably familiar with how bad the big picture is), but an essay I read on the NBL blog in 2012 put a real serious time frame on things. (To be specific, the ‘We’re Done’ essay.) This made things become much less theoretical for me, shall we say. The topic went quickly from my head down into my guts. This was helpful for me at that particular time for a variety of personal reasons I needn’t go into.
The NBL essay ‘Climate-Change Summary and Update’ is updated frequently, & from it you will get a very full picture indeed of the true state of things. You’ll likely learn about some you’d not even heard of, such as clathrates, methane bursts & self-reinforcing feedback loops. Very thorough, very hard-hitting.
Seemorerocks is a blog with many postings about climate/weather events. This summer has been just plain wild & wicked with drought, heat waves, torrential rainfalls/floods, people dying during aforementioned heat waves in places all over the globe, glacier melt, etc. Oh. I almost forgot the forest fires. But people in Alaska, Washington, California, B.C., Alberta & Saskatchewan (& Siberia, I think? & other places??) have likely not forgotten about those…
The Lifeboat Hour is a radio show now hosted by Carolyn Baker that I mean to listen to weekly, but somehow (to my own regret) don’t manage to. The interviews are fantastic; the interviewees people of great intelligence & heart & wisdom. I was particularly struck by the recent interview with long-time New Zealand activist Kevin Hester. Hester conveys climate change facts in the context of years of experience as a sailor who has watched the ocean change in front of his eyes. But he also goes into heart matters in this interview. He explains how & why he is passionate about informing young people of the true situation; apologizing to them, even, for how we now-older generation humans messed up. He talks about grief, & about being heartbroken about the state of things. It’s a very informative & moving interview; of interest, I’d say, to anyone – NTE-accepter or denier alike.
This essay about the financial scene may be helpful to those whose ears perk up at the subject of the stock market. Another sobering read...
The picture is not, shall we say, too rosy, dear Reader.
Not a pretty one!
Can we not at least tell the truth to each other about the unprecedented events actually taking place around us??
p.s. perhaps you still believe "science can save us." Science & technology, perhaps, hmmm? I have 2 words for you: Hiroshima. Chernobyl. Fukushima. Okay okay, so that’s three. Here’s two: nuclear energy. That was supposed to help save us, hmmmm? How’s that worked out for us, eh?? (Go here for a really daunting list of nuclear accidents/incidents, most of which you have almost certainly never heard of. Horrifying, actually. Keep scrolling; that is one LONG list!?) Of course there are hundreds or thousands of other examples of technology being the problem, not the solution. Just trying to be succinct here, okay?
Neither science nor technology can save us, people. We’re already halfway down the bloody cliff!
Nor can religion. I believe both religion & science/technology have elevated us far too much inside our own minds. We think we are at the tippy-top of some very very very special pyramid scheme that has us oh-so-special humans perched right up at the tippy-tippy top. We’re so smart! We’re so clever!! We’re so special!!! [** see Douglas Adams quotation down below; right on the money, in my opinion!]
Ego. Ego, ego ego & hubris. In my opinion.
Damn. :( :( :( We really really really screwed up, people! Yikes.
p.p.s. For myself, I'm still an activist. Still loving the world, & life/Life – one day at a time. Trying to move through this time of The Great Dying consciously, with eyes wide open. Yes, there is plenty of grief. Much joy, still – & also plenty of grief. Challenging times to be a human being on Planet Earth, no question about that.
& yes, I too am heartbroken. Over & over again, I find my heart breaking, & aching. Might as well be honest about it!
p.s. # 4: a posting on this blog, here, provides a hastily-thrown-together collection of recent articles on the very very very sorry state of things. It is neither comprehensive nor complete. But I have to say, it’s quite the list!? :(
‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “I can say that it is time now to play ‘the end of the world’ symphony. I don’t know what instrument you hold, but you need to play it as best as you can, & find your place in the score. You don’t have to play a solo here. But this is our task now.” – Dr. Sandra Steingraber, in a 2014 interview with Bill Moyer
** small collection of NTE-related quotations here
Puddle Theory: Douglas Adams musing on “intelligent design”: “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.”