I’m just going to say it. I have become a doomer.
I don’t like labels, but I’ve known that I’m not exactly in the zeitgeist of American culture anymore for some time. I’ve been an outlier all of my life in certain ways, but in others, typically American.
There are different kinds of doomers, of course. Market segments, if you will.
Way to the right of me are folks who expect to be raptured when Armageddon comes. We agree on Armageddon. Collapse is coming, it’s on the horizon and more people are talking about it than ever.
Climate change is Armageddon.
Do I understand all of the science? No, I do not. I’m a medium sized brain, a middle brow, so no, I don’t comprehend exactly how C02 in the atmosphere does bad things. I will also admit that I don’t understand how my phone works, either. I’m comfortable with my limitations.
You don’t have to understand the mathematical formulations to understand that the oceans are dying. Coral reefs are 60% gone. Ninety percent of the large fish are gone. If you think you are eating cod, I’m here to tell you, you probably aren’t.
Trees are dying all over from drought, pollution, storms and invasives. The Brazilian rainforest became, for the first time, a carbon sink; that is, instead of cleaning up C02, it emitted it.
Do you understand that our lives depend on this earth? It provides our oxygen, our water, our food.
Two billion people are chronically hungry on this earth right now because there are too many people. You don’t hear about them much because the corporate media doesn’t have any ethics or journalistic standards anymore. They are poor people, living around the globe, trying to cope with too much rain or not enough, drying aquifers, or civil war or just the plain old garden variety dictator who drains his country’s wealth into his private bank account and lets his people suffer. The US generally likes the latter, of course.
Americans will be shielded from the worst of it longest, by virtue of our military. Resource wars, land grabs, famine, disease, it’s all coming to us eventually.
None of this is pleasant to face, of course, and most of us simply don’t. They bat annoying questions away with, “technology will fix it” and/or “it’s an engineering problem.” But no one has figured out a way to continue to extract infinitely from a finite planet. The planet is about exhausted. We’ve replaced what we’ve taken with poison. Other species are already dying off daily. It will be our turn soon.
My dad calls me a pain in the ass. I was called a gadfly and Cassandra in my corporate incarnation. More recently, I’ve heard outlier and advance scout. Derrick Jensen talks of needing all skills and abilities in the coming days and asks, “What’s your special gift?”
I have found mine.