The thought has crossed my mind more than once lately that it may be nearly time to close down the blog.
Increasingly, I have less and less to say.
Call it outrage fatigue or resignation or acceptance or, even, peace. The future is writ and she ain’t pretty. Nothing new here.
Something I’ve been calling the doomsday deck has hit the internet. You can’t look at these charts and not conclude that bad shit has happened, is happening and will continue to happen. And once again, we have surprised scientists. They keep being surprised, over and over again, by the speed at which “earth’s systems” are failing and the “great acceleration” of our degradation. Visit here for more information.
Sao Paulo Brazil is about to run out of water. It’s home to 20 million people, who’ve known that water was becoming scarcer for quite some time. No rationing and now the reservoirs are running dry. There has been no mass exodus yet. But life cannot exist without water. This is a real live physical limit. We are a species that does not seem to understand, or worse, ignore what that word means. Denial, would be another word.
For around three years now, I’ve been mourning, railing, and howling about our willful, wanton destruction of our only home. In that time, more people who deny what is right in front of our eyes are being elected and appointed to positions of authority.
Since moving away from people, something else seems to be happening – a true disinterest in the things of man. Now I can only smile at people’s responses to the manufactured distraction of the week, whether it’s ISIS or Charlie Hebdo. It’s not a happy smile, of course.
Once you reach this point, really, what else is there to say? I can continue to point out the evidence – it’s all around us – but people are resolute about not admitting that the game is over.
People can’t, or won’t, get to that point until they absolutely have to: Norfolk Virginia and Miami Florida are flooding pretty regularly now, for instance, and still there is denial.
So fuck ’em. Seize the day, seize the moment, live in the now. It’s all we have.
I would miss your postings! But, I can certainly relate to the exhaustion. It just becomes repetitive once it is obvious nothing will change, and things will only get (rapidly) worse. I’m glad you have found a nice place to watch at a distance!
Thanks, Gail. The original title of the post was “Doom and Dunno” because I’m really undecided. When the last elephant or rhino or monarch is gone, I’m sure I’ll need to howl. But it’s possible that I won’t post weekly for awhile anyway. I love to write and love having structure, so who knows? But it will need to change somehow, some way, I think.
Time to shut up, get on with life, and maybe do something useful.
Bwahahaha! Useful? What would that be?
I’ve reluctantly come to the same point in my own life. I was born in 1951, so my life span is mirrored in every one of those charts and well remember the late 70’s when all of them begin the steep upward curve to the right and started to go exponential. That was the time to start to bend the curves back down but instead every time we came to an approaching limit we “doubled down” in the wrong direction. At the same time we destroyed networks of community when we started to find ways to pay $$ for cheap energy/other people/machines to provide the necessities of life for us as individuals that a mutual community can provide each other for free. The sheer, stupid waste of it all is catching up to us at the top of the exponential curve in every one of those charts and most people have nothing to fall back on-they literally can’t do anything but more of the same. “Less with less” is the only chance we have and I see no way for most people to do that.
Thank you for writing so honestly about your own experiences and helping me to come to terms with this. For whatever time we have left in any semblance of a working society, for you and your husband, take good care of yourselves.
Thanks for the comment and for reading.
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It is not the death of humanity that fills me with pain; it is the death of everything and everyone we take with us. I kinda view the murder of rhinos, elephants, bees, bats, butterflies and everyone else threatened by us and our ways as a sin. Do we deserve dignity?
Nature is red in tooth and claw – all sorts of creatures rip other creatures apart every minute. In a way it’s setting humans above other forms of life, and outside of nature, by attributing “morality” to our species, and expecting us to behave any differently than bacteria in a petri dish that consumes all of its food.
Don’t strongly disagree with you. I see humanity as absolutely torn between it’s two opposing natures: the chimp and the bonobo. We can’t ever reconcile the conflict and it drives us fucking nuts. I don’t see us at all as “above” other forms of life. We are both the same and different. See? Conflicting natures, again.
I just ordered this book – I can’t wait to read it, terrific review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R339EWKOK4LVBR/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0029021901&nodeID=283155&store=books
Thank you so much for this essay. You have reached a point of change. I hope it is not burnout – and I hope you keep expressing. The risk we all run is stepping into ethical shoals of Apocalyptic Cornucopianism – where we increase our carbon consumption for the sake of comfort. A valid choice that anyone might make – however it is not right to rob the future from others, no matter how slight. I think it is the great temptation we all face whenever we stop to rest, This somehow forces the question of “Must every citizen of the globe work for the improved future of all?”
(sorry, the question is too big.)
Thanks for reading and commenting. The answer to your question, if I understand it correctly, is no. Of course not. If every citizen of the globe was required to work for the improved future of all, we wouldn’t be facing collapse. It’s every person for themselves! Fuck the future! At least, that is how it appears to me.
Yeah, at this point I’m just fighting for the hell of it as much as because it’s the right thing to do. The more you study history, the more you realize we are as self destructive as bacteria in a petri dish, determined to consume whatever we can as fast as we can, and make more babies in the process.
This is the big issues for our civilization. Simple to say, Easy to understand. Yet ethically complex. I dunno either.
But like the hard freeze in the NE right now, staying warm is survival – but it seems excessive to me if I jet off to the Bahamas, (I might sail there, wear sun screen and not boast about it.)
And biggest of all, we have not yet heard from the kids. Youth today are waking up, so far, without anger, but equity is a reasonable demand. We have been sailing on the Titanic, now suddenly everyone is on deck and looking at the lifeboats. We can call for order, but there will be pushing and shoving.