It’s the End of the World and I Don’t Have Much New to Say
“Abrupt climate change is careening out of control, as the impacts of dramatic polar ice melt are given short shrift… Not a lot of new land is being made, and much of what remains is tawdry remnants of their former productive glory… And the middle class and political moderation are fading away. It is difficult to imagine how this can end in anything but utter and total collapse.” — Dr. Glen Barry
After decades of writing essays highlighting global ecosystem collapse, I haven’t had much to say lately. That’s not meant to suggest that I don’t care, the threats to our very being have diminished, or that I am not still taking action for Earth.
But as the World comes to an end, I just don’t have much new to say.
Over the years I have written hundreds of essays. Recently my thoughts were about as poignantly put as I am able in The Ecology Ethic and Absolute Radical Green Freedom. There my central theses of all these years can be found: Earth is dying from ecosystem loss and climate change, only a profound cultural transition can save us, and economic decline, mass migration, and the rise of fascism are indicators of looming global ecological collapse.
It’s not even that I have become jaded or immobilized. I continue to develop machine learning systems to catalogue, and identify and network solutions, from Earth’s ecological information. Much will be unveiled on this soon (see https://search.ecointernet.org/ and https://www.twitter.com/ecointernet3 for an early start).
But as I age I have become more pragmatic. Very few societal changes have come about until the elite see it is in their interest and embrace change out of the need for self-preservation. I am working hard to connect with and understand global economics, looking for ways to build bridges between deep ecology and sustainable commerce. Thus I work a gratifying day job in finance to pay for my decades of past activism.
Clearly things are worsening ecologically, economically, and socially. Abrupt climate change is careening out of control, as the impacts of dramatic polar ice melt are given short shrift. A relatively large amount of heat is required to melt ice. Once the “air conditioning” provided by this ice is gone, extra heat will dramatically warm oceans and land, orders of magnitude beyond the already calamitous warming already occurring.
Not a lot of new land is being made, and much of what remains is tawdry remnants of their former productive glory. Large naturally evolved ecosystems that power the biosphere are almost gone. The majority of the human family continues to focus upon serving invisible ghosts in the sky and buying more things, rather than concerning themselves with sustaining their shared habitat and thus community well-being.
Global economic inequity has reached obscene levels. A sizeable minority lives in cocooned techno-splendor, dying from over-consumption; as the majority barely gets by, many scrounging a miserable existence from industrially plundered environments.
And the middle class and political moderation are fading away. It is difficult to imagine how this can end in anything but utter and total collapse.
How long before the have-nots come to take what they need from those that have-so-much extra? Facebook friends will not be there to save you.
As we invest consider taking long positions in land, water, air, and food; and shorting fossil fuels, armaments, and spying. By doing so together we sustain a just, equitable, and free Earth; and we may benefit personally from funding solutions to our existential threats.
I do not think it is possible or necessary to seek perfection. But there is so much we can do individually and together to dramatically reduce the impact upon a sick Earth. Drive and fly, eat meat, and buy stuff way less. And find community, make peace, and share way more.
Recommit to humanity’s continual quest for self-improvement. Basic advances in the human condition such as slavery, racism, sexism, and militarism which nearly ended are once again threats due to profound ignorance, sloth, and greed.
We are all in this together. Resist the coming new Dark Age through love and connectedness with nature and fellow beings.
The three billion plus year old naturally evolved Earth is a masterpiece. The works of the hairless monkey with opposable thumbs are profoundly brilliant. We must continue our evolution, and doing so requires returning to our animalness, and relearning the most basic rule of all life: not fouling the nest in which you live.
Often I imagine a peaceful, thriving, loving humanity living enmeshed within rewilded nature abounding with old forests, rich gardens, and wildlife. I beseech you to make love not war, advancement not profit, equity not misery, ecology not ruin, justice not elitism, liberty not authoritarianism, respect not intolerance, knowledge not ignorance; and once again together strive for shared betterment.
Not sure how new this was. But I guess I had something to say after all.