91) The great unraveling: A horror story of life on Earth

The article attached at the end of this is so beautifully, tragically, honestly written.

I think about this all the time. My kids were raised with a beautiful first decade or so of life, falling in love with the natural world through hiking, camping, and of course David Attenborough documentaries. Now, as their second decade of life unfolds and they become more educated and cognitively sophisticated, their hearts get broken over and over and over as they learn more incontrovertibly that everything they grew up loving (other than video games), is actually dying, and likely won’t exist for their own children, and certainly grandchildren, to fall in love with.

THIS should be the dominant discussion in politics, economics, social sciences and around household dinner tables today (in conjunction with the immediate challenge of being basically not-idiotic with regards to stabilizing society until COVID vaccines can become safely widespread).

When I started teaching at the UofT, in 2002, I still believed a citizen-led evolution of politics would be enough to reinvent the economy and turn things around. Not in time to save the natural world as we used to know it, but in time to save enough of it that we wouldn’t experience large-scale collapse, leaving humanity to fight each other for the scraps left on a dessicated, charred planet.

I still try my damnedest, day to day, to believe that, because giving up that belief is to give up the belief that “we will make it”. But honestly? Most of me doesn’t believe that anymore; I just cling to it in order to stay somewhat sane in the face of a global holocaust.

Humanity can’t even agree, consensually, to wear fucking masks for a year or two in order to avoid mass death. We can’t stop raping each other. We can’t agree on the basic facts and immorality of oppression based on skin colour. We can’t agree on basic biological and psychological facts of gender. We can’t get big money out of politics. We can’t get rid of unbelievable corruption in the most apparently free and informed societies. Hell, we can’t even agree on who the corrupt ones are in the first place.

But the facts are — the largest, and oldest organisms on earth are dying, in every part of the world, from the ancient trees, to the ancient ecosystems, from the whales and turtles and white sturgeons who’ve been alive longer than Canada has been a country, to the Great Barrier reef, rainforests and ice caps.

The magical blue-green marble that we are, floating in a vacuum of near-nothingness, is careening towards devastation. We are tiny, vulnerable babies sucking on Mother Earth’s teats, mere specks on this giant ball of Life that we are killing, while we celebrate the stock markets rising and ignore the fact that it’s almost entirely due to the 1% becoming insanely wealthy at the expense of all of the rest of us.

Meanwhile, the oceans ARE becoming graveyards (unless you’re a jellyfish). The forests are becoming tinder boxes, then grasslands, and then deserts. The fish are becoming….nothing. Summers are becoming fire. The Arctic is becoming not-the-Arctic-ever-again.

And practically the only things that humanity-at-large seems to be getting better at are warfare, propaganda, hate, extremism, and mass delusion.

So, please, share some ideas.

In the next FIVE years, what can we do that will actually turn things around?

And no, I do not accept ideas that emphasize how each individual should reduce anything, reuse anything, or recycle anything. “If everyone did it” is a false argument, when the vast, vast, vast majority of ecological destruction and subsequent societal unrest, war, and collapse is
A) already locked in; and
B) due overwhelmingly to large actors (mega-corporations, mega-militaries, and big countries’ economic engines).

What can we actually do, to give ‘the next generation’, and all the ones after, a chance at a not-fucked world?

Thanks for reading this, caring, and sharing whatever inspiration you have.


Please leave a comment below! Share your thoughts! :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: