At least one family member has cited our impending doom as reason to no longer take any shame in jetsetting around the world. Then again, I'm not sure they felt any shame or avoided flying back when it would've really been helpful. The do-nothing default wins yet again.
If the future is a football game, and human survival the home-team, we're down 49-0, with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. In theory, we could still win the game and get to see our kids lead full and enjoyable lives, but our chances grow slimmer by the second.
|Room with a ewe: Our flock cleans up in the orchard & garden while|
Leo the ram fervently examines them all for signs of heat. His preferred
testing method is, of course, tinkle-tasting.
If you regularly escape to the Cascades as I once did, you see the shrinking glaciers and burned forests first hand, while trying not to damage your lungs in the smoke.
If you live in Australia, you've watched your magical great barrier reef die, most of it in the last two years. Europe has seen unprecedented fires as well, both north and south. If you live on the gulf or east coast, you've seen unprecedented hurricanes roar through at rates and intensities never before seen. Ditto for the hyperactive western pacific, where category 5 super-typhoons are now a dime a dozen (6 of them for 2018).
Here in the Midwest and New England, summers have become hellish, forcing everyone indoors to crank the AC, ultimately making the problem worse. While we may be able to escape, the natural world upon which we rely cannot.
The UN / IPCC's latest report, upon evaluating the latest scientific studies, says we meet with civilization destroying disaster by 2030 if we don't make a dramatic course change. Keep in mind that the IPCC has long history of understating trends and forecasts, as a result of industrialized countries like the US, China, and India exerting undue influence on their reports in hopes of continuing with business as usual.
It should by this point be clear to anyone with an IQ north of 50 that things aren't looking good for us. Does that mean it's time throw in the towel? Should we just stop swimming against the current and mindlessly drift wherever it takes us? Good question. I don't have an answer for everyone, but I plan to continue swimming, even if my efforts are woefully inadequate.
As Chris Hedges has been saying in his recent speaking tour (which I highly recommend watching), "We fight not because we will win, but because it's right, and because it gives our lives meaning." He's referring more to the fight against corporate fascism that now dominates the US and much of the world, but it's really the same thing as fighting to preserve humanity.
Does it give my life meaning to eschew the tractor or car and use the horses instead? Does it give my life meaning to avoid air travel, and thus miss my grandmother's funeral in California? It's clear to me at this stage that the effects of such efforts will be drowned in the tsunami of our fossil fueled existence, so "giving my life meaning" is really the sole reason for doing what I hope is still the right thing.
If there's a bright side to all this knowledge, it's that it has intensified my appreciation for all the beauty still alive in the world.