I finished the book, but it was in sort of a frenzied, manic way, like I knew if I didn't finish it, it would rattle around in my brain-cage even more loudly. I get the idea of trying to savor the time we have left, as Ruinenlust points out, and I used to be very good at maintaining that perspective. Live each day, live each moment, be present, etc. But then I became a father and now it's much harder to not worry about the future and climate collapse.
I know i've been here for a couple of days now. But i think now's about time i introduced myself. I've already been on NationStates for a few years, but I am here because I was looking for a new region to join.
Ok, here's my view. I plant trees. I donate for NGOs that help forests, animals, even people. I try to not waste too much stuff. I walk back from work and don't use cars. I'm planning on putting solar pannels on my roof in the coming years.
Yet it's for nothing. You know why? Because no matter what I do there will be countless others that don't care. My town is the most crowded in Europe in regards to traffic and it's in the world top. I tried to convince someone that they don't need to use a car to come to work. It didn't work. And it was still them that complained when we climbed 6 floors of stairs later because they couldn't breathe anymore from floor 4. Most people are ignorant and don't care of the future. They care only of the present, the now, and, at most, what will happen next week. Telling them that the world will end in 10 years or 50 years or 100 years means they will ignore you. They don't care.
When I was small I had great hopes. I wanted to be a president (before I understood the prime minster does the laws). Then I wanted to be a prime minister. I wanted that to help people, to have everyone thrive in a great environment. Yet I've come to the conclusion that most people only care about themselves and the now. They wouldn't throw a dime to a dying puppy if they had to renounce their cigarette package for the day.
So I'm doing what is best under these circumstances. I won't have children. I will live my life as happy as I can(which is hard since I have depression) and that's that. With some luck the end of the world won't come in the 40-60 years until I die. It will come for the next generation. But when it does I'll know I did at least some things to try and prevent their death. And I'll know I won't have created a life (a child of my own) that would have to suffer through this end.
Humanity gets what it deserves. There's a proverb in my language, "Semeni vant, culegi furtuna" - it means that if you plant wind, your result is storm. It's a metaphor that humanity is currently planting the seeds of its destruction and even if a few are trying to pluck those bad seeds out, there's too many planters.
In addition to that, such perspective may work at the personal level, as Ruinenlust put it, by providing a romantic aura to the impending environmental catastrophe, but it seems far less useful at a political level: if we expect people to actually do something about it, telling them to go seize the day and "derive some enjoyment or pleasure or happiness" from the very fact of living on the edge of collapse, might not be the soundest policy. After all, that's exactly what capitalism expects from us: to "seize the day". On the one hand we have poetry, on the other we have politics, and the wellbeing of future generations has little to do with the former. It's not about pessimism vs. optimism, by the way: even if we can't harbor any hopes on a radical shift of our societies away from their Faustian blindness, the truth is that, as Eddie Vedder sings, "you can't be neutral on a moving train".
Only to the future we can owe our hopes and dreams.
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i'm not dispondent about the enivronment as such, just the short sighted indifference of a lot of people, who may, hopefully, actually be a minority, toward the possible extinction of the human species and factors human short sightedness is contributing to bringing that about.
i am annoyed, when people praise the very things, and main stream media is guilty of doing this too, as is the dominant 'mainstream' culture in the u.s., that contribute to and are the problem. long list short, transportation policy equalling the automobile and population "growth" praised and underlyingly assumed to be desireable.
no. gay isn't bad because it potentially reduces the birth rate. it is GOOD, very very good, precisely because it does.
and so are most other things that might not.
you can't breathe the green ink on a dollar bill, no matter how many are printed, or how impressive a corporate enterprise can make itself look.
and the wrong kind of leadership seeming perpetually popular,
its like good looking members of which ever sex you're attracted to,
seeming to always prefer the excitement of mates and company who abuse then.
but i think a lot of assumptions are made about tendencies built into humans as a species.
assumptions made, or voiced, to make excuses, for individual's short shortsightedness.
time will tell. there are dice being rolled. and the future is never set in concrete.
we hear bits of good news all the time. like clean energy having gained more economic appeal then the burning of fossils.
its not all gloom. its not all any one anything.
but it is something, we each have to think about what our own personal priorities and perspectives are creating and encouraging.
The real issue is that the people actually committing these crimes work to ensure that youíre the one whose worried and also that youíre the one responsible. The biggest gaslight of the world is that individual everyday citizens are responsible for the worlds trouble. We donít recycle enough, we donít bike or drive electric enough, we donít put our life savings into solar, we eat too much meat, we buy too much plastic, we donít protest enough and we donít vote enough.
Iím sick of the gaslighting. Our climate and most of our world is in danger because of rich corporations and greed. We lack the agency and power in society to make any real change and we donít even lambast the people actually responsible.
It's worse than that- we actively go out of our way to defend and stick up for the interests of the giant companies who are responsible for the environmental damage. For example, did you know that 3 times as many people in the United States install and maintain solar panels than mine coal? Yet, every election, we see politicians swoop in trying to outdo each other as to who the most pro-coal of the lot and every renewable initiative is mocked as pie in the sky.
It's even worse when the most obviously effective method of generating carbon free electricity, nuclear power, is routinely caricatured as some kind of ticking nuke too dangerous to invest in. As if we haven't learned anything in the 30 years since Chernobyl.
The worst part is that gaslighting is so common that millions of people believe climate change isn't even happening when the ice at the poles is melting so quickly the scientists are losing their monitoring equipment.
You're right! we must end the great corporations, they only bring evil to the world, why do we allow something like that to exist !? Let's go now, brothers and sisters, banish the greedy and malicious corporations of us ... Wait a minute, my pizza delivered by a giant nuclear fission robot just arrived, man, this was fast! and for only kn$9.99 can you imagine? .. well I guess we can figure it out another time, my favorite series will already start "Tree / X \ Meteor - season 2".
*peers through binoculars at this mysterious presence*
This is the most active RMB of all of the regions I am a part of. Usually I actually have trouble keeping up. But it is summertime (at least in the northern hemisphere), so folks are often much more busy with real-life stuff.