by Max Barry

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Region: Forest

Eryndlynd wrote:I read a lot of climate change, environment, and nature related writing these days. I don't think I've ever been more despondent than I am now as I'm working my way through David Wallace-Wells' book The Uninhabitable Earth. I don't exactly want to say I recommend it, because I don't want to ruin anyone's good day . . . but I also don't want to say to not read it, because as far as environmental writing goes, this book has an urgency and intensity that makes it important.

I highly recommend The Uninhabitable Earth to everyone. I devoured that book (almost as fast as we devour resources ~ lol, humor, haha) in like two days about two months ago or something; I don’t recall exactly.

He presents a very erudite, succinct account of climate change, and how we’re in so much deeper sh!t than almost everyone is willing to admit.

One of the single most salient points that he makes, in effect, is that the presumptive idea of some bright, happy, gleaming future of opulence and opportunity for all is nonsense. It’s just not going to happen. We’re speeding towards a cliff at 90mph, and arguments to the effect that “technology will save us” would be like saying that if we floor it, maybe the car will sprout magic wings when it leaves the cliff and we’ll fly off to a magic land of candy and unicorns and castles. We’re in the J-shaped curve that comes before the crash, and it may take decades or centuries to play out, but in the grand scheme of things, it will almost certainly be a crash of proportions that would be unimaginable in the past, since the total scale and size of who we are and what we do is much greater than ever before. It both amazes and freaks me out that someone born in the 1920s has lived to see the world’s population triple. We’re filling up our little, beautiful Petri dish very quickly, and it’s not getting any bigger.

And then some people are like, “hey, let’s go live on some as of yet unknown Petri dish in the next room across the hallway.” Lol. The idea that we will export ourselves and our ruination of everything across the Solar System, the galaxy, or the universe at large is nothing but extreme hubris, born in the crazed high of a species drunk on worldwide destruction. We are a flash in the pan; a mass coronal ejection of consumption and ecological distortion across the planet. Like all fires, we will burn it all down, except for a few unscathed fragments (one hopes, at least), and then we will go out. And the plastic and radiation will go on. And many species will be lost.

So just live. And love. Be happy that we are alive now, here, able to do and be and know and experience all of these things. We’re alive in the actual nexus of the human race, and in an inflection point in the biosphere at large.

It seems like the only way to “lose” or to fail at life, on a personal level, is to not actually derive some enjoyment or pleasure or happiness from it, or to not gain some insight and understanding:

“What did your age do?”

“We destroyed everything, for everyone, forever.”

“Did you at least get something out of it?”

“No, I was miserable and despondent over what was happened, even though it was out of my control.”

“Then you utterly, completely lose.”

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