The Best Laid Plans of a Self-Dooming Species
Humans are great at predicting the future, but terrible at planning for it, let alone changing it. From scientists to science fiction writers to lay-prognosticators, we’re able to imagine events far outside the scope of our present actions or our lifetimes. Much of our future-tripping is bleak. Utopian fiction is a footnote compared to its pessimistic sibling, and scholarly estimates or predictions of where the world is heading are not much more positive. We have thousands of scenarios of varying alarm and imagination outlining for us the potential catastrophes that could end us.
We know the inevitable outcome of the human-caused climate crisis. Not including the brainwashed and the willful deniers, we all know that the world is changing, becoming more chaotic, hotter, more toxic, more deadly to us and most other life, because of human actions. Because of the poisons that we dig, create, burn, and spread through the air, water, and earth, into ourselves and the bodies and cells of every living thing, we are causing the mass extinction of hundreds of thousands of species and all but guaranteeing our place among the dead in the global genocide.
Humans have the intelligence to examine our actions and the results coming from them. We can see and study what we are doing to ourselves and the world and all life, and extrapolate likely outcomes. We are the only species that we are aware of that can predict the course of events that will come from our actions and our potential future. Yet we are also a species that does frighteningly little about it. We are at a point where we can see the effects of human actions upon the environment and predict our probable demise because of them. We are in the last days when it is still possible to reverse course, fix the problem we created before it kills us all, yet we’re not. Humans have the ability to see many steps and years into the future to our demise, and do nothing to stop it.
Of course, talking about humans as if we’re a united consciousness that thinks the same way and works towards the same goals is false. We’re independently-minded animals, which may be an asset in some ways, but which existentially essentially dooms us. Many, even most, of us are evolutionarily inclined to prioritize our own survival, and perhaps the survival of those closest to us, over the survival of the rest of our species, let alone other species. There are many among humanity who treat the threat to global survival as seriously as it warrants. Many fight against those who drill and burn and destroy, but they aren’t enough. Many, but not enough. The drilling and burning and destroying haven’t stopped.
Most folks, when they’ve started a kitchen fire, don’t turn on more burners and splash cooking oil on every surface.
If you were biking downhill and saw that you were coming to a cliff edge, you’d brake. Assuming you’re not suicidal. If you were on a sinking ship, you wouldn’t lock all the exits and destroy all the escape crafts. Unless you were a psychotic with no regard for any life, even your own. This is what a relatively tiny portion of humanity is doing. A handful of psychotics are destroying the world and killing us, and we’re letting them. Whether because of our dependence on the scant luxuries that capitalism allows the underclasses, or because of indoctrination, or because of a self-defeatist belief in the futility of fighting, we’re allowing the world to be shattered to pieces and poisoned. We’re allowing the collective death of ourselves and all others.
But we don’t have to. Instead of lamenting the ultimate impotence of those few who do stand up and put their lives on the line for the sake of all lives, and instead of treating the death caused by the evil caprice and greed of a small number of defective humans as inevitable, we should be standing with the strong and brave few and fighting those who are intent to doom us for meaningless profit. Through mass actions and by any means necessary, we must. It’s literally that or the end of the world.