Monday, September 10, 2012
I have certain ideas concerning the state of the world in which we live and where I believe it is headed in the near future. These ideas are based on what I read and hear around me. I do not believe our prospects are good. I do not think, as a species, we will be able to survive past the next forty years or so. Yes, you read that last line correctly. I think homo sapiens will become extinct by 2050. My viewpoint is based primarily on an essay entitled “We’re Done” which I read on Guy McPherson’s blog, Nature Bats Last, back in the later part of June. In this essay, McPherson outlines all of the reasons why life as we know it will come to an end by mid-century, and they are all pretty compelling, but perhaps the most compelling is a statement released by Malcolm Light for the Arctic Methane Emergency Group who writes, “This process of methane release will accelerate exponentially, release huge quantities of methane into the atmosphere and lead to the demise of all life on earth before the middle of this century.”
Since that time I increasingly see more and more articles which only legitimate that dire prediction: John Vidal: 'A Great Silence Is Spreading Over the Natural World' details the recording of mass extinction by the growing silence in the natural world, Fen Montaigne: Arctic Tipping Point: A North Pole Without Ice, John Atcheson: We Are Writing the Epilogue to the World We Knew, Brad Plumer: Arctic sea ice just hit a record low. Here’s why it matters, CBC News: Arctic ice could vanish in 10 years, scientists warn.
I understand the difficulty in wrapping ones mind around such a concept, but I mostly feel that either no one else is noticing these stories or no one else wants to think about them, all of which lead me to wonder more and more if anyone else sees the world as I do.
Tonight in my first seminar class on historiography we were discussing the nature of reality and history, who owns history, and why it matters. I found the class discussion very engaging, but by the end of the class I found myself looking around the room and asking myself the question that comes into my mind more and more lately. What is the point of this? Is this how I/we should be spending our time, considering my view of our prospects? And then I have to ask myself if anyone else is thinking the same things? So far I have been to much of a coward to ask.