The End of the World as We Know it Will Suck Big Time

enhanced bacteria (spirilla)

enhanced bacteria (spirilla) (Photo credit: nebarnix)

November 23, 2013

This has been one of those weeks when I felt like banging my head against the wall until all the pain stopped. The gloom, rain and cold set the stage for it, I suppose. But it went so far beyond mere physical discomfort, I couldn’t seem to put it into words.
Maybe it was the week-long buildup to the fiftieth anniversary of the JFK assassination and the sense, looking back, that the assassination was the first blow in the long and merciless death of youthful idealism in this country, the first ratcheting down of the thumb screws on the belief that a nation which could send a man to the moon could also guarantee civil rights and a way out of poverty for all its citizens – indeed, for all citizens of this global community – and that we were, indeed, our brothers’ keepers.

Maybe it’s the slow rot of the “greed is good, I’ve got mine, get yours while you can and to hell with those that can’t” mentality that has taken the place of those ideals over the last fifty years and let the wants of a few run roughshod over the needs of the many.

Perhaps it is the stream of stories about melting starfish, dead dolphins, poisoned bees, fungus-infected bats, over-heating oceans, dying forests, melting ice sheets, stripped soil – the constant hacking away at the chain of life by the one species which promised to be cognizant of his place in that chain, but turned out to be too stupid to understand that breaking free from that chain of life heralds his own death as a species.

Perhaps it’s the juxtaposition of the pictures from the battered Philippines with the “same old, same old” attitudes at the latest climate change conference, in Warsaw, topped off by Secretary of Defense Hagel’s obscene speech in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this week (http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1821 ) where he outlined the Military’s new Arctic policy – ending with, “We remember the words of explorer Frederick Cook. After many attempts to discover the North Pole – and after believing he had found it – he wrote: “It occurred to me … that, after all, the only work worthwhile, the only value of a human being’s efforts, lie in deeds whereby humanity benefits.” That is why we look to the Arctic – this new frontier – to help make a better world for all mankind.”

Perhaps it’s the juxtaposition of all of the above with my turning seventy-three, yesterday, that makes me want to grab the nearest numb-nuts by the lapels, smack him across the face a couple of time and scream until his ears ring, “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? WAKE UP!”

The sun comes out for a moment. Though I am still aware, as always, that the end of the world as we know it will suck big time, I am not ready to close the door, draw the shades and turn out the lights on this one, known grand experiment of the universe. I take my joys where I can. We may bring about our own extinction, but Life? I don’t think so.

Life has always lived at the edges of chaos, fragile, yet surprisingly strong.  If we survive, our lives will change drastically, but Life, I think, will not go gentle into that good night; neither would It rage, I suspect, against the dying of our light.

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18 Responses to The End of the World as We Know it Will Suck Big Time

  1. Happy birthday, Linda. May all your days be bright.

  2. td0s says:

    I’m right there, frustrated and…befuddled really.

  3. eugene says:

    I started watching all this 40 yrs ago. Used to get into a “we gotta change” which just made me a pain in the a–to everyone. My frustration has slid to just watching it all happen. Today it’s work on wife’s car and waxing nostalgic over the old days when cars were so much simpler. So it goes. All I can say to your column is “yep”.

  4. infinitea says:

    Happy Birthday Linda.

    Yes, when you start to add up all of the catastrophes that are hitting us daily and are, for the most part, our own fault, it’s very demoralizing! And very difficult to believe that we had the audacity to name ourselves the epitome of life on this planet!

  5. Gina Ellis says:

    Yeah. Sometimes I’m glad I’m old and won’t see the decades of the near future…

    • theozarker says:

      Hi Gina, yeah sometimes I feel the same way, then my curiosity gets the best of me. Curiosity hasn’t killed my cat so far, but it will probably get the best of me! Welcome to the blog.

  6. It’s been interesting and disturbing to note the demise of peak oil as the most popular doomer end game. Climate change (my preference for ten years) appears to have scored huge points once the recent technologies for fracking shale gas went into play, meaning that those hard-to-get reserves that were supposed to slow down fossil fuel production are not only cheap, but stimulating another Wall Street bubble while ratcheting up greenhouse gas emissions. So, it’s burn-baby-burn and let’s try not to even think about Fukushima.

    I’m bookmarking your blog, Linda. The Arctic Sea Ice Blog has been my hangout for a couple of years, but only because I hoped the shrinking sea ice would alarm the powers that be enough to stimulate change. Now I don’t think so. I try to separate my despair from my joie de vivre, but misery does love company.

    • theozarker says:

      Hi Lynn, welcome to the blog. I started out as a peak oiler, but agree that fracking has changed the equation completely (though peak oil is still lurking around, with the depletion rates of fracked wells being so rapid.) We survived for thousands of years without fossil fuels; won’t last long without food, water and breathable air, will we?

      And after reading Sec. Hegel’s speech the other day, I agree that, shrinking sea ice and all the other signs of increasing AGW, we’re not going to quit until we’ve gotten every drop of oil possible. It’s heartbreaking to think about.

      I think the only thing that might save us as a species is such a calamitous and worldwide economic collapse that they simply can’t afford to get the fossil fuels out of the ground anymore. Even then, the human cost would be catastrophic. Sigh.

      Well, I’m glad you enjoy the blog. Look forward to you adding your voice here.

  7. graveday says:

    A belated Happy Birthday from me too. You’ve hit another prime number too, with 73. Hope you make the next one also.
    As to peak oil, it’s demise was supposed to willy-nilly slow down climate chaos. Heh. Like you say it is still lurking, like the big bruiser hiding in the dark of the alley while the petty fracker thief with the Napoleon complex robs you in the lamplight.

    • theozarker says:

      Hey Grave, thanks for the birthday wish.I hope I make the next one, too.
      I was one who thought peak oil might save us from AGW, but it looks like it will only kick our fannies after AGW has knocked us down. Ah, well, we were an interesting, if suicidal species, weren’t we? :(

  8. Read any Derrick Jensen?

  9. pamela says:

    happy Birthday Linda!!!
    and, what a great post this was.
    you really know how to tap into what so many are feeling and just can’t express, and put it out there.
    I think the only thing sorry to see humans go, will be humans. LOL
    Is there anything on earth that wouldn’t benefit if we weren’t here?
    I can’t think of a single thing.

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