Some musings concerning the end of the world as we know it.
Date: Saturday, November 04 2006
These are just a few thoughts I've had, and decided to share with my fellow Vivists.
Hope you at least get something to think about from them, even if you disagree utterly.
For some years now, a thought has been troubling me. It's this: things cannot go on the way they have been forever, and sooner or later this machine we call the economy is going to completely destroy itself and in all likelihood take our civilization down with it.
The blood of our economy is oil, and it will not last anywhere near forever. Without its continuous flow, everything we take for granted stops.
And when that day eventually (or sooner if some points of view concerning Peak Oil already being reached are correct) comes, all hell is likely to break loose.
And that is just one thing that causes me concern.
Another is the fact that we are killing our oceans. Never mind the Amazon Rain Forest being the lungs of the planet, the real lungs of the planet are the phytoplankton in our oceans. We can survive without the ARF, but once we lose the plankton, it's game over for oxygen breathers.
Which leads me to my third concern: air pollution. There isn't anywhere left on this blue marble we call home where the air is pure anymore. The very oil that runs our global economy is also slowly choking us. Much as I like my car, if I have to choose between it and living, it's bye bye car.
Sadly, my one car won't make a damn bit of difference. We need some means that will allow for both sustainable local/global economies, and a viable transpotation infrastructure which does NOT depend on oil.
Right now, I don't see anything viable even on the distant horizon that will get the job done.
Sadly, air pollution becomes water pollution when it rains, and all the industrial waste we pump into the air ends up in rivers, lakes, and eventually in the ocean.
More poison for plankton to deal with.
The other point about air pollution that worries me is that phytoplankton thrive best in COLD water oceans, and global warming will warm the seas up as surely as night follows day.
Global warming will also cause sea levels to rise, and cause salinity shifts on all of our oceans due to melting polar caps.
More environmental stressors for phytoplankton to deal with.
Personally, while the submerging of earth's coastal cities would be a disaster, my main concern is the possible extinction of the human race.
Some worry that we will turn Earth into another Venus with 900 C temperatures. That cannot happen here simply because we are 25 million miles further away from the sun than our sister world.
No, far from a molten hell, our end will be a death by slow asphyxiation.
And after the vast majority (if not ALL) of us are gone, Earth will once more begin to heal itself.
Should any remnants of humanity remain, I sincerely hope that they will be far wiser than we have been.
These are the things I have nightmares about, the possible futures that rob me of sleep, and at times almost bring me to dispair.
And when I add to that how we treat our fellow human beings, I sometimes wish I had never been born.
This is the future that my children will inherit, and they deserve far better.
[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on November 6, 2006]