The more I read, lately, the worse it gets. The more in-depth, well-researched and holistic the article, the more terrifying the conclusions for our planet and our species. If you think that’s being hysterical or dramatic, I would absolutely love for you to prove me wrong — but I’m going to need to see your evidence.
If your answer is “just stop reading things”, I sincerely hope you’ve figured out how you’ll explain that strategy to your children when they ask you how everything got so fucked up.
Because this is not about the world our great-grandchildren will live in, or even our grandchildren. Our children will deal with this. We will probably be alive to see it. We’ll definitely be alive for them to call us to account and ask us why we sat here, now, and chose to do nothing.
- The UN reports that, due to intensive agriculture, we’ve got 60 years of harvests before there isn’t any soil left that can grow things.
- We’re on track to lose two-thirds of all wild animals by 2020. Yeah, that says 2020.
- Think Syria is a problem? The planet is expected to have 250 million refugees by 2050 due to climate change.
- Unless the fishing industry changes radically, stocks of all species currently fished for food are predicted to collapse by 2048.
- The end point of Trump/Brexit/Le Pen etc and the automation of jobs is probably war, eventually.
I started looking up the latest general climate change science, but it’s just too depressing to even continue. I just read an article by one climate scientist who said that, as a generalist looking at the big picture instead of focusing on one area of change, he’s concluded we’ll probably all be dead within 10 years, so there’s no point in even worrying about it anymore.
Things that are not the answer:
- telling everyone to stop having children, especially if you don’t want children or have already had your children. We have too many people right now, but we do need some humans to continue our species, and if no one gets to have kids then we may as well be fucking extinct because what’s even the point anymore, am I right? If the meaning of life is to watch TV and eat burgers, we do not deserve this planet anyway.
- hoping the government/the “market” will solve this by itself. That has never worked and never will. We need to actually be informed and agitate for real change.
- saying “one person can’t make a difference” like the world isn’t made up of individual people. You personally can’t solve the whole problem, but you can sure as shit stop making everything a fuck-ton worse. Recycle. Stop buying plastic crap. Vote. Eat less meat. Do your own cooking. Buy sustainable, organic, free-range and fair-trade. Support local business. Talk to your kids about compassion and empathy and the issues. The power you have, as one individual person, is your vote and your dollar. Use them.
I’ve given myself a thumping headache and, as Brazil points out to me six times a day at the moment, my personal distress isn’t actually helping anyone, so I’m going to wander off.
Anyway. Here’s a list of books I’ve read over the last year or so that I would thoroughly recommend:
- This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
- Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
- The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith (good counterpoint to Eating Animals, but gets a bit too out there in places)
- Postcapitalism by Paul Mason
- The Soil Will Save Us by Kristin Ohlson
- Grass, Soil, Hope by Courtney White
If you have any further recommendations to add to this list, I’d love to hear them. Also any ideas for what we can actually do, here in NZ, to get past the wishy-washy left-right political BS and start having some actual conversations about things that matter.
Also, if you disagree with me, I would love to hear from you. Please, please tell me I’m wrong, or crazy, or being too dramatic. Just also tell me why.