2012 and the end of the world

by bjmuirhead

…the year when many believe the earth will suffer devastation and, perhaps, end…

In 1969 I was in what was then called sub-junior, or grade 9 at high school. I wrote a story about the end of the world for my English class. In it, I described the entire planet full of people as living as they always did, as partying and ignoring the end that was soon to be met. Essentially I thought that humanity would ignore the inevitable and carry on ignorantly.

It was a pessimistic story, and was not particularly appreciated by my teacher, who thought that humanity was more advanced mentally and emotionally than what I pictured. Over the years I had found no reason to change my mind about humanity, however. Indeed, it seems to me that the world as it now is provides the proof—we are doing nothing but continuing on as though there is nothing wrong, as though we can and always will survive.

Climate change may, or may not, be caused by carbon pollution. I don’t know, I have to trust the scientists. One thing we can be sure of, however, is that we produce massive pollution and we know that our activities are destroying the world.

Forget global warming— think of the oceans, the species dying monthly in the water and on the land. Just think about all of the pollution that we know is destroying the world without anything so complex as global warming to consider; and we have known about this since I wrote that story in 1969. And yet, we continue as though it isn’t happening. We knowingly do things which we know will destroy us, simply because it is convenient, because we want to continue to enjoy the easy life, and others do the same because they want the easy life the “west” has.

What amuses me—and raises fear also—is that I seem to be living my story: we refuse to look at and fix the problems we cause the environment at large because it is so much more fun, so much easier to die happy and laughing, even if it takes another 30 or 50 or more years.

Global warming? It is meaningless if we don’t stop over fishing, polluting ocean life to extinction, soil and air degradation and…. all the rest of it.

Of course the problem is compounded not only by our willfull ignorance, but by the insistence of those in power to treat the pollution and environmental destruction as a purely economic matter. The problems have economic effects, but are not themselves economic, and, I fear, cannot be resolved economically with any speed or efficeincy. Profit already rules over all, and as long as it is the primary factor…

I can imagine only that we are doomed as a species, and that we will laugh and enjoy our way to extinction, until the last few years, at least, when we finally struggle with the inevitable consequences of our current stupidity.

Perhaps it will be easier if the world is destroyed in one massive cataclysm.