live .taticflikr.com "End of the Day" VD 177707
“Marta, you look so sad, as if the world were coming to an end,” said Mom many times when I was young.
Young? At least I had a future. And the sun had billions of years to endure before imploding, and by that time we’d have invented ways to survive beyond that.
These days, “The future” as we think of it could easily end in less than a decade.
It evolved for the youngest generations already, because for the first time in a long time the quality of their lifestyles will not equal or surpass their parents’. In other words, the American Dream is dead for most of them, victims of the economy and their college debt, if they chose to invest in a future that now entails drudgery rather than inspiring pursuits.
Education as a ladder? Oh well. Literacy is eroding as is the value placed on it. Illiterate people are being chosen to govern us.
And so Enlightenment values, the basis of the founding of this country, are eroding. The consequences of that also assail us.
Nature and culture alike are on the skids.
If the Biden government were to “effectively” respond to the UN Committee report released this week, the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) (a summary of its contents for policymakers is at https://report.ipcc.ch/ar6syr/pdf/IPCC_AR6_SYR_SPM.pdf), they would publicize a list of immediate actions we all must take to extend our existence beyond the next few years, after which the Earth is predicted to become uninhabitably warm. But politics intervenes even though the End of the World is surely something more exigent. At this crucial point, with the economy reeling and conservative extremism challenging moderate politics-as-usual, declaring a climate emergency would alienate voters of all stripes but especially conservative ones.
But there is a crucial climate emergency, Joe & co. Each one of our lifestyles should drastically change, from corporate to individual. Turn off the heat and the smokestacks. Writ large, drastic change must sacrifice the present to the Future. The advent of the omniscient Bot won’t change things, even with its store of Everything We Know, even with all of Its suggested syntheses, brilliant or not.
An immediate to-do list must be generated and followed, no kidding. Austerity for all of us, even billionaires, in every way.
Otherwise, the Future is caput.
If I were young, I’d be very, very mad.