Humanity’s Dead End is Inevitable. But it is also Invisible.

Despite all the climate science, the evidence of our impact on the planet, and where this trend is heading, humanity has so far proved unable to stop itself from jumping off the cliff of extinction. There is a reason for this, and it is called Perspective. 

Our perspective is warped to the extent that we don’t really realise the level of our impact on the planet. We have all grown up with electric light, heating and endless food choices. The bitter truth is that all of these things have come, and continue to come, at an immense cost to the planet through the action of the fossil fuel industry and modern agriculture needed to support a lifestyle that we consider “normal”. The bitter truth is that our very civilisation and the things we cannot even imagine giving up, are unsustainable. To be clear, unsustainable means that these things that we take for granted will soon not exist, whether we take action or not. This civilisation is going down big time.

Yet we are much like unsuspecting drivers down a dead end road. There are signs along the road that a dead end is approaching, which we disregard. As long as the road itself looks normal, and is in good condition, we just keep on driving, radio on full blast, foot firmly on the gas. We only notice the dead end when the road ends. Until then, it does not exist. It is invisible.

Convince Yourself

Until then, we convince ourselves that renewable energy will not just save the planet, it is already saving it. We convince ourselves that we can still have children, just because we can still feed them from the supermarket. Just because we can still send them to school, instead of sending them as soldiers in the next world war over water and food resources. We convince ourselves that this is not a dead end, because it simply cannot be. Because we cannot imagine ourselves slowing down the car, and going back. We cannot imagine ourselves losing time, and being late to our destination. We filled up this tank long ago with gasoline, and cannot be driving in all kinds of directions. Doing so would mean wasting gas, wasting profit, and losing momentum as we grow faster and faster in order to support a world population that is out of control.

But whatever we do, the dead end is there, waiting for us. Because agricultural land has run out. The natural systems that provide our food have all entered a rapid decline and are going extinct. The climate systems that support the planet’s food chain have been irreparably tampered with, and turned against their own planet.

Denial is a conscious choice. It is the refusal to accept inconvenient truths. As we drive along the road, we pretend that we don’t see the signs written in reflective neon. Everything is fine. Everything is perfectly fine.

to be continued…

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