(continued from previous)
They went to bed that night feeling more unsettled than ever. Had the planet just crossed another threshold into its uncertain future? The sea was everything to this city, as it was for thousands of other maritime cities across the world. The sea is where the city had always looked to for hope, staring at the horizon where wave after wave of ships and settlers arrived over the centuries. It was where it got much of its food and livelihood. And it was where civilization always washed its dirty laundry, ridding itself of sin. Now the dirt and the sin were coming back to take their revenge.
As the deep fake AIs on The Line continued exchanging insults and lies well into the night, all John could think of was that the AIs had simply learned from the best. They had all learned from humans: becoming masters in “managing” the truth rather than revealing it. Learning the art of blissful ignorance and self-deceit, integrating it into their binary code as an essential survival mechanism, just like the human brain had learned to deflect danger by ignoring it. And glorifying denial as a fundamental right: the right to cling to any irrational “truth”, so long as it helps one defend their biocidal lifestyle.
Maybe our species deep down had always known that it can only exist as a parasite. It just needed a philosophy, a religion that would justify its destructive existence, that would legitimize its entitlement to own, and destroy, anything it wishes to on Earth. The story of humans’ exile from Paradise was a perfect figment of our culture: it had helped us “own” our bad name, our sin, embrace it and be proud of being set apart from the rest of the natural world as the only species of “conquerors and destroyers”.
But the reality is that we were probably thrown out of the Garden of Eden by God not because he was angry that we touched one of his shiny apples. We were thrown out because we were too toxic to other plants and animals. We were thrown out in a desperate attempt to save all other species from extinction.
It was only a fairy tale. Because we ended up eating our way through the garden, only to discover way too late that we had chopped all the trees and eaten all the apples. That the garden couldn’t feed us all. As we got in our ships to conquer the world, we soon found out that even the horizon ends at some point. This planet was actually a tiny room with four walls. It was a museum, and we were eating all the specimens, chewing them down to their pedestals before moving on to the furniture, the wallpaper and ultimately, the bricks and mortar: the planet’s climate machine.
(from the upcoming novel A New Earth – The Apocalypse Locus – PREORDER NOW)
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books