No human civilization on Earth has ever consciously, successfully limited its total negative impact on the planet’s species and resources. Never, ever in our history has our impact on the planet diminished, except perhaps during times that were out of our control or conscious intention: plagues, wars and similar events which resulted in either a big economic recession or a decrease in global human population. Every time these events occurred, Earth breathed a brief sigh of relief.
Given that we’ve never succeeded then, why is it that so many humans on this planet still believe that “something” can be done to save the planet from humanity, and to save us from…ourselves? It is fascinating that so many people still believe this civilization can save itself. The level of delusion is so big, it occupies its own parallel Universe.
I have an answer: because only through false hope can the current capitalist system have a full license to continue to operate, to continue to destroy what is left of this planet. Hope is an important ingredient not in safeguarding the planet’s future, but in keeping the ridiculous game of charades going for just a little bit longer in the present. Hope is not about changing things or having a revolutionary vision, no; hope is about changing absolutely nothing and maintaining the current status quo and business as usual.
Hope is not what it seems. Hope is destructive. Hope is the opposite of pragmatism. Hope does not energise people. It makes them complacent. It makes them oblivious to the dark reality of how toxic all human civilisations have been to this planet. Hope is the ultimate gaslighting. Hope is telling the patient that they are not walking towards their death, but that they are taking a walk in the park in amongst the roses. Hope is equal to blindness. Hope is fucking bullshit.
If the current civilization ever had a sliver of a chance of surviving in the future in some form or other rather than spectacularly imploding, it would be if the planet’s survival was put first, and on equal par with the survival of the civilisation. And this can only happen if our civilisation looks around and surveys the desperation and hopelessness of mass extinction that humans have caused on Earth already. It will only happen if the embarrassing delusion of hope stops at this minute. It will only happen if this civilisation wakes up from the hopium coma, looks through the fumes and realizes that nearly 40% of Earth’s land surface is subjugated to agriculture. We live on a dystopian planet where the harvesting robots are constantly going up and down fields of monoculture crops, killing the planet’s carbon sinks, its climate machine and its biodiversity.
Only if hope dies right now, do we stand a chance.
(from the upcoming “Little Book of Doom”)
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