The Earth is dying.
Of course it will meet a very permanent end in 3 or 4 billion years, but I think it’s beyond argument that humans have proven they are incapable of caring for the planet (much less a country).
But my sadness comes from comprehending what has been lost just in my lifetime. How Earth is ultimately seen as a commodity and used, with little regard for anything beyond next week. The number of species that will be gone from the wild by the time my daughter is my age is even more depressing.
And now the irony of having just had a vote in this country that supposedly exposed a ‘rural vs urban’ divide. I hate to tell my rural friends, but there won’t be a lot of habitable ‘rural’ left if we keep selling everything out to make a buck. All that your children and children’s children will have is urban life – mainly because we can’t stop making a mess out of every underdeveloped corner of the country.
I can’t help but feel we have failed on our watch. I have failed, I have let my child down. Science keeps getting pushed to the background while personal ‘beliefs’ (which BTW only have meaning when they are personal beliefs and not state mandated systems) are given revered status.
“I don’t ‘believe’ that smoking causes cancer, therefore it doesn’t.” See how that works? Life is sooo much easier when you do that. Facts are horrible things.
Most people remember Orwell’s always evolving rules in Animal Farm (here’s a link incase you don’t remember). But I think we are seeing some additional rules being promoted in various ways in our culture these days. They sing a similar tune to the logical exploitation Orwell’s parable warns us against.
“I believe what I believe because I believe it. No evidence or facts can alter what I believe.”
“Compromise is weakness. To be strong means never compromising.”
“Always having an answer, even when you don’t, conveys strength. Strength is always right.”
“The rich are rich because they worked harder and deserve it more. They should bare no burden from those who are not rich.”
Machiavelli would love the America we are living in now.
And remember – for the majority of human history – humanity has been governed by Monarchy, either by family or via Oligarchy. Democracy was always a fragile thing, with many more enemies than friends. Democracy is messy, it can appear unorganized and it demands compromises for the better of all. No one should get everything they want but we should all consider the concerns of our fellow citizens. It requires empathy and patience and kindness.
It’s so much easier to not bother with all that. Even in Ancient Athens Democracy was turned to tyranny more than once. And after the Roman Republic collapsed it was mostly agreed that Democracy, while an inviting ideal, was a concept incapable of functioning in ruling a country.
(and I already received an email that his post meanders a bit, and I agree with you. It does. It’s not edited that well. But hey, I’m on deadline and this was flapping around in my head. And so it goes.)