What if We Are Doomed Already?
One way or another, the news always seems to bring fresh doom and gloom every day. This week it’s been a new report on climate change suggesting we have at best around a decade to avoid absolutely catastrophic shifts in the way we live on this world. And of course, as conventional wisdom tells us, if it’s serious enough for the media to tell everyone about, it’s probably a lot more serious than we’re being told, and has been for a while. Astute readers of the new UN report may even note that the contents of the report are a best case scenario.
News of our species’ potential demise within our lifetimes is naturally generating a lot of different reactions. Some people are understandably depressed and immobilized by a sense of powerlessness or vindication. Some of us made the connections earlier. Some of us tried to take action to change things.
And other people didn’t. Other people laughed at us. Other people chose a life of pleasure and profit over the utter havoc they left in this world.
Why Try Anymore?
Given these new revelations and the unlikelihood of a collective response any different than anytime before, what are we to do? What if we are simply already doomed one way or another? What if civilization simply cannot prepare for the devastation it has generated? How will we survive? And how long will we make it?
In a way, we have arrived at a collective exposure of the truth of human life. That truth is that we are all progressing towards death in one way or another.
Yes, we should grieve. Perhaps we should take action too. Perhaps we should act like there is still hope to live a little longer—perhaps there is! Perhaps we should spend less time doing things as they have been done, and instead do them the way we would like to do them.
With the truth of death so plainly before us, the better question is not whether we will die, but what will we make of the life remaining before us? As we process this report and allow ourselves to feel the vast depth of accompanying emotions, I think this is the question we should sit with. What will we do with our lives? How will we choose to live given the reality of a possibly terrifying and unavoidable death?
Perhaps by facing death head-on, our species ironically stands a chance to momentarily grow up.
Pat Mosley (NC LMBT #16882) is a licensed massage and bodywork therapist in the Winston-Salem area. His work is rooted in compassionate touch, permaculture, and deep ecology with the resilience of all Earth's children in mind. Connect with him via email to email@example.com