The 6th Extinction Stops Here.
It’s time to take a stand. It won’t be an easy stand, because we’re not talking about buying a trendy hybrid car, using recycled paper towels, and installing solar panels. We’re talking about deep changes in the human way of doing things, to save a world.
This sort of situation – exerting short-term discipline to deal with longer-term problems – is not one of our species’ strong points. Many of us simple, literally, don’t care what happens to the world after our kids die. We have no sense of connection to the multi-billion-year story of life, and halfway through what could be a billion years of large complex life. We don’t care whether humans will be around for 500 years or 5 million, because we just don’t think about it.
Since we can’t see or touch the people of the future, and they can’t do us any favors, we consider them to be expendable, like the species we’re vaguely aware are going extinct all over the planet. Just their tough luck. In other words, where the future is concerned, we’re a society of sociopaths.
But we need not be.
We are not absolute captives of our evolved irrationality. We can think and reflect. In principle, we can embrace a deep time future with trillions of human childhoods lived on a planet with healthy ecosystems. The ONLY thing we have to do to achieve that is don’t wreck the planet this century.
We have been greatly distracted by the carbon pulse. That very temporary glut of burnable coal and oil which has changed what we value. At the rate we’re going, it will end soon; first with oil becoming energetically unaffordable and then, more gradually, coal. The problem is that if we use it until then, we won’t have a living planet to go back to.
At present, we turn fossil fuels into money, and money into brain reward plus environmental costs. Those brain rewards are pretty stimulating, and they’ve caused us to look away from the natural world. But in the lifespan of the human species, the carbon pulse will be a lightning flash which comes and goes quickly. Our survival, and that of other large complex species, will depend on the earth’s ability to sustain it.
Our campaign will be putting forward some pretty radical-sounding propositions. The most radical of all is the notion of a trillion human childhoods, which is ten times the number of humans who have ever lived to date. It’s probably still attainable, but it will not remain so unless we truly step up to becoming homo sapiens in fact as well as name.
Join us. Be radical in your desire to stop the Sixth Extinction.
Because if that’s radical, we don’t want to be moderate.