I’ve seen a lot in the press, on the television and on social media recently about how the world didn’t end (as allegedly predicted by the Mayans) on 21st December. To which I say:
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???
Has nobody noticed that it hasn’t stopped raining since March?? Admittedly that is just the UK – oh but wait, Australia is on fire! Over 100 bush fires in South Australia as I type, and temperatures set to rise over the weekend. Meanwhile, bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics because of overuse, and a report out today suggests that half, yes half, of the world’s food production ends up being thrown away. Oh and the polar ice caps are melting, there is severe flooding and inches thick snow falling in the Middle East, and the US, still attempting to recover from hurricane season, has been hit with a major flu epidemic. And that’s not to mention the damage we’ve done to the ozone layer.
Most of this doesn’t actually affect the world too much. Once there was no ozone layer. The ice caps have melted and refrozen many times before. Forest fires have burned as long as there have been forests. The Mediterranean was once land and large parts of the Netherlands were once sea. Fruit dropped from the trees without being eaten, fish, fowl and beast died and were not consumed, but rotted and fed their essence back into the land. These natural cycles occurred over periods of time too small and too immense for us to begin to understand.
Even the simultaneous detonation of all nuclear weapons and devices that currently exist would not destroy this rather wet blue and green rock that revolves around the sun. Such an event would no doubt change the surface of the world, but the world would keep turning, and life would grow again, probably in a radically different form. All that would truly be affected is us, humankind, and the thin film of civilisation that we have smeared over the earth and branded into its surface.
You may believe that the natural disasters and climate change are an inevitable consequence of Mankind’s behaviour, or you may believe in some kind of higher power that is preparing to cleanse itself of the nasty rash that’s appeared on its skin. But whatever you believe, it must be clear that our current ways of life, all over the world, are simply not sustainable. We had the chance to create a symbiotic environment and live in harmony with the planet – and we completely messed it up. I believe that we as a race have consistently treated our surroundings and natural resources with disrespect and disregard, and have destroyed beauty and abundance for the sake of greed, avarice, our unwillingness to accept responsibility for our actions, to see the inevitable consequences.
I believe it’s too late to redeem the situation. That as a race, we have strayed too far from any path that would lead to symbiosis and harmony. That our current way of life is changing, now, not in fifty years or even ten years, but now, and catastrophically. Resources are dwindling. Whilst half of the food produced is wasted, one person dies of starvation every 3.6 seconds. Technology appears to be progressing, but the rare metals needed to maintain the manufacturing are running out. We have poisoned the surface of the world, our own home, with plastic, radiation, greenhouse gases, war.
So the naysayers and disbelievers are completely right. It’s not the end of the world. But it’s the end of the world as we know it. And those of us who are left once the Earth/Gaia/Goddess/God/Jesus/Mother Nature has finished scratching His or Her itch, had better damned well get used to it. Those of us who strive to adapt, to live in harmony and respect with the earth stand some slim chance of surviving and taking the human race into an entirely difference place. For those of us who don’t, it might very well look just like the end of the world.