Sunday, February 04, 2007

Our Pessimistic Perspective

We don't usually post on the weekends. It's how we acquired the "bums" part of our name. But the report by the IPCC has had us thinking and talking for two days. What can we say? We know the stakes are incredibly high, but we've come to the awful conclusion that humans won't rise to the occasion. (Sorry, we don't mean to bum you out.) We just don't think it's possible. Even a profound leader (I signed the Draft Gore petition) can not erase the six billion lives that draw on every last resource this planet has to offer. It's simply too late, and there are too many of us who want the same things.

Do you know anyone who is really able to change their lives to save the planet? Who doesn't need a car to get to work? Who knows a better way to heat their homes? Who can stop adding CO2 to the atmosphere? Who grows their own food? Who will agree to zero population, even if it means that they won't have children? Sure there are probably a handful of people who might be able to hide away in the woods and try to grow their food (like us), but we still drive, heat our house, leave a substantial footprint. Roger and I are somewhat anomalous, something Life Magazine might have covered 40 years ago-- a delightful cover feature-- people who have fled the city for rural life in their retirement years. But for the first time in human history more than half the world's population lives in urban centers. How can we alter the course of human endeavors and both maintain what is, and inexorably change it all to save the planet? That's the quest, isn't it?

We don't think it can be done. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try. We should. We must all work together so at the very least we might have a moment where we can all look at each other as kindred spirits on the same whirling planet in space, working toward the same goal, without the pretense of borders and religions to separate us. Because, that's all we've ever been, everything else has been a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Then, maybe, we can all go down holding hands. (And that would be the optimistic ending, folks.)

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