This post features the following article by Daniel Smith, published by the New York Times, April 17, 2014 …a long but very interesting read.It’s the End of the World as We Know It . . . and He Feels Fine (www.nytimes.com/2014/04/20/magazine/its-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-and-he-feels-fine.html)
The article is a piece about Paul Kingsnorth, a man whose ideas, feelings and views about the state of the world and the future of civilisation, I tend to share.
Kingsnorth co-jointly founded the Dark Mountain Project “a loose network of ecologically minded artists and writers” in the UK back in 2009. When I first became aware of this group it drew my interest and I read the Manifesto they produced, written by Kingsnorth. I also checked in on what they were doing from time to time. The initial concept was a worthy one but I became aware that the group was attracting to itself all sorts of weirdos and hippies who were more interested in holding festivals in the woods than anything serious. Kingsnorth also detected this development and determined that the 2013 annual festival would be the last to be held. That seems to have been a good idea when we read that the highlight of the festival, a midnight ritual, culminated in folk wearing stag antlers running off into the woods, making animal noises, writhing in the mud and singing “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” song in harmony.
There are far more important issues to contemplate than that sort of folly. Perhaps the most important thing before us is to consider what Kingsnorth defines as our ‘duty’ to face the results of our last 100 years of partying and frivolity at the expense of nature and ecology. This is something we must face because there is no hope now of avoiding the consequences of our actions.
Yet there are those who still proclaim that things can be done to alter the inevitable course of events. The article cites Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, as an example. I can think of many others, many of whom are lining their own pockets through book sales and seminars.
These people are peddling false hope.
I can agree with Kingsnorth (except for the part about the whiskey bottle) when he says “Whenever I hear the word ‘hope’ these days, I reach for my whiskey bottle. It seems to me to be such a futile thing. What does it mean? What are we hoping for? And why are we reduced to something so desperate? Surely we only hope when we are powerless?”
There is no hope now of diverting coming tragedy. Perhaps some decades ago there might have been, but that time has passed us by while we were busy partying and feathering our nests. If these ideas result in me being known as a “crazy collapsitarian” (Kingsnorth’s favorite epithet) then so be it.
“It’s the End of the World as We Know It . . . and He (Kingsnorth) Feels Fine”.
I share those feelings.
So, I am content to consider that most people are not worth saving, and those that are will be looking around for advice and assistance on a personal level, once the full realisation of what is occurring or about to occur awakens them to the situation. All that is left to do is to observe events as they unfold, answer questions from concerned others to the best of personal knowledge (but not get too attached to them), find ways to give yourself the best chance you can to get through what’s coming, and then be prepared to watch perhaps six billion folks be taken out by one or more mostly foreseeable but as yet not precisely specified means, over whatever period of time it takes whether that be short and quick, whether it be drawn out over a century or so, or anything in between. Always bearing in mind that you yourself, irrespective of what preparations you may have made and contingencies you have covered to secure your future, you (or I) may well be counted among those who do not make it.
Nothing else really matters much now except for being a nice person and caring for those around you as best you can.https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/20/magazine/its-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-and-he-feels-fine.html