Is it OK to hate all of Humanity?

Sometimes, yes

painting by El Greco

I know what you’re thinking: WTF.

The headline of this story may sound bizarre. It may sound depressing and macabre. It may even sound funny to some people. But we are not exactly in a comedic environment at the moment. After driving thousands of species to extinction, we have set sail for The Big One: to bring down the whole planet by destroying its climate, all in one go.

Suddenly, the headline doesn’t seem so shocking. It seems quite appropriate actually. And as we approach the real Apocalypse, I can’t help but bring to mind all those religious paintings from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, when people thought the Apocalypse was somewhere in Hell or in the distant future, thousands and thousands of years away. Those paintings now seem like a bitter joke: they did, indeed, predict this. It wasn’t a fairy tale.

Somehow, we always knew.

Anyway, the headline caught your attention, which is what I wanted. Because what I want to discuss is what we do with the collective self-hate, eco anxiety and depression that we sometimes may feel. What is it and where do we go from here.

Are humans a failed species?

Painting by Hieronymous Bosch

As we understand more about climate change, it is not unusual to feel that we have failed as a species. If our purpose was to ensure our own survival, we have failed even on that “selfish” front, because our potential extinction lies in full view right in front of us.

This is a warning not by homeless crazy guys sitting on the pavement and holding misspelled signs on cardboard, but by the experts: the scientists, the David Attenboroughs, the Climatologists, the Sustainability professors. Even before the sea level rise comes, it is expected that there will likely be multiple “bread basket failures” in our food production and supply system, with billions of people potentially dying from heat stress, famine and conflict.

But before you despair, we are still here. The world is still standing. And there is still time to process our feelings with honesty, and accept ourselves with all our faults, as a species. Without self-forgiveness we won’t have the strength to work towards slowing down our runaway climate.

But before you despair, we are still here. The world is still standing. And there is still time to process our feelings with honesty, and accept ourselves with all our faults, as a species. Without self-forgiveness we won’t have the strength to work towards slowing down our runaway climate.

So the first step is to just be honest with yourself

Capela Sistina fresco by Michelangelo

If you feel shame, feel it

If you feel like crying, cry

If you feel angry, break something

If you feel like man is just a parasite, and its better if he dies, that’s cool too. I have friends with head cooler than mine who are already saying, “hey ho, maybe its better for Earth if we just go”

But make sure you own your feelings. Own it all, because this is you, this is us. You are demonstrating a perfectly “healthy emotional response” to the biggest challenge humans ever faced. We are all struggling to process these feelings of grief and despair.

It is important that we recognise our guilt on one hand, but at the same time forgive ourselves. I am tired of people commenting on my blogs saying that it is the Politicians’ fault, most of the rest of humanity is OK and sane. Bullshit. The politicians are not the only criminals. We all are, we all have the same brains genetically, the same apathy. We all killed Earth, together.

We are just an imperfect species, and we need to own that and accept it. With “wired-in” racism and discrimination, as well as psychotic tendencies and a constant temptation to destroy. Humans are fucked up in so many ways that biologists and other scientists are only just beginning to uncover. Evolution played a nasty hand on us.

We were the “spoilt” species on this Earth, and like all spoiled brats, we evolved some pretty nasty arrogant behaviours that actually became part of our DNA. It’s time to become aware of them if we stand any chance of continuing.

But we’ve got many wonderful qualities about us, too. We just need to tap into these, and magnify them. We have empathy, compassion, altruism. But we need to re-discover and amplify them, 2X, 5X, 20X. Our good side must win.

Leonardo da Vinci — Last Supper

You can follow me on Twitter @99blackbaloons

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Author, podcaster, scientist, documenting our system failure. Photographic Heart, Disposable Earth, Age of Separateness, Becoming Imperfect. tsakraklides.com

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George Tsakraklides

George Tsakraklides

Author, podcaster, scientist, documenting our system failure. Photographic Heart, Disposable Earth, Age of Separateness, Becoming Imperfect. tsakraklides.com

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