The unbearable lightness of Collapse

So close, but so far away. Yet almost inevitable.

Photo by John Hult on Unsplash

Those of us who hold the knowledge and the wisdom, and the eyes to our future — the scientists, the philosophers and the humanists of our time, have all been trying to tell us desperately and repeatedly in the most starkest of words: it is now Five Minutes to Midnight for Earth, and for human civilisation itself. An alarming yet increasing proportion of them are now telling us that it will take nothing short of a miracle to change course. A miracle which myself, as a biologist and market researcher, knows far too well is nearly impossible, owing to the very nature of our species: a species that has evolved and “thrived” in a perceptional bubble, a grand delusion of climate stability and inexhaustible resources. This warped perception of our surroundings can, and will mostly likely, unfortunately only become apparent when the picture on the wall that we like to call “World” begins to shatter and fall, leaving behind only a faint stain where the boundaries of the bubble we lived in once where: enough to remind us just how narrow our perception of the World once was.

The Invisible Lightness of Time

Photo by Jonathan Bean on Unsplash

Yet we all feel that the slow car crash we are in, called Climate Change, hides a silver lining, a blessing sent from heaven: it is so slow, that we can have full control over it: we can use three of the five minutes we have left to self-indulge in whatever brings us immediate gratification in the present. Hell, we can even press on the gas a bit harder, just for kicks. We aren’t afraid. We can always make a hard stop in the last minute, just short of the cliff.

But very few are noticing that the brakes on this vehicle are failing. The brakes are in fact a delusion, there were never any brakes when it comes to the climate, at least none that are under full human control. The Climate has its own Mind and Wisdom, and once you cross its tipping points it goes where it wants to go in order to self-regulate. It is a machine with its own gears, and our models keep failing to understand it and simulate it: they are always too optimistic and end up being revised. The latest signs (e.g. permafrost melting 70 years earlier than predicted) point to yet another acceleration, and it is likely we may have reached the point of no return already.

The Brakes in Our Mind

Photo by Esther Tuttle on Unsplash

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken -Warren Buffet

We all suffer from the terrible impediment of only recognising danger that threatens our immediate existence, as opposed to danger in the long term.

Despite the fact that, according to a new study, living in a big city is the equivalent of smoking 20 cigarettes a day, we choose to raise our children in this environment. And to go on about our day convincing ourselves that it is Business as Usual.

Despite the fact that tiny microplastic fibers are now found in the purest of snow falling over the Arctic, and in the air we breathe, we delude ourselves that the damage to our health is minor. We buy organic, wild salmon caught in Alaska, thinking it is free of toxins and microplastics.

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The “Us vs Them” Delusion and the real risk of Conflict

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

But there is yet another delusion that needs to be shattered. That there are particular powerful people to blame in this World. The Villains. That we didn’t cause this disaster together, as a species. That some of us are Saints. Look deeper. You and Them are the same species. You have the same mind. The same in-built delusions and needs for control, greed, instant gratification.

But some of us are more awakened. Some of us are fully awakened. A struggle is about to begin between those Awakened and those who will want to cling to Power and leave the masses to starve. A struggle that won’t be easy and which risks bringing our species close to self-anhilation.

Before we embark on crusades, crucifictions and violent protests, it is important that we all understand just how incapable our brain is in processing danger. In ALL of us. The struggle should be a peaceful protest, and above all a struggle to educate, enlighten and awaken as many as we can from the other side. Some of them will never awaken.

Those of us who have raised the alarm have often been treated as alarmists, deluded, anxious, depressed, Cassandras. The only way to fight back against this is through spreading our knowledge, always with compassion for the human condition.

The vast majority of the population has not chosen a side yet. They have chosen to fall into the default category of Apathy, which is equally dangerous. It is up to us to help them step away from the Lightness, and into the Light.

You can follow me on Twitter @99blackbaloons

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Author, biologist, exploring our broken kinship with the planet. INFJ born 88 ppm ago. 📚 The Unhappiness Machine. A New Earth. Lexicon of Dystopia.

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George Tsakraklides

Author, biologist, exploring our broken kinship with the planet. INFJ born 88 ppm ago. 📚 The Unhappiness Machine. A New Earth. Lexicon of Dystopia.