This is a piece I’ve been wavering on writing. I go back and forth, never sure if I really want to put my most depressing thoughts down in public. But some ideas get stuck in my brain so tightly the only way I can get rid of them is to talk about them as much as possible, so then I can move onto other things.
I’m not worried about climate change. I know the risks, of course. The worst case scenario is that we alter the climate so much that we trigger a process that converts earth into Venus’s twin. It would mean the extinction of humanity. And most other complex life on earth, for that matter. But it doesn’t really bother me. Not because I want life to end. I like being alive and I hope to continue for as long as possible. No, it doesn’t bother me because that’s just the way we are.
Humanity is suicidal. We behave like adolescents who just found a fully loaded gun and we’re playing with it while drinking whiskey. We pushed ourselves right to the brink many times during the Cold War. It is only due to a few accidents that we didn’t start a global thermonuclear war. We tried our best to kill ourselves during World War 1 and 2. We tried during our incompetent responses to plagues. Genghis Khan is responsible for killing something like 10% of the world population. We do it again, and again, and again. Individuals may have the ability to think long term, and protect ourselves accordingly. But as a species we seem to lack that ability.
Climate change doesn’t bother me because even if we avoid the worst effects of it we’ll just find another way to kill ourselves. Maybe we’ll colonize Mars, then Earth and Mars wipe each other out in nuclear war. Maybe our computer security is so bad we will let the next Bin Laden hack into our infrastructure and take down our entire society. Maybe we’ll start another Holocaust. Our history is filled with examples of inhumanity towards man, and good old fashioned incompetence. If climate change doesn’t get us, then we’ll find another way to do so. That is probably the most depressing thought I can imagine, but at least it keeps me from stressing out over the weather.