Going on…a personal response to climate change doom

Initially, I was both shocked and admiring: you were saying explicitly something that maybe I thought I believed.But I also noticed, as I read, your time-frame: humanity will be wiped out after thirty more generations, that is, 2500 AD and ‘there is no key’ which will enable people to ‘wake up’. I agree with your second point to the extent that there are many, many keys – maybe as many as there are individuals: each of us needs to find our own? After all, there is a paradoxical craziness (I’m sure you’ll agree) in the vigour with which you are pushing your (brilliant) creative #CliFi idea and your conclusion that we are all doomed anyway. In any case, those of us working to break the intransigence of those who pay no heed to our plight need to collaborate. The thing is: we’re not ‘doomed’. On the whole, though I did not much enjoy Daniel Quinn’s Ishamel (the Wikipedia article is quite good https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael_(novel)), it was worth reading for the conclusion: the apes need human beings in order to survive! One of the most important influences on me has been Hannah Arendt. I believe she lived through, fully faced and articulated the horrors of WW2 and, in particular, the almost unbelievable deliberate destruction of millions of human beings that we call the holocaust. The destruction of millions upon millions more human beings (some of this is already happening) in the chaos of climate change is, it seems to me, the terrifying repetition that future generations will live through. Some, however, – I think James Lovelock estimates it at one billion – will survive (the story of ‘the remnant’ is basic in the Bible). I think that. What will they have learnt? Will they know and understand more than we do about the meaning and purpose of life? What sort of ‘civilization’ with what sort of animals, birds, fishes, insects, machines? Maybe that is not my/our concern, though I believe it is one that science fiction may deal with (‘Canticle for Leibowitz’?) I also believe that much current learning, e.g. bio-mimicry, is of life-changing importance. Hannah Arendt’s conclusion, messianic according to a superb recent book, https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/mln/v118/118.5bernstein02.html was ‘We must go on’ and the book concludes that W.H.Auden saw things similarly.

Is that not what the three of us, and Aubrey, are doing, as best we can? But Peter begins with reference to my time in Greece, which was truly life-changing, because to help me there, I happened upon a book, which only came out in 2014, by Adam Nicholson called ‘The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters’. Who was Homer? Did he exist? The book, though well referenced, is alive, based mainly on sailing and on our own individual journey from life to death. It spans many more lifetimes and generations than merely 500 years as it moves from the Bronze Age and across continents. If, I think, we want to have a sense of the future, we need a deep understanding of the past. All that, Dan, was stimulated by your response to Peter. Thank you for provoking it. I’m cc to Aubrey, who knows all this better than I and illustrates it beautifully in music and words at the Eden Project Eden Project.mov which has just won an award for Britain’s 21st Century landmark (http://highlife.ba.com/articles/21-landmarks-for-the-21st-century/ – some strange questions about that, but never mind). The Golden Mean: Pythagoras – watch & listen, spell-bound Earth Venus Tango round the Sun


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