Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Hiatus - OVER! Now: What's This Really All About

I hadn't expected to let this blog go to seed for over a year - sorry about that! A thesis got in the way. My thesis. Which I wrote all through last Spring and Summer, finally turning it in in September. The Danish title of my thesis is Et mærkbart klima - Affekt og politik i klimakultur. Roughly - A Climate of Emotion - Affect and Politics in Climate Culture, dealing with examples of emotions and feelings in culture relating to climate change. It was an interesting ride, and might actually have helped me quite a bit in gaining some of that elusive distance to climate change. The distance I didn't have before, the lack of which kept the threat and fear of climate change on my sleeve as it were.

Anyway, I'm back, I've written more posts than I can remember, up in my head of course, goodness knows where they are now. Something that I do keep thinking about, and answering in my head, is a question that a friend asked me over a year ago. I imagine I was on one of my many Twitter rants about the climate, having just read some dire report, eyes freshly salted, sad and angry. He asked - "what is this really all about"? And I was kind of stumped to be honest. Who couldn't see what this was about?

I'm guessing what my friend was asking, in essence, was "Why are you so afraid of death?". Isn't that, after all, the inner core driving humanity? We do everything we can to survive as far as immediate, primary needs go (food, sleep, shelter). And we create secondary needs to hide the fact that fear is what drives the primary needs. But still - it's much bigger than death, isn't it?

It's the largest collective human existential crisis since the Cold War, except for the fact that the button has been pushed, is still being pushed (long before the Cold War actually), and we seem to be crying in one voice: "Push harder! Push harder!", even though we know what that means. Well....

Not to mention, this is about more than humanity, since we're taking more than ourselves down with us. Prognoses have given the impression that we'll be pretty much wiping Earth's slate clean, leaving it to need more than just a few million years to reboot life that resembles anything we know. Not exactly fair of us, I'd say.

But on the human side of things, it bothers me that we're wiping out human potential. We're a mixed bag as far as species go, I know that. Good, bad, ugly, and all that. But damn, the good things have been really really good. Art alone can be enough to make me cry with joy, such a shame to see it go to waste. Not a soul in the universe to appreciate it after we're gone (as far as we know of course). Have we even neared the height of what we can do? Is there time to prove it? I suppose it's all these unknowns that bug me. For - even if one human dies, it's in the cards that someone else will pick up the slack, carry on where s/he left off, add to it even, make it better, bring humanity forth...We take solace in that when we leave this place individually.

Climate change is a serious threat to that, the ultimate effect being....absolutely nothing.