Kossack Stranded Wind has a diary on the rec list today entitled Contemplating Human Extinction, wherein he offers charts and graphs and doomsday projections about the upcoming “extinction event” and it’s already too late to change it. Now Buhdy has an essay here on the recent passing of his mother, and it made me cry because it’s as beautiful as it is sad. Here I’d like to note a few things wrong with the Doomsday View of Life, and hopefully touch on something beautiful too.
My hubby and I decided way back in the dim recesses of the late 1960s that we’d only have two children, not wishing to contribute to what was apparent even back then about overpopulation and increasing stress on resources plus pollution issues. That’s just what we did, too – had a girl and then a boy, then purposely joined the ranks of the non-reproducing. That way I didn’t have to spend my life wondering if I’d get cancer from birth control pills or ever have to face the hard question of abortion (which I wouldn’t have chosen, I don’t think). From there we went on to adopt three children no one else wanted yet were already housebroken, and ended up with a long line of other people’s troubled teens who decided our house was better than their own. Some of them grew up okay, some of them are still messed up, and a few of them died along the way (including our son). Life is like that. I was never the best of mothers, I suppose, but that’s okay too.
Now that our grandchildren are well into reproductive age and we’re looking to finally do what WE want to do with the rest of our lives, I have thought a lot about the unsustainability of humanity’s current crazy lifestyles and self-imposed anxiety and depression, whether or not any of us will survive. I’ve pretty much decided it doesn’t matter, and that it’s going to be someone else’s problem when I’m gone. They’ll either do what needs doing for themselves and their own progeny, or not. No skin off my teeth – or rather, the few teeth I’ve got left.
I will say that it’s always bugged me that the doomsayers always want to appeal to “But What About The Children!?” canard when trying to motivate people to do something about the mess. As if the people who pull the strings – and spend their lives polluting the planet, stealing the wealth, and otherwise trading gold on the several huge futures markets in human suffering – give a shit about anybody’s children (including their own). The sciencey-types keep telling me that the reproductive urge and tendency to have so many children they can’t be supported is some sort of ‘natural’ evolutionary drive controlled by complex macromolecules in our cell nucleuses that are “selfish” and want to take over the world. Since that’s never been true for me – my macromolecules are just physical biochemical pieces-parts, thanks, and don’t run my life – I have a hard time blaming them for anything except my physical nature and its unique peculiarities. And while humans are indeed incredibly short-sighted and stupid about many things, it doesn’t take much neural superglue to simply move to higher ground when the water rises. I mean, if you’re too dumb to do that much, you probably deserve to drown!