Finally, scientists are products of our culture just like everybody else, and our culture is primarily one of denial, whether that's about the reality of our past (genocide and slavery) or our present (brutal military and economic hegemony, inverted fascism). Most scientists not only don't want to deliver a dire message, but they don't want to believe it themselves either, even if that's what their findings show. This is understandable on a personal level. Scientifically, though, it is fundamentally dishonest.Okay, so then what?
It's increasingly clear that our situation is worse than we've been told, perhaps far, far worse. One can choose to scoff at those predicting drastic outcomes like near-term human extinction, but how does one support that kind of skepticism when "reasonable" projections have so far proven to be woeful underestimates?
But when it comes to making accurate predictions, maybe it's no longer important.Perhaps the lesson here is just that it's worse than we think and worse than we want andwe must consider this possibilityworse than we can fix. So then our challenge is to accept that and to take responsible action.
If you hit someone on the road, the responsible action is to go back and see how s/he is. It's fair to describe US culture as a high speed vehicle striking one innocent creature after another without ever looking back, individually or collectively. This is untenable in a host of ways, and always has been.
Acting with malice takes a toll on both perpetrator and victim. In our case, the victim is the planet and she's turning the tables on us, on her own schedule, whether we see it coming or not. Heads up!
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