I’ve just watched Leonardo De Caprio’s The Eleventh Hour, and I thought I would post my thoughts about, well, everything.
I also watched An Inconveniet Truth years ago, and after watching it I was struck by a feeling of amazement, hope, and yes, sadness. After watching it I really believed that there was still hope, that everything would work out in the end. But after The Eleventh Hour… Well, let’s just say that some current events have broken that feeling of hope.
I’m not going to tell you what Climate Change and Global Warming are, what they mean, how we can stop it, why we should, etc. That’s been done before, and with a much bigger impact and more eloquence than my few words could ever achieve. I’m not going to tell you about the changes I’ve made in my life to leave a smaller carbon footprint, because, other than walking to work every day, I haven’t changed anything, or done anything, other than talk passionately to people about my opinions regarding what we, as a species, are doing to the world. None of that would help, anyway. We are, without a doubt, so anesthetized against this kind of information that we don’t want to hear it anymore.
It’s not new anymore. It’s not groundbreaking anymore. It’s got absolutely nothing to do with the fact that we have to live; we have to work to work every day, we have to worry about our incomes and how to spend them, we have to think about what we’re going to eat and how, we need time to plan our entertainment so that we won’t be bored anymore – and this last is only because we are technologists, now, not people. People talk to each other; technologists communicate.
Nope, all I’m going to say is this: Say Goodbye.
After you’ve read this, go outside and go and look at a tree. Probably close to 90% of you won’t be able to do that, because you’ll have to walk to a park to look at a tree. But if you can, go look at it and say goodbye to it. Tomorrow or next week, next month or next year someone will want to put something more beautiful and useful than a tree there. Hell, it’ll probably be a garbage can.
If you can, go and look at the sunset or sunrise. Can you see it nicely through the smog? Didn’t think so. Maybe you can turn off your TV, radio, internet, XBox, Playstation, Gameboy, PSP, MP3 Player and listen to the sound of nature; but if you turn that off, all you’ll hear are the occasional siren, music pumping, perhaps a fan cooling the air, and definitely the sounds of trucks and cars. Nature – what’s that?
Look at everything around you that didn’t come out of a factory, off an assembly line; there may just be a potted plant you can latch onto. Maybe.
Or you may have pets. They’re animals, right? Their ancestors came from the wild, right?
Or maybe, just maybe, you’re a bastion against the dark, living off the grid, growing your own food, enjoying the clean air of being in the middle of nature and its beauty.
Do you live in a tree? Do you sleep under the stars?
Nope. We need walls and windows and a ceiling because we don’t want nature to touch us. We don’t want anything near us that doesn’t entertain us or sate our hunger. Soil is dirty and it has things in it that bite. We’re allergic to grass. Bark is rough and ugly. Someone probably urinated or defecated in that lake, I’m not swimming there! No, it’s okay, thanks; if I want to see a rain forest I’ll change the channel from HBO or Fox to National Geographic, and look how cute that Orangutan is!
And meanwhile, during these moments in which we watch the news, hear the reports of environmentalists, or even, perhaps, go on a peaceful march against corporate greed, we sit in homes that killed billions of organisms when they were erected, we drive cars (because we have to get to work) that spew toxins into the air, we buy products that, while being manufactured, created 35 truckloads of waste for every one truckload of usable goods.
We blithely allow everything that allowed us to rise to the heights we have achieved be destroyed.
So say goodbye to it all. Go look at everything that grows without help from us and say goodbye.
And say your goodbyes because, and lets face it, we will not change. We must wear clothes, we must eat, we must feel safe in our homes, we must earn money, we must drive cars and fly planes and travel on boats and ships (and my, isn’t that water so blue), we must do all these things. We don’t have time for conservation! It’s too much effort to live green! How will I watch Lost or Heroes or Smallville or 24 by living green? Living green is for people who want to make a point and get in the news!
Put it this way: will your life, as you live it now, suffer if you had to start living green? Of course it would. You would have to endure mosquitoes and rain and dust and insects, you would have to hunt or grow your food, you would have to sit around a fire and tell stories in place of reading books or watching TV or playing Playstation. And guess what? All those corporations that we hate know this. They know you will never be able to live without what they provide – why? Because they make it so.
So how do you think you can change this? How the hell are you going to affect change? How are you going to spread the message to the world that everything we know will die unless we change? You won’t, because since the Industrial Revolution we have been bred to destroy and consume, taught to destroy and consume, because its the only way we can make our lives better. You don’t have to suffer that headache anymore, friend; here’s a pill you can swallow. You don’t have to go to sleep as soon as night has fallen – there’s electricity. You don’t have to worry about that pipe dumping shit into the ocean because the ocean is sooo fucking huge!
Well, like I said, say goodbye to it all. Soon, most probably within our lifetime, the image of the last polar bear in the wild will be seen on our televisions. The bear will probably drown -there wont be any ice left in a couple of decades- or he’ll be shot for his pelt – imagine how much that would fetch at auction!
Say goodbye, because we are not in control. You aren’t the CEO of an oil company, are you? You aren’t running a logging operation in the South American rain forests, are you? In fact, are you in any position at all to effect change? To slam your fist down on a table and shout, “Fuck you, we will change the way we do things!” No, you aren’t. You just like me, a consumer who must consume to live.
Watch these incredible documentaries and understand them for what they will become – the final voices of a world shouting, “We tried! We really did try!”
We can’t be saved anymore, and we cannot save.