We humans are destroying our planet—and we are responsible. We spread pollution through our industry, our overpopulation, our fertilizers, our trash, and our insecticides. We wreak ecological havoc through our unsustainable farming, logging, mining, fishing, and exploitation of the world’s other natural resources. We are making our home unlivable not only for ourselves but for the millions of other animal and plant species with whom we share it.
If you do not agree with me, or hold any doubts about the seriousness of our ecological situation, just google “global ecological crisis” or any similar string of words and read a few of the articles. This is difficult to ignore.
Yet the norm ignores it—or simply doesn’t place it at that high of a relevance in their lives. And to me this makes sense, because the reality of what we’re doing is horrible—and because there is no other planet to which we can realistically escape. It is normal to want to block out this horror—just as it is normal to retreat into fantasy to bolster a sense of empowerment. It is normal as well to prioritize comfort over restraint and to prioritize self-deception over self-reflection. It is normal for people to live lives of tunnel vision—of work, home, food, debt, family, politics, entertainment. It is also normal for people go on having children to keep themselves happy, and normal to dump these global problems into their children’s laps. And if their children end up living the same way, which is what normal parents teach their children to do, they will only pass this mess on to their future children—if they’re not sterile by then.
Our unconsciousness is leading us toward extinction, and as the coming decades pass this will become only more obvious. This I guarantee.
Addendum: I wrote this essay in 2004. Some years have passed since then, and I can now confirm that my guarantee was correct: more people are waking up to the obvious, becoming more conscious. And soon a lot more will, exponentially I believe. We are living in a time of real psychological revolution. Meanwhile, I am waking up more too—growing more self-aware, more experienced in life, more distant from the norm, and simultaneously further down my path of helping to define a new norm.
But the sad, ugly reality remains: as a species we are failing to live up to our potential as human beings. And I hope that changes—just when?