Historians will look back at this time period and wonder how, those of us alive today, were so capable of documenting exactly what we were doing to the planet. But meanwhile, we seemed unable to change our ways or to prevent things from getting worse.
Indifference has many people trapped today.
Indifference is borne of denial. We tell ourselves false, comforting messages — ”things will work themselves out”; “it won’t be so bad”; “I’ll manage”.
Those of us fortunate to live in rich countries are also trapped by personal plans and goals that don’t account for, or accept, the fact that Earth’s climate is radically changing. These plans and goals are little more than lies at this point, because they have no bearing in the reality around us.
The Gnostics spoke of an entity that they called the Demiurge. The Demiurge was borne of ignorance, and it thought that it was God. In its hubris, the Demiurge created humans to worship it, and kept them in ignorance of the true nature of reality. Both the Demiurge and the hapless humans it created were trapped in a giant lie. The Demiurge was not really God. And humans were not really free — they were just slaves to worship the Demiurge.
Indifference has become our great Demiurge. It keeps us trapped, unable to see what is being documented and recorded in real time right before our eyes. Never-ending fire seasons, floods wiping out town, record- breaking heat waves every year. Whole cities shrouded in red, angry, smoke. The Arctic almost ice free. A great dying — the Sixth Great Extinction — taking place right in front of us.
We must break free.
We must architect solutions to the climate crisis that can last for thousands of years.
The Earth’s form has changed dozens of times throughout its history. It has been a snowball. It has been a place of unimaginable heat and fire. For a brief moment, it had an in-between, but cooler climate that let mammals evolve into primate, and then into us.
Now, through industrial life, we have triggered another change. There is uncertainty about how drastic this change might be, and what Earth will look like when it is done changing.
But we have triggered another change. And there is no guarantee that when it is done changing, Earth will be suitable for human life.
For us to continue to live on Earth, we have to architect a common, global, solution that will stabilize the climate, prevent more negative impacts, help each other adapt, and start the long, hard road towards recreating environmental conditions suitable for human life — a process that could take thousands of years.
We have to architect solutions today that will endure for thousands of years. We must design the Great Pyramids for climate stability.
There is no other choice.
The time to act is now to preserve civilization and a dignified life.
This is a bizarre time to be alive. It will be studied for centuries, the way we study the fall of Rome, or the advent of civilization itself.
Can we be better than mere observers to a flawed destiny?
Can we create the conditions of an enduring, positive, and global civilization?
The choice is up to us, up to every person. To stay silent, or get involved. To continue with the status quo, or work to change things. To stay slouched and indulgent in indifference; or to be active, and ever challenged, by the possibility of a better world. To side with the Demiurge, and to keep each other enslaved — or to stand against it, to reject slavery in all its forms, and to forge the bonds of a human freedom that can exist in balance with the planet from hereon ever after.