The armrest on the bus was stabbing me in my side. The seat on the small van was too small
Countdown to Extinction
As world leaders prioritize power and control over human rights and environmental justice, we're witnessing a rise in fascist and authoritarian regimes. The countdown to extinction may have already begun.
We humans are losing our marbles.
All over the world people are voting for Fascists and "strong" men and women, with the express purpose of hurting one or more groups of people. The United States famously elected Donald Trump and might do so again in 2024. Italy has Giorgia Meloni, Argentina now has Javier Milei, and shockingly Greet Wilders of the Far Right party in the Netherlands just won.
What the heck is going on? Why is everyone in love with Fascism and Authoritarianism? Why is everyone clamoring to sign up for violence, loss of rights (especially for women), cutting support systems, ramming Jesus down our throats, and calling climate change a liberal socialist hoax?
Simple. The countdown to extinction might have started.
Years ago I read Jared Diamond's book, "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" and was flabbergasted. Jared pointed to civilizations and societies in the past that collapsed overnight. He gave the example of the Greenland Norse, the Easter Island indigenous people, and the Anasazi people of the Southwest.
All of them collapsed due to a myriad of problems but the common issues between them were environmental damage, climate change, and loss of resources.
It boggles the mind. How could this happen?
I can only imagine the last words spoken by the Easter Island people as they were carving the last stone effigy, "We can't afford to care about environmental damage and natural resources, we need to think of jobs!"
We're all starting to think the same way. Global temperatures are hitting 2C above pre-industrial levels and our elected leaders are doing nothing. They're arguing over jobs and supporting Authoritarian leaders and regimes. They blame immigrants, teachers, "the gays", and atheists for all the problems that are plaguing their country.
They complain of declining birth rates and dream of a nuclear family where women need to be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. They have a nostalgia for the 1950s when life was perfect, and they're selling the dream to the average Joe and Betty.
The sad thing is that Joe and Betty are buying that dream. They're stressed and can barely make ends meet in a society of plenty. They look at the immigrant that's vying for the same "dwindling" resources that they need. They feel the heat of this fabricated competition as our political leaders and corporate psychopaths clamp down tighter on us. After all, they know better how to run things. They know how to protect us from the scary brown person that's at our border.
Joe and Betty will cast their vote for the next strong man or woman because they believe it's their only hope.
There's an interesting line in the Battlestar Galactica Reimagined series that's uttered by the "living" Cylon baseships. They speak in cryptic riddles like an Oracle and keep repeating the phrase "All this has happened before, and all this will happen again." Watchers of the show will understand that it's meant to show the cyclical nature of life.
I'm no Cylon nor am I an Oracle but I will make this prediction. If we keep electing leaders who deny climate change, human rights, and social and environmental justice, we will collapse as a whole world. We will fragment into smaller and smaller groups with loyalty tests.
We will, at the expense of the living world, throw people who don't look like us, love like us, worship like us, or believe like us to the wolves. After all, better them than us, right?
We can still fix things. We still have a chance to right the ship and the United States will be key in this fight. We'll either look back at 2024 as the year we corrected our mistakes or as the year when the countdown to extinction started.