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Dept. of The World Is Bigger Than We Are

Older Amy owns the world
What Once Was Wrong, the Inevitable Will Crown Right

When I was a little girl, I used to read comic strips in my daily newspaper. One of them was a would-be Buck Rogers strip called, if I remember correctly, Brick Bradford (which information I had to retrieve from Wikipedia. It certainly ran a long time.)

One of the adventures in that otherwise forgettable strip has stayed with me ever since. The hero sets down on a planet with a toxic atmosphere, with beings he at first thinks are unintelligent beasts. He and his colleagues eventually come to realize that this is a planet that was once like Earth, but which has become so polluted that it now has a completely different ecosystem, to which all those of the planets beings who survived have adapted. To them, Brick's obligatory scientist colleague narrates, Earth's atmosphere would be deadly.

The story fascinated me for two reasons: a) the idea that something we would consider absolutely wrong - an environment, say - would be absolutely natural to other beings, indeed necessary and non-toxic. I considered it compelling both environmentally (although I didn't think of it in those terms back in 1966 or 1967, which may have been when I read it) and philosophically; b) the idea that our world could end, that we would end, but that it might be OK, because something equally important or intelligent or what-have-you, might grow to take our place in a vastly changed world.

All of which leads me to this: Thanks to [personal profile] ljgeoff for alerting me to this article. For all that I've just said, I'd much rather we managed, somehow against all logic, to stick around. I guess I'm not quite mature or enlightened enough to take the approach of the writer. And he's right, not me.






This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/279318.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
ljgeoff
Nov. 18th, 2013 06:03 am (UTC)
Back in '06, I planned to have a piece of land by 2020, but I think I can swing a land contract by 2015. There are several parcels available right now that fit all of my check boxes.

Which is to say, the message I got from that essay was that it's not that things will change, it's that things have changed. And that was an affirmation, a validation, not an epiphany.

Back in '06, I woke one morning from a very real dream. I was up high, in a plane, I think, looking down at a city on fire. A man was sitting next to me. "It wasn't the droughts and floods that killed everyone," he murmured. "It was the wars."

My tenth grandchild will be born next spring. He is a boy, a third Michael -- they'll call him Mac. By the time he is grown, it will be a new world. Quite literally. And though I am terrified, and his parents think I'm a little nuts, and I don't know if any of this will be good enough -- still, this is, it seems, my job.

Viam Invenio! Did I tell you that at our October Birthday Bash we got together and devised our House crest and motto?

On a field of blue, a central tower with ivy upon it, a rampant stag dexter and a rampant fox sinister. Beneath the tower is a line of marsh reeds (for Moser) and above the tower streaks a comet.

Viam Invenio: I find a way.

Four minutes? Bring me knitting! Really, though, I believe in us, in people. Yes we are stupid and crazy, but we are also so amazingly beautiful, clever and wise. We have a few years left of things staying pretty much the same. A decade, perhaps, maybe two. There will be disasters, heartbreaking disasters every year. There will be famines and floods. Here in the US, the poor will get poorer, and the middle class will get poorer and we will all be told that it's Our Fault.

And then, rather suddenly, things will be much, much worse.

I will be up north by then. Think of me.
kaffyr
Nov. 18th, 2013 01:52 pm (UTC)
This, all by itself, is chewy and beautiful, and I think you know what I mean when I say this. As for me and mine, I've been contemplating a move back to Nova Scotia, although the land, with the exception of my home in the Annapolis Valley, is very hard and thin. Still, there is the Valley, and I'm willing to work hard, and my step-family has farm land. I guess that's the farthest I've gotten in thinking about it, although that's a great deal more than I've thought about it before.
a_phoenixdragon
Nov. 18th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)
Whoa...that is...rather unsettling and mind-boggling. We've been predicting our own future for quite a while now. I wonder why it is so hard to believe it for most of the world. Scifi has given us so many wonderful things - and so many dire warnings. Why do we revel in one and ignore the other so often?
kaffyr
Nov. 18th, 2013 11:00 pm (UTC)
I think humans fear death, the dark, and lack of comfort. If those seem like strange bedfellows in a sentence just consider that we don't want to die, but we are afraid of the monumental task and sacrifice that we'd have to take on if we acknowledged the reality of our situation. Give up electricity or the internet or lots of water for 10 minute showers? Accept that we really need to return to a world of constant shortages and rationing - which is the only option that might save some of us and some of our modern culture? Nope; too hard, too frightening.
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