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Dept. of The World Is Bigger Than We Are

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.

Comments

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.