getting critical

mac

janitor
Recently the IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - published its latest report concerning the earth's warming climate. It makes grim reading with dire predictions if the world powers don't unite in making major changes to fossil-fuel use. In October the UK will host COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland, where there will be major pressure for urgent action to try to prevent a global catastrophe as our world gets ever warmer.

Even if countries and nations agree to act swiftly and decisively - do they ever? - many changes are already 'baked in' and their effects will be there for decades to come. Of course there will be climate-change-deniers and that's the nature of humankind - there are always those who refuse to heed the details.

My generation - we baby boomers - have lived very privileged lifestyles and subsequent generations will probably not enjoy similar freedoms of leisure and travel. I for one consider myself exceedingly fortunate I've been able to live the way I have but the storm clouds are now gathering. Various freedoms may not be there for most of us in future. This world is getting warmer, the climate more unstable, weather patterns less predictable, extremes of weather more extreme and more commonplace. The effects will be widespread and deep. Our homes will need modifying to cope with heat and storms and some people will have to move as areas flood more often. Agriculure and farming/ranching will have to change markedly. The term 'New Age' will mean something very different just as 'BC' now does.

Daily I listen to what's being proposed in an attempt at dealing with climate change. Changes will impact the everyday lives of adults and children alike. Kids will be taught how the world they're growing up in will be different from the one their parents knew. Just about everything we're familiar with faces change. Some of those changes will be radical and shocking, some are already underway and can not be changed - period. The citizens of the world to come will have to accept they can't influence those particular changes but they may be able to put the brakes on even greater changes. Time will tell....

I've often remarked I am more an observer in this world than a participant. I feel I mostly came to watch what's happening. As I metaphorically cast my eye across the world I see with deep concern the changes that are imminent. Living in this dimension is set to become an even bigger challenge than it has been thus far, few will be unaffected and many will face major upheaval. I expect to have passed over and to have missed much of the worst of these changes but I could be around another quarter century and I might see and experience many of them. That would be quite the experience but I'm not sure I would consciously choose it. :(
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
I hope you're right that we can still make some changes, and certainly we should do what we can -- but I tend to think we have passed the tipping point, and I don't really believe this planet, or at least the humanity living on it, will survive.
 

mac

janitor
I hope you're right that we can still make some changes, and certainly we should do what we can -- but I tend to think we have passed the tipping point, and I don't really believe this planet, or at least the humanity living on it, will survive.
In many ways it would be better if humankind didn't survive, bb. You are probably right about our having passed the tipping point but I doubt the totality of humankind would succumb and die out. I wouldn't want to be one of those who survived though. :( Yet if one accepts the premise of spiritual progress through experience this world would continue to provide the potential in spades!
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
The planet, as well as the non-human animals and the flora living on it, would definitely be better off without humanity. I wonder if whatever humanity survives, if any, will end up in a civilization in which they lose their advanced abilities (or rather the means to carry them out, such as anything nuclear for example), and just live in the more primitive ways of our long-ago ancestors. That would have both good and bad effects on humanity (mostly bad, in my opinion), but would certainly be better for everyone/everything else.

Tangential to the main point, but personally I am of the opinion that "spiritual progress through experience in this world" is vastly overrated. It has some value, yes, but IMHO this world, this life, is entirely too hard and painful (not just my life; I am well aware that many, many people have enormously more difficult and painful lives than mine) to be worth it.
 

mac

janitor
The problem I perceive is that this world was created, or adopted, for the use and benefit of the species we represent - like it or no. Maybe not for the sole benefit, of course, and I'm not saying that excuses some of what happens. Neither am I defending any of the many negative aspects of our existence but without humankind this world's value would be very much different. Whether that be good or bad we have no idea. And always assuming one accepts the reasons we're here at all. Reject those and all bets are off; there may not be any particular purpose to this world.

What would happen if things became vastly worse and humankind's progress were to stop or go into reverse is pure conjecture. I suppose anyone's guess is as good as that of anyone else. Making sense of it all is beyond any of us I think.
 

mac

janitor
If we reject all notions of an afterlife where we lead discarnate lives and if we reject spiritual progress made in whatever way and if we say we're here by accident and have no purpose then we may as well say that life in this dimension is all futile and purposeless and that would include all the non-human life-forms. And if we were to reject all those ideas then it wouldn't much matter what happens here at all. If it's a matter of "When yer dead yer dead." and there is nothing after death and we just disappear and lives and relationships don't matter then we should just scrub round living here at all. None of anything matters - not us, not animals, not plant life, not the planet, not nothing nowhere......
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
Hm. I don't necessarily agree that this world was created for the use and benefit of humanity, at least not solely or even mostly so. If it was intentionally created by a sentient being/god/whatever, then my guess is that it was created for all forms of life on earth, equally -- though certainly I acknowledge that I could be wrong, and that a creator may have created this planet mostly for humanity.

If, on the other hand, this planet was not intentionally created by a sentient creator, and instead was the result only of physics and other such primal forces, then it absolutely was not made solely or even mostly for humanity, as there was no one to do the "making", and as the earth has existed for over 4.5 billion years and humanity for only around 6 million years (and that's if we're being generous and including the earliest forms of humans).

I don't know which scenario is true, or closest to true. In any case, while I agree with you that humanity has contributed to this world (at least, I think you're saying that), in terms of art, science, philosophy, etc., I still think the planet and most of the wildlife (both animals and plants) on it would be much better off without humanity's presence. Animals and plants don't pollute (unless you count methane production from sheep and cows, lol), they don't destroy the planet, they don't use more than their fair share of natural resources, and the various animal species tend to keep each others' populations in check when humans aren't interfering with the animals and their habitats.

I don't reject all notions of an afterlife or spiritual progress, and I don't know if we are here in this life by accident, but I do believe it's possible that we are, and that life is purposeless other than the purposes we assign to it ourselves. Say that is the case, though, for the sake of argument -- even then, I don't think that what happens here wouldn't matter, only that it wouldn't matter in any grander sense. That is, the things that happen to us would still matter to us, and would likely still have ramifications for our loved ones and, for some of those who have a larger effect (artists, scientists, politicians, etc.) their actions would continue to ripple forward to others even once they have died and ceased to exist altogether (again, assuming that there is no afterlife, no god, etc.). In my opinion, we should still do what we can with our lives while we have them -- possibly even more so than if there were an afterlife, since if this is all there is then it's our one shot to do so.

I hope it's clear I'm not arguing with you, I'm just sort of responding to your comments and thinking/typing out loud.
 

mac

janitor
"I hope it's clear I'm not arguing with you, I'm just sort of responding to your comments and thinking/typing out loud." Absolutely clear you're not, bb. We're both just knocking the subject about and there are various alternate scenarios I could have presented.

I always find your perspective interesting because you're one of the highly unusual individuals who are unsure about the premise of this website yet continue to follow threads and contribute to them when the vast majority of our members do neither. I think I understand why you continue to come here whereas with many others I really have no idea.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
"I hope it's clear I'm not arguing with you, I'm just sort of responding to your comments and thinking/typing out loud." Absolutely clear you're not, bb. We're both just knocking the subject about and there are various alternate scenarios I could have presented.

I always find your perspective interesting because you're one of the highly unusual individuals who are unsure about the premise of this website yet continue to follow threads and contribute to them when the vast majority of our members do neither. I think I understand why you continue to come here whereas with many others I really have no idea.
I always enjoy reading your posts as well, and discussing these things with you. I really appreciate that you and I differ in our opinions on some things, but are still able to have interesting discussions about them without rancor -- unfortunately, that's a rare commodity these days! You always make points that make me think, and occasionally make me at least partially reconsider my view on a topic. I enjoy both the camaraderie and the intellectual stimulation. :)
 
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