The biggest annoyance of science is that the stronger it gets, the more we as people are forced to live with the truth. Our lives are meaningless and we will all eventually succumb to our own mortality.
This week in the news I read about how the ice is melting even faster in the Antarctic, a cause for some concern. Usually I don’t like to comment on current affairs on this blog because as soon as I publish the post my post will become outdated. Thankfully this news article isn’t the first time and wont be the last time I’ll read about how the whole world is fucked and we’re all going to suffer.
Right now it’s the polar ice caps melting. Next week it’ll be global warming. The following month it’ll be a super-volcano in Yellowstone erupting or possibly a giant meteor from space coming to destroy us all.
I often feel an incredible amount of foreboding when I read these news articles. To know that the Earth is constantly living on the edge of a thousand knives. There seems to be a hundred reasons our lives could end. Society is seemingly waiting to collapse beneath us and that’s a horrible thing to know. Thank you to the media for constantly reminding us of it. Thank you to scientists for believing their news will actually accomplish anything other than making me feel grumpy.
Part of me wishes to be rid of science. One hundred years ago I could have gone about my life happily. Going through my days without anybody bringing up that antibiotics were going to stop working and we’d all die from infections in future. In fact, if it was a hundred years ago I’d probably just expect to die due to tiny cuts and scrapes and I’d have been fine with that. After all I’d just be getting to heaven quicker, so there’d be nothing to worry about.
Now, without heaven, what do we have to look forward to after death? Not nothingness because nothingness is a type of thing. We have an absence of even that. Brilliant. We can’t even look forward to nothing, we instead have to look forward to simply no longer existing. That doesn’t sound too much like fun.
People may make the argument that life is all about the living. That we should embrace every moment as if it’s their last. I’m assuming these people don’t have debts, a healthy bank balance and probably not enough sense to know the truth. That it’s impossible to enjoy anything when literally at any moment the place around you could explode killing everybody on Earth!
Never has our future looked so bleak. Despite what I’ve said, I don’t fear death. What I fear is a lack of comfort. That one day I’ll be unable to go to the nearby bakery and buy a doughnut. That some cataclysmic event might force me into a world where I have to fight to survive. Where I have to actually make an effort to carry on being! What would even be the point anyway if you can no longer buy a doughnut?
If a giant super-earthquake does hit tomorrow turning the entire earth into a bland sequel to Mad Max, I can only hope I’m one of the lucky ones who dies in the first seconds. Rather than struggling on through life with nothing but the idea of helping humanity survive until the next major disaster in my head. The only reason to currently get up in the morning is to watch TV and if there’s no more of that to watch then let me succumb to no longer existing.
The irony is – humanity can never really survive. Eventually the sun will die, swallowing up the Earth, killing everything upon it. No matter how much we protect Mother Nature, she will succumb to age just like us. Maybe we will somehow escape the planet, start again in another galaxy. But then we’re just faced with the same problems on other worlds, surviving to survive a bit longer for no other reason than to buy hamburgers and write crappy blog posts.
To those scientists with the belief that they’re helping us all by revealing that something else is going to kill us all – why don’t you guys go take a day off. Enjoy yourself a little so that I can enjoy my own life. Let me live in ignorance so that I don’t have an existential crisis every time I turn on the news. Don’t assume that sharing your bad news will somehow benefit mankind. The average person is happy to sit back and watch the whole world go to shit. We’ll only start giving a damn once we can’t get our doughnuts.
The Earth has problems, everybody knows it. We can’t really do anything about it, so let us just enjoy ourselves.
Photo by Mark Chadwick.
I’m not sure if I even agree with a lot of what I’ve said in this blog post. I’m mainly just sick of reading horrible scary news articles about the end of the world. I guess I should be more pissed off with the media than scientists but hey-ho!