Time to Live?

Not only will men of science have to grapple with the sciences that deal with man, but — and this is a far more difficult matter — they will have to persuade the world to listen to what they have discovered. If they cannot succeed in this difficult enterprise, man will destroy himself by his halfway cleverness.

~ Bertrand Russell


I’ve been thinking. As you can imagine, no good is likely to result from that self-absorbed process.

It seems Bertrand Russell was correctly prescient more than 60 years ago: The men and women of science have failed. Homo callidus — the clever ape, as I’ve come to call our species — has failed as a result of our halfway cleverness. We’re done, and sooner than most people can imagine.

I’ve been promulgating this message for a very long time, with substantial adverse impacts. These include the loss, even more abruptly than climate change is proceeding, of all human relationships important to me.

I’ve co-authored the definitive book on near-term human extinction, including the science and how we might respond. It was not my first book sounding the alarm about abrupt climate change. I’ve co-authored a work of fiction for young adults explaining the horrors of civilization from a non-human perspective. I’ve written and regularly updated the definitive, long essay documenting the science underlying our demise. I’ve recently penned the “Cliff Notes” version of the long essay in a mere 1,200 words. These books and essays employ simple, well-understood words within the English language.

I’ve delivered the definitive presentations, too, for those unable or unwilling to read books and essays. A stunningly entertaining, well-edited 22-minute version is embedded here. It relies on the most conservative imaginable analysis and concludes extinction of our favorite species by 2030, as I’ve long predicted.

Through all this writing and speaking, through all the individual, interpersonal interactions with myriad people, through all the hateful lies spewed my way, I’ve retained three critical, often-overlooked messages: (1) Remain calm: Nothing is under control; (2) I’ve never suggested giving up — whatever that means — for many reasons; and (3) I’ve offered several paths worthy of pursuit, all within the realm of reason. The latter include taking the Buddhist-inspired approach of right action as well as pursuits of love and excellence without attachment to a specific outcome. The second of the three suggests capitulation to reality rather than fantasy and also suggests the countercultural notion that a 200,000-year-old species does not represent the apex of this 13.8-billion-year-old universe.

In short, I’ve given it my best shot. I’ve sacrificed my way of living, my means of making a living, and — most importantly — relationships with friends, co-workers, colleagues, and family. Unless I come to the prompt attention of the well-documented liars within the culture of insanity commonly referred to as “normal,” I have nothing substantive left to give. I seriously doubt the aforementioned liars from governments and media will consider promoting relevant evidence before we’re extinct, in large part because doing so would cost them their way of living, their means of making a living, and their relationships (in other words, because they’re much more intelligent than me).

In offering all I have to give, and suffering the expected attention of the government as well as substantial mean-spirited kickback from people who look like me during my speaking tours — people who cannot imagine any threat to their enormous, yet unacknowledged privilege — I’m left with little to say and little energy with which to say it. The evidence I present is met by cries of “impossible” and “cherry picking,” not to mention the terror of the abyss when I remove all hope.

Opinions trump evidence in a culture gone mad. The populace cannot distinguish evidence from opinion when the dumbing down has succeeded. And we’re there.

Despite the serious blow to my ego, I’m admitting the insignificance of my impact beyond a few, exceptional individuals. I can already sense the celebratory relief from those pulling the corporate strings of imperialism, as well as from the overflowing gallery of dimwits who deny near-term human extinction as a result of abrupt climate change even as the process is fully under way.

I will be posting less frequently in this space. Barring unforeseen circumstances, I will no longer update the long, often-updated essay. My future work will focus on invited presentations, workshops, and interactions with media, while recognizing the latter is unlikely to occur before human extinction is complete.

In summary, I’ve done my part. You can join me by sharing my message. You could go the next step, too, by fully integrating my message, including throwing off the shackles of civilization.

What, then, will I be doing? I’m contemplating actually living my message: living in the moment, having fun, loving what I do, doing what I love. I recently canceled two funded October speaking tours, for example, although I will retain my commitments to speak in Orlando, Florida and Long Beach, California later this month and also in New Zealand later this year. And I returned recently from a vacation in Hawaii funded and hosted by a friend.

A reminder for the truly dense masses: I’m not giving up, nor am I recommending that course of action for others. Rather, I’m taking the advice of flight attendants by putting on my own mask first. In this case, the mask is psychological in nature. And, lest the masses believe too strongly they’ve “won,” whatever that means in the face of near-term human extinction, I’ll be back.