Well, at least nearly everybody turns. As with a relationship in decline, with friends who say, “we won’t take a side,” essentially everybody then takes a side in the wake of the failed relationship. The chosen “side” is based on rumors, lies, half-truths, and innuendo. Customary for the culture, evidence is neither sought nor considered. Facts rarely change our minds.
I followed and transmitted the evidence regarding civilization as an omnicidal heat engine. I turned toward the seemingly contrary evidence when it became clear that terminating a civilization in decline would not stop runaway, irreversible climate change. In doing so, I assumed others would follow my evidence-based path. I transformed myself from a popular homesteader to a reviled scientist promulgating evidence nobody wants to know. My naïveté became immediately obvious. In restrospect, remaining ignorant and promulgating lies would have allowed me to retain my privilege and my relationships.
Most turn away from evidence and into their comfort zones. A few, overwhelmed by the overwhelming evidence, are no longer able to deny abrupt climate change leading to the near-term demise of humans on Earth. These latter few are my target audience. I’ve left behind the vast majority, those without ears to hear or eyes to see.
Noam Chomsky turned shortly before the 2016 presidential election in the United States. Why would I expect others to follow evidence when a leading intellectual makes a hard right turn to support a promoter of genocide?
American comedian Lee Camp not only turned away from evidence, he took ignorance-rooted potshots along the way. His success at snark-filled comedy is ill-suited for absorbing evidence. And there’s no career for him without an audience. Thus his continued acceptance of snark over evidence.
Perhaps a few additional examples will help. I’ll not use names beyond Chomsky and Camp, strictly to protect the guilty. Each of the following examples is amalgamated from a few to many people. A couple of them represent nearly everybody I know.
Exhibit A (for artist) understood immediately. She wasn’t pleased to learn of her near-term death, nor the deaths of her friends and children. Rather, she was devastated. She cried, alone, for a few weeks. And then she began pursuing her dreams with urgency. She became increasingly compassionate, forgiving, and kind. The evidence turned her into a different person, better in many ways. She turned toward the evidence.
Exhibit B (for bicycle) simply could not budge from his acceptance of anthropogenic climate change as the gradual, we-can-fix-this variety. He knows about fossil fuels and he’s a fan of bicycling, recycling, and electric cars. He’s the consummate negotiator who fails to recognize that nature doesn’t strike deals. He turned away from the evidence when the evidence became uncomfortable.
Exhibit C (for confused) cannot distinguish me from my message. He’s quick to pass judgment rooted in ignorance of my life. He, and most other individuals within celebrity culture, believes what he prefers instead of what the evidence indicates. He joined Exhibit B in turning away from the evidence when the evidence became uncomfortable.
A well-known, early promoter of living off grid, an icon in the permaculture community, Exhibit D (for dollars) knows and accepts the evidence leading to our near-term extinction. Or so he tells me privately. Publicly, he promotes “solutions” he knows will not work. As he told me during our latest meal together, there’s money in hope. There’s no money to be had based on organizing, synthesizing, and then sharing the hope-free evidence I share with realists. The evidence turned him into a money-grubbing, status-seeking liar. He turned away from the evidence in exchange for fiat currency.
Exhibit E (for ex-friend) was never influenced by evidence. She used her relationship with me to build her “brand” as she remained indifferent to the realities imposed by nature. We parted ways when her friends warned her away from me. She readily admits that nature bats last. She won’t admit nature is already at the plate. She didn’t turn. She’s stuck in an era long behind us. She is alone in this list of examples: She didn’t turn. I doubt she will turn until she draws her last, surprised breath.
Exhibit F (for fear) turned away for that most obvious of reasons: fear. He and his cousin, Exhibit H (for hope), abandoned reason in pursuit of the tomorrow that never comes. Not surprisingly, Exhibits F and H share a workplace with Exhibit C. Also unsurprisingly, the workplace is the K-12 indoctrination camp known as public education. In a culture motivated by the illusion of fiat currency and underpinned by sociopathy, hope and fear have far greater influence than living in the present moment.
I’m often told that my hope-free perspective automatically makes be a cynic filled with despair. I’m very rarely visited by despair, although I’m saddened by the many adverse consequences of industrial civilization. I’m usually having too much fun to be caught by despair. My version of cynicism matches that of George Carlin: I’m a disappointed idealist. What idealist wouldn’t be, knowing what I know?
This diverse assortment of individuals imperfectly and incompletely represents the ignorance and indifference I’ve come to expect from the culture I’m trying to escape. Having failed in my lifelong attempts to positively influence the culture into which I was born, escape remains the only viable alternative. And escape is a temporary phenomenon along the path from death-defying adventure to, well, death.
Exhibits B through H have much in common. They are comfortable with their blinders. They are faithful, rather than skeptical. They haven’t given much thought to their deaths, hence to how they live, but they can talk all day about television, film, and football.
In other words, as typical examples of individuals within a culture of blind followers, these people know a lot about nothing of significance. In contrast, they know little about their passions, their purposes, their pursuits of excellence, and the importance of love. I suspect they know little about what really matters because the culture in which they are unthinkingly embedded discourages such thoughts. They know the old adage about the nail that sticks up getting pounded down, so they willfully join the herd.
Is it any wonder the college football coach draws the largest salary in most states within the United States? Is it any wonder human extinction looms? Is it any wonder that, at the edge of extinction, love is the last resort of the masses?