Why We Shouldn’t Give Up On The World Just Yet
Hold off from bulk buying for the Apocalypse
This morning I thought I would relax and read some interesting articles on Medium. However, soon my cheery morning mood was torn from me as I saw countless posts relating to how we are ‘doomed’ and how to ‘prepare for the apocalypse’.
As somebody who spends most of their nights awake worrying about the climate crisis, reading endless articles, and fearing the worst, I get it, and we should all be sharing how we feel.
Furthermore, I don’t think it is a bad idea to prepare ourselves, after all we are already seeing the disastrous effects of climate change playing out before our eyes. This is affecting people’s lives on a catastrophic scale, faster than some of us expected, so it is understandable, and I believe, very sensible to learn from these events and action precautions for our own survival.
However, I have some issues with this doomsday message that seems to be on the rise, and here’s why.
Hopelessness can lead to inaction
When people feel that a cause is hopeless they are more likely to give up any action at all because ‘what’s the point?’ I have been one of these people, and it’s a normal part of our grieving for the situation we are in.
But while we should be preparing for the worst, it doesn’t mean that we should give up on hope altogether, because even if we can’t reach the targets we need to in order to hold off the worst of the effects, any action is better than no action. Any reduction in our emissions, even if it’s not enough, still helps to hold things off, even by a fraction.
I wrote an article a while ago about the fact that sharing nothing but ‘doom and gloom’ is unhelpful because of the reasons I am elaborating in this post, but that the hopeful messages are also dangerous in isolation.
No matter how grim it seems right now, there is still a little glimmer of hope, and while I agree we shouldn’t allow ourselves to become ignorant and believe that we are saved because of hope and therefore all will be right with the world, because let’s face it, we need to be realistic with the situation we are in, neither do I believe that sharing that we are over and should just hold up our hands and allow the Earth to be swallowed whole is helpful.
We need to keep the balance of reality, which is that we are heading towards dangerous levels of climate change, that we are in a crisis, BUT, there are still things we can do, if not to stop or reverse it, to at least slow it down, and I think this is the message we need to keep sharing, because I think we have too much at stake just to give up.
Without hope we humans are more likely to give up altogether, but without being realistic we will underestimate the threats we face and what is needed to be done to slow down the worst of it, so, by all means, let us grieve, let’s get angry, let’s post these apocalyptic posts, but let us not forget that there is still a lot of work that can be done, and a lot of actions still being taken.
The fight isn’t over yet
I am not saying that the worst won’t happen, but our future is not set in stone yet. The worst will certainly happen if we just all bulk buy essentials, hide away and just wait for doomsday to arrive. However, if we all step up, do everything we can, and support one another, we might, and I say might, just be able to prevent the worst of it.
We have the ability to turn this around. Now, please don’t mistake my belief that we can as a delusion that we will. These are different things, and I am under no illusions, I know we are in trouble and our Governments are not doing anywhere near enough to reach the targets that are vital for our survival.
BUT, we ARE capable of making the necessary changes. And while this is the case, I don’t think we should give up on hope and our fight.
The only way we can really tackle this is together
We all share one home, yet we are fighting each other all of the time, it’s how we humans have survived throughout history. But of course, this isn’t the only way. We have also learned that we are capable of great things when we work together.
Now, again, I hear you, yes, we need our Governments to step up and put their differences aside, and we are all in doubt that this will happen, especially given the urgency we need right now.
But there is so much more we can all still do together, and we will not achieve this if we are all hoarding away vital items that are denying others of this luxury, or just giving up altogether and abandoning humanity to live on another planet.
Now more than ever we need that neighborhood mentality. We need to be supporting our local communities to be able to sustain ourselves together. Not to mention that our actions are needed for those who are already in the thick of it, in countries who have the smallest carbon footprint but are facing the biggest threats right now.
Nobody is doing anything, right?
I know it feels like this. I have said this plenty of times too. But the reality is very different. Again, the fact is this might not be enough. And I agree with you, the people we need to be making the biggest actions and decisions are not doing enough fast enough. But the many ecologists, climate scientists, activists and countless other organisations, groups and individuals who are dedicating their lives to the fight, might just feel a little offended if they hear people saying that nobody is doing anything, because this is far from the truth.
There are lots of things being done, and by turning away from this we are allowing these amazing actions and technologies to not make the huge impacts they have the potential to, because they need our backing.
Here’s just a few links for you to browse to see for yourselves the ‘inaction’ that countless of people are taking everyday.
Good News · Climate Optimist
In the last year, humanity doubled the amount of solar power we use. In 2015, we installed 229 GW of solar power …
Good news on The Daily Climate's site
We push good journalism and science into public discussion and public policy on environmental health issues, including…
I am not saying that we should live in blind hope
Far from it. I am as scared as you are. But we can still be scared and prepare for the worst whilst fighting for the best scenario, because if there ever was a battle worth fighting for, it’s got to be to save the world, right?
The world isn’t over yet, and we need to pull out all of the stops to prevent the worst from happening.
We cannot just give up because there is too much at stake. Future generations, the whole planet and all of it’s creatures are depending on what we do here and now.
And I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to look the next generation in the eye and say ‘we did everything we possibly could’, instead of saying ‘well, it got scary so we gave up doing anything to protect your future, stocked up on toilet roll and hid’.
To clarify, I don’t disagree we are in a crisis and we need to start acting as such. And some of this does entail preparing ourselves, but I ask you, no, I beg you, please don’t give up on humanity just yet.
The fight isn’t over yet, and you are an important part of rewriting our future.