I went to a rally this past weekend called Rise Up for Climate, Jobs, and Justice. I did so by overcoming my social anxiety which often makes it hard to interact with large groups. About halfway into the event I decided to leave early. I had started to get taxed by the social aspect of the event and I became depressed because my mind wandered to a question which has preoccupied me for a number of years now.
That question: is there enough time left for humanity to save themselves from ecological destruction? A more specific question concerned me on the day of the rally: is there enough time left for a political movement to build that stops ecological collapse from destroying a path, any path, forward for humanity or is the shit too deep? We are already seeing effects from climate change and we are already seeing extinction rates much higher than the background extinction rate. Now I refuse to give up as long as there is hope but I fear building a traditional political movement that can effectively solve the myriad but interconnected environmental issues would simply take longer than we have before humans don’t have the ecosystems they need to survive on this planet.
Another option I have encountered is to intentionally cause the collapse of global capitalism with or without the consent of the majority of the population of humans. This would be drastic and I am not sure it is even possible, or if it is technically possible, one could get enough people to bring it about. There is also no guarantee that we aren’t too far along for this to work. We could already be to the point where we need negative emissions technology and/or to actively restore ecosystems but I suspect if a growth based economy were eliminated, species and ecosystems would bounce back.
Of course we could just sit on our hands and hope things play out such that our growth based economy comes down on its own before ecosystems are so decimated that humans can no longer survive but I believe if there are options available to us then for the survival of humanity one must act! So what are the realistic options left to us within the available time left to us? Are there other options outside of bringing capitalism down or traditional political movement building? I honestly have no idea but until such options are presented to me I am going to struggle with the question I have presented. However, I shouldn’t struggle too long if I am to participate in the environmental movement in some way. I just want my participation to be useful.
I don’t have any definitive answers in this post and would welcome any comments. Thanks for reading about this depressing topic.