Friday, 21 December 2012

Whoops (no) apocalypse

Despite the warnings of the doom-mongers, the end of the Mayan calendar didn't bring about the end of the World on 21st December 2012. So now what? Life goes on as usual, no doubt. But while the end of the World may not be imminent, we seem determined to live our lives as if there was no tomorrow.

We consume as though resources are limitless, burn fossil fuels without consideration of their effect on the climate and relentlessly pursue material wealth as if it was the only measure of a life well lived. And yet we know that our planet is finite and that nobody dies wishing they had spent more time at work or bought more stuff. We're supposedly Earth's most intelligent life-form, and yet to observe us objectively one would have to conclude that we had a collective death-wish.

Some academics put a different interpretation on the fact that the Mayan calendar ran out on this day - they posit that the end of the calendar marks the start of a new age of enlightenment. Sadly, that interpretation doesn't seem to be any more accurate. It seems increasingly inevitable that the human race will ultimately bring about its own downfall by undermining the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

So as we celebrate the face that the World didn't end today, let's try to start living as if we intended to stay here.

(My thanks to @penny_walker_sd for the tweet that sparked this train of thought)