My son, half my age at 32, asked me if I can remember a time when things were “this bad.”
“No,” sadly I replied. “We seem to be at a new low.”
Later that week, speaking with an octogenarian friend, I posed to her the same question. Her reply was the same as mine. “No, we seem to be at a new low.” Should I ask someone celebrating 100 years on the planet, I fear the response would not change.
We might disagree as to the definition of “bad” — or even “things” — but I am convinced we’re all in agreement: Colloquially stated, “What a freakin’ mess!”
At the risk of harshing your mellow, let’s examine a couple specifics:
- After observed the most divisive Supreme Court nomination process in history, one might argue we are also witness to the fabric of our nation being ripped asunder. Not only have we have drawn lines in the sand, we have fortified them with cement, and constructed walls to prevent passage from anyone of differing views. More than one political observer has postulated that our country’s temperament is akin to the mid 1800s (sic), prior to — and triggering — the Civil War. There are many who offer that “this great democratic experiment” is sunsetting; our future looking like George Orwell’s classic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Hang on, that’s not the worst news.
- The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in what many consider a moderate perspective, implores “urgent and unprecedented changes” are needed NOW to prevent global warming from climbing over 1.5º Celsius (2.7º Fahrenheit) by 2030. Should we continue on the path on which we now find ourselves, expect an uptick of approximately 3º C (4.5º F) resulting in major cities flooded; island nations wiped off the face of the planet; extreme droughts and heat waves; insect infestations; and wars over water and food — um, just to name a few. Yes, the planet will carry on – but it will become close to inhospitable.
I could – as I’m sure could you – site countless more illustrations, yet once one has enumerated the end of humanity as a potential outcome, everything else seems, well, somewhat inconsequential.