April 22, 2008

The Most Depressing Post Ever


Does anyone else ever feel like we're living a story that is coming to it's end? I couldn't help but feel that way today as I was listening to a radio program about China's growing population and consumption of oil. The host was interviewing a scientist who believed that in 10-20 years the world would be scrambling for oil and it would cause all kinds of chaos. Frankly, I think he's right. But it's not only China that worries me, it's the culmination of everything in the media lately. It seems that all we hear about is the poor environment, global warming, melting ice, oil, wars, poverty, disease, etc. We're approaching the climax.

I think I've come to the sad realization that we can't save the Earth. We humans will never reverse our impact on the environment. We're not organized, united, or strong enough. Inevitably, our planet will capsize in our filth, and the best anyone can do is to slow things down. I only hope that we can put it off as long as possible.

So on this, our glorious Earth Day, I have to roll my eyes at the naive phrase "Save the Planet". Instead, I came up with a new motto:

Go ahead now, cry your eyes out. It'll probably make the polar ice caps melt that much faster.

18 comments:

Marc said...

Be the change you want to see in the world ~ Mahatma Ghandi

(See here)

Jill said...

It's nice to know the Earth will be cleansed one day. Then we can all come back and live here without all the pollution!

volcom_LC said...

genius! that whole save the earth thing does seem a little passe, doesn't it?

Alifinale said...

I love your new slogan. Sad but true. I hope I can be better about delaying - but it does seem hopeless sometimes. Just remember the story of the guy throwing back starfish into the ocean.

Now I think I will finally sign up for recycling in my area. Thanks for the push.

melbo said...

Marc - are you going to buy that for me for Earth Day or are you telling me to buy it for myself? Inspiring words, though.

Jill - Amen; it'll be awesome! But I have a feeling we're going to suffer through a pretty big mess first.

vlc - I'm glad you think so, too!

Ali - Starfish story? I need to hear it. And I remember it being a pain to recycle in Vegas, which is so ironic considering it'll likely be one of the first cities to capsize.

buddens said...

Um, depressing...

Anonymous said...

It's true that there's a lot of doom and gloom these days, but you only have to go back one generation to find a world in which many believed that nuclear holocaust was just around the corner.

We may be approaching some sort of watershed point of no return, and it'd be absurd to suggest that there aren't some pretty scary things looming.

I really believe (strange for a cynic like me) that we as a species are up to the challenge, and that we'll solve the most serious problems as they arise.

(And if not, we'll certainly go out with a bang!)

abby said...

I don't know why I've never commented on your blog before--I read it all the time. I think you've always witted me into a speechless stupor.

Anyhoo, I had those same thoughts on Tuesday, sadly. I recently bought an eco-friendly all purpose cleaner, but not for the reasons I should have. I just liked the way it smelled. I also only recycle the things that give me my money back. Otherwise, gas guzzling truck number 3 (the first trucks are garbage and foilage; each is unionized) comes by my house every week to pick up the rest. It seems a little counter productive...

Anonymous said...

I don't think environmentalists can reasonably complain about the oil issue when they have worked to stop us from drilling oil in Alaska. Also, I don't think the oil thing is such a crisis yet. The great thing about this world is that there are a lot of great minds that will come up with new ways of fueling cars, though I'm not saying that it won't be more expensive than gas once was. Also, don't even get me started on ethanol... it is NOT as environmentally friend as it was purported to be and it has only driven food prices through the roof. Great idea! :(

Anyways, after that whole depressive ranting, there is always hope even if I am cynical at times.

Marc said...

I think environmentalists would argue that our dependence on oil itself is the problem, and most wouldn't see lifting the ban on drilling in the ANWR as the answer to the energy crisis. Rather, they likely would advocate greater investment into alternative energies.

Anonymous said...

I was merely pointing out the fact that it doesn't really make sense to complain about both (in my mind) as if the supply were increased the price would be lower. The reason we don't use something else at the current moment seems to be because it is still the cheapest alternative. If an environmentalist is going to complain about prices they need to consider the fact that other types of energy are currently MORE expensive than gas which is why we haven't adopted something else yet. I welcome investments into research into other types of energy sources at the private level, but I think the term "crisis" is a poor description of our current state when we are perfectly capable of coming up with alternative sources, they just aren't cost effective yet. Just my opinion.

melbo said...

Thank you for sharing your opinions, anonymous, and for the debate you've stirred. However, I've decided that I really don't like not knowing who you are and I am seriously considering removing that feature.

melbo said...

I think that last comment struck out on all of the sarcastic witticism I'd intended. I meant that in the friendliest of ways, of course! I only said it because I like to continue these conversations in person and know what my friends think. That said, I would never remove the anonymous feature.. it gets more people to comment - and I'm a total comment whore!

Marc said...

Anon - I think there's a legitimate question as to whether gas really is the cheapest form of energy if you consider all the externalities involved down the road (e.g., global warming). From this perspective, it could make a lot more sense to invest into research of alternative sources of energy rather than exploring for what limited reserves of oil exist in ANWR (which would far from solve our energy needs).

Melbo - So much for your blog being a refuge from all things political. Guess that's what you get for marrying me :P On the bright side, I've certainly helped boost your comment totals on this post.

Mary said...

Click on this link for the starfish story http://www.llerrah.com/thestarfish.htm

Carly Gourley said...

Poopsucker, don't be such a Debbie Downer, waah waah waaaaahh! Over the entire course of recorded history there have been plagues, disease, poverty, war, pestilence, political upheaval and unrest, injustice, cruelty, revolution, pollution, natural disasters, famine...there has also always been innovation, research, progress, compromise, cures, relief efforts, long standing peace, retribution, generousity, abundance, adaptation and survival. Naturally, each generation has a tendency to view their experience as being more urgent and dire than the previous one. With advances in communication and the deluge of events and news accessable to us with the click of a mouse, it is easier now than ever to become overwhelmed and complacent. Why do you think American Idol is so successful? Don't misunderstand, there's nothing wrong with an escape from the harsh reality in which we live, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, the human race has thrived and progressed for millenia and just because some new challenges have arisen, there's no reason to think we're out of juice quite yet! Keep the faith, sista!

Anonymous said...

I reached the same conclusion a few years ago. And as a believer in this fatalistic philosophy, I really believe we should be pumping more money into the space program. If our race is to survive in more than the most basic way, I think we need to spread ourselves out. I do think it's time to look forward toward colonization as a possibility. I am not a sci-fi geek, although I live surrounded by a few. If you knew how much fun I had mocking the sci-fi that comes through this house.... I do not think we're going to kill everybody off with the direction we're headed, but the earth will not sustain our numbers, nor our hedonistic over-consumption and pollution of nearly every resource. Lifestyles will change with education and necessity, but not soon enough. There is a carpet of plastic twice the size of Texas swirling around in the North Pacific Gyre. It has cropped up in just the past few years. These plastics breakdown and enter our food chain, poisoning us. Few seem to care. Between that and other marine pollutants, excessive carbon footprints, poisoning of the land based food chain and fresh water supply, etc..... we would all have to make drastic changes and soon to save this planet in its current form. We are too lazy and greedy as a race to do this. We are too divided. Most are too incredulous to get that this is really happening. I imagine there will be a lot of people that will die from wars, starvation and disease. A LOT of people. The ones left will adapt as best they can, but will find a way to survive in a much simpler, much more hard-scrabble existence. There may be little place in this new existence for people who have severe disabilities like my husband, except at the mercy of others. It will be the very lucky who get a chance to raise all of their children to adulthood. The political climate would be anyone's guess. I know this sounds completely alarmist and based on nothing but fantasy, but I feel this is a real possibility. Keep us wondering how we're going to feed our children tomorrow because our crops won't grow in 135 degree weather, and I imagine a very different world from the one we know now. Is art, music or literature going to be important in that existence? Save some of our culture and people by getting us off this planet and into a colony somewhere else, or watch as we change into....? Sorry if I make people roll their eyes, these are just where my thoughts lead me today. I can't get my password to work, I'm Susan.

Anonymous said...

Melbo is a crazy woman. I hear that she can hop like a bunny.

It's a good thing that I'm posting this anonymously, so she can't tell who I am.

~A different anonymous person.